Last Friday 3 graduates celebrated the end of their training period as family medicine residents!

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We gathered to celebrate with a meal and program attended by our community of residents, faculty and staff, as well as a few dignitaries from hospitals in the city.

Graduations are not as elaborate here in China, from what I understand.

Usually family members never attend the program, and often most of the graduates don’t go either.

My friends tell me the ceremony often seems focused on honoring the leaders of the particular institution, not so much on the achievements of the graduates themselves.

Speeches are for the benefit of the suits in the room.

It’s a little ironic, really, that for a Chinese student their entire existence is focused on getting into the right university to honor the family and move them upward in this world, yet graduation time is so anticlimactic.

Chopstix Dad and others spoke as the professional mentors for the residents, and all the grads also shared a few words about their experience and future plans.

LHX will continue on as Junior faculty with our group, while WH will continue to work in the clinic she has been staffing for several months.  WY will work part time with us for a few months until his planned job opens up.

I reflected on the tremendous changes I have witnessed in the two that I have interacted with the most, in terms of clinical acumen, bedside manner, English knowledge and personal growth.

It is humbling to know that what we are doing, in small segments once a week or or at other times, is part of a cumulative whole as we serve together as a team ostensibly to train and teach.

Yet in fact I feel like I have learned so incredibly much from these young doctors, as they share their insights and learning with me and we have moments of illumination together.
We call it “practicing” medicine because there is always more to learn.

And never more than in a cross cultural setting.


3 responses »

  1. This is wonderful! so happy to share the joy of accomplishment with you all. Great pictures. thinking of you all every day! Much love, Cathy

  2. Your comments are quite interesting and enlightening on the matter of graduation. I am reminded by your latter comments about something I’ve been reminded of lately, the mundane.
    I was watching a Mom pick up her daughters from the library and thought about how many times she’s performed that “mundane” task. I thought about how many times I had done it with my own children now almost 31, almost 21 and almost 20 and many more tasks like it. I often reflect upon their days gone by and think of maybe lost opportunity and yet…. We are all still here. Every day is another day to impact the lives of just not my children but humanity with that I’ve been given. Every “mundane” task has potential like the acorn to become a mighty oak.
    I’m thankful for that which you and your family have contributed to the lives of these doctors. I’m grateful for the potential of the “ripple effect” on the lives of those they literally touch in the future!

    • I totally agree with you! I’m sure you have instilled important values into your kids over the course of the years. Hugs!

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