Blogs from Sichuan, China, Asia


Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu August 24th 2019

Dear Blog Readers, The people have spoken and both readers have commented on the lack of toilet thus far. I was going to save it for the the stomach issues faced in Guilin (spoiler alert) but I'll comment on thoughts so far on the bog front. In general, very impressive facilities - numerously scattered about the towns, especially in Beijing, where the houses in the hutongs rarely have their own toilet so the public ones are used. Often clean and we must have experienced some shockers as sometimes it was the locals that were disgusted with the facilities rather than ourselves! You must bring toilet paper - it's a luxury if there is some provided (often at the entrance rather than in the cubicle. Talking of cubicles, it wasn't uncommon for there not to be door, ... read more
Pandas chilling out after some breakfast
Trying a 'mild' hotpot
Chairman Mao overlooking Starbucks & KFC

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu May 29th 2019

Chengdu, Sichuan, China (May 25, 2019) Following our team’s final presentation at the meeting we met with the hospital VP and Chair of the Ophthalmology department to discuss how to advance the eye hospital. The consideration was given to do it in an existing facility that is owned or under the SPPH control, but not actually in the main hospital as space is highly sought commodity. There were two suggestions: one a recently built (6 years old) nursing school in the Tianfu region of Chengdu, which is the high tech, high growth area. It was a ten story building on a campus setting with other dorm and cafeteria buildings associated with it. Some of the space was well suited for some inpatient services, but there would need to be a general remodel of the space. Access ... read more
Nursing School Building
Campus where Hospital is Located
Railway Allied Health School Hospital

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu May 26th 2019

Chengdu, Sichuan, China (May 26, 2019) Sunday morning we had a planning meeting in the hotel’s tea house with one of the SPPH hospital's leaders. The purpose of the meeting was to give him feedback on the two buildings we'd seen and come up with an action plan for moving forward. He expressed there was strong support and that the opportunity to advance it was now. We debated the pros and cons of both locations and decided that the northwest location was likely the best to get started quickly and could always be moved later if the patient flow was a challenge. I pitched a high-level business plan as a starting point, refreshing one that we’d presented five years ago and there was consensus that the approach was still solid and we should move ahead with ... read more
Pitching a Plan

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

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 » Panzhihua May 20th 2019

Panzihua, Sichuan, China (May 20, 2019) Another bright sunny day in Panzhihua. We mobilized early to make the 3 hour drive to Yongren, run a blindness prevention clinic, eat lunch and then travel another 3-4 hours on the bus to Kunming. Both Yongren and Kunming are in Yunnan Province. The geography of the area is that of mountain regions, deep gorges and interspersed valleys where there is a lot of agriculture. The landscape is also dotted with alternative energy sources - large hillsides covered with solar panels and wind farms on some of the ridges. We also crossed some deep, deep gorges over impressive bridges and tunnel systems - not trivial engineering feats. The bus is very modern and high tech, with multiple cameras and sensors - and the result was a lot of beeps and ... read more
The Phoenix Flower Tree
Mountain, Valleys, Rivers, Dams, Farms and Cities
Arrived in Yongren

Asia » China » Sichuan » Panzhihua May 19th 2019

Panzhihua, Sichuan, China (May 19, 2019) - The day was primarily dedicated to the conference which was held in one of the hotel's banquet rooms and was well attended. After the opening ceremonies which involves a series of welcoming speeches by the various government and hospital dignitaries we spent the morning in presentations: Monocular Vision Loss (Dr. Farris), AI in Ophthalmology (myself) and Endophthalmitis Post Cataract Surgery (Dr. Liu). Dr. Liu is bilingually fluent in medical terminology so she translates for most of our lectures - critical but exhausting work that she does so cheerfully. The venue was great and they had impressive dual floor to ceiling screens for our PowerPoint presentations. They did use our being here to go see patients as well - during the portion of the program with Chinese lectures we were ... read more
Dr. Liu Lecturing on Endophthalmitis
The Audience
Dr. Farris' Lecture on Monocular Vision Loss

Asia » China » Sichuan » Panzhihua May 19th 2019

Panzhihua, Sichuan, China (May 19, 2019) We finished up the conference with a celebratory hotpot featuring a lot of seafood. Its always an interesting cornucopia of food that we pick up off a large round rotating lazy Susan table. The abalone were moving...and Dr. Liu gave us her most shrill "shrimp shriek" when one of them jumped out of the bowl at her! All very tasty and the meal is always interrupted by individual toasts the hosts propose...showing us their appreciation.... read more
Fish Presentation

Asia » China » Sichuan May 18th 2019

Xichang, Sichuan, China (May 18, 2019) After checking out and another traditional Sichuan breakfast, we headed out to the Second Provincial People’s Hospital in Xichang. Over 150 eager patients were waiting to welcome us, along with the hospital’s team of nurses and the local ophthalmologist. We only had 1/3 of the team and only the morning, so were pressed for time split into teams to get through the screenings. The hospital team was prepared with a set up in the parking lot with stations for each of us and two slit lamp biomicroscopes. The nurses were all dressed in their crisp white uniforms and pink bows – all in a row. As I was the only non-Chinese speaker, I was paired with two young nurses that had some basic English and used a smartphone app to ... read more
The Traditional Photograph of the Entire Group
Working Through Two Nurse Translators
The Screening Clinic

Tot: 0.484s; Tpl: 0.021s; cc: 7; qc: 69; dbt: 0.0269s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.5mb