Blogs from Chengdu, Sichuan, China, Asia

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Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu May 24th 2019

Chengdu, China (May 24, 2019) It is Friday and I've been delinquent in keeping up posts on the blog. I'll fill the details in later. After day 1 of the Sino-American Ophthalmology Conference today, we were invited by the SPPH Hospital's VP and Dean of the Medical School for a legitimate Sichuan hot pot dinner. It was a busy place, loud and boisterous and we had all the usual traditional hot pot choices. Twin cauldrons of boiling bullions - one red because of all the hot peppers boiled into it for flavoring and a whiter one in the middle for those with a milder palate preference. Prior to starting, we mix a bowl of sesame oil, vinegars, garlic, herbs and spices to dip the boiled meats and vegetables in and add more flavors and cool down ... read more
Hot Pot ready to boil
Our Table
Discussing

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu May 23rd 2019

Chengdu, China (May 22, 2019) Each year we come over, there is a major regional ophthalmology conference where now about 200 ophthalmologists from Sichuan attend. It has grown substantially from the first years, and the venues have become increasingly impressive. This year it was held at Sichuan University campus, where they have a five star hotel and an amazing conference center. Was blown away with the size of the screen for presentation - just shy of Texas Stadium's! It must have been 40 ft high. Some leading ophthalmologists and researchers from other parts of China participated in the first day and the two talks preceding mine were a perfect set up for my topic on artificial intelligence in ophthalmology. Our hosts arranged a speaker's lunch at an exquisite restaurant inside the hotel where a charming hostess ... read more
Elegant presentations
Hostess in Traditional Han Outfit

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu May 22nd 2019

Chengdu, China (May 22, 2019) After the quick flight from Kunming, we took the SPPH hospital bus back to the Tian Chen Lou Hotel - a familiar place for those of us who've been coming to China. Its a mid-range hotel that has been remodeled since we initially used to stay here and is quite nice. The beds are much softer than they used to be, the Internet more reliable, and the breakfast has more variety! Wednesday morning was spent with the ophthalmology residents at SPPH presenting clinical cases on the hospital's 12th floor conference room. The residents have come a long way since our initial years here - disciplined in structuring a case presentation, systematically working through a differential diagnosis and justifying the tests they order to get to a final diagnosis. We were having ... read more
Dr. Liu and Berlin - one of the residents
Game Show Hosts Drs. Melson and Tan
Health Economics Lecture by Dr. Melson

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu May 17th 2019

Chengdu, China (May 17, 2019) After a reasonably restful night I got up at sunrise to go for a walk and explore a park near the hotel. The Huanhuaxi Park has beautiful flower, lush vegetation, a river and large pond with plenty of egrets and ducks. A nice peaceful place where quite a few people came out for walks, runs and tai chi exercising. The morning temperatures are in the mid 60's with some humidity as it rained last night, but quite comfortable even working up a sweat. Its quick packing, another adventurous breakfast and off to the airport to meet our colleagues from Kaiser and the Chinese ophthalmologists and we'll fly south to Xichang. More from there!... read more
Huanhuaxi Park
Huanhuaxi Park
Huanhuaxi Park

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu May 17th 2019

Chengdu, Sichuan, China (May 17, 2019)) Meilan, a spunky petite sales rep for Santen Pharmaceuticals came to meet me at the hotel with a driver to take us to the airport. There we met up with Drs. Yun Liu and Paul Chen, colleagues from Kaiser Permanente in Northern California. Paul is a big Warriors fan, so we get to hear a lot about their deserved greatness! We had a little excitement since my ticket was purchased with an incorrect passport number, so after a little back and forth someone figured it out and I made it on to the flight. A short one-hour flight was fully booked with only one blond, blue-eyed person on the plane that I could tell. Xichang looks like a different geography than Chengdu – mountains surrounding a valley, quite dry and ... read more
The team at lunch
Lunch is served

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu May 16th 2019

Chengdu, China (May 16, 2019) Hainan Dreamliner flight 7966 couldn’t have gone any smoother. Boarding on time, leaving JFK on time and getting to our destination about an hour earlier than projected - a 14 for flight. My original seat wasn’t working and wouldn’t recline so they promptly re-seated me. I was able to sleep about 7 hours. Sat next to an interesting man - the former head of R&D for Regeneron (maker of Eyelea - a blockbuster drug in ophthalmology). He’s young, but retired now and mostly travels for enjoyment. It is early morning here and trying to get checked into the Tien Chen Lou hotel - you all know the fire drill. I think 5 am is before check-in time! One of the residents (Vincent) is working the phones... read more
Hainan Air has its own preflight mocktail

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu May 16th 2019

Chengdu, China (May 16, 2019) The people from the Sichuan Provincial People's Hospital are always gracious in hosting us. In spite of arriving an hour early, there was a resident I'd not met before who met me with a car to take me to the hotel. Vincent (his English name christened just for our arrival) took me to the hotel where it was way too early to check in. After a dozen phone calls there was an agreement that I could check in early, but it would take some time. I visited with Vincent - he with his broken English and me with no Chinese. He's from Chengdu, married another physician (pulmonary medicine I think) and is doing his Master's level training in cataract surgery. He doesn't get to do independent surgery, but has done some ... read more
Tien Chen Lou Hotel
TCL Room 6503

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu May 16th 2019

Chengdu, China (May 16, 2019) Those who've been here know it well, picking through the buffet of exotic dishes to find something familiar for breakfast. Here's my foray into the culinary delights of the Tian Chen Lou menu this morning: boiled chicken eggs (not to be confused with duck eggs), peas, a 1/4 duck egg in soya sauce, peanuts, lentils, pickled lotus root, mushrooms (or "fungus" as they call it here) and a steamed bun. I found some coffee - strong enough to keep me up the whole day! And true to Sichuan form, the got me with the hot peppers tucked in among the lentils! Bit right into them...Hot!! Welcome to Chengdu!... read more

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu May 16th 2019

Chengdu, China (May 16, 2019) San Francisco weather caused incoming flight delays. This year's team was made up of faculty and residents from the Dean McGee Eye Institute in Oklahoma City, two ophthalmologists from Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco and myself from New York. The OKC team was delayed four hours in Denver because of SFO weather and missed the flight from SFO to Chengdu literally by minutes. Both planes were on the ground at the same time and the international flight was delayed to verify the passengers' luggage, but still could not let them on as the flight was closed already. As a result they'll have one more stop through Beijing first...and be arriving tomorrow night. The ripple continues as they will be delayed getting to our first blindness prevention clinic in Xichang. The Kaiser ... read more

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu May 16th 2019

Chengdu, China (May 16, 2019) Still feeling foggy brained after a good nap this afternoon, I was invited across town to have dinner at what my body believes is morning with a Chinese colleague who has helped our team in many ways since our earliest days here. I took a Didi (Chinese version of ride-share that acquired Uber China ) across town to the University district to meet Dr. Sophia Zuoqiu (PhD in environmental health from Harvard School of Public Health) and her mother for a traditional (read spicy hot) Sichuan meal of eggplant, tofu, duck, sticky rice and "green beans" (hot peppers). Sophia is doing her post-doctorate work in air quality - very relevant here in China - at Sichuan University. On many of our previo... read more
Eating outdoors at the restaurant.
Sophia and her mother.
Evening skyline view




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