Day Eight: Zhangjiagang

As I write this we are driving from Zhangjiagang to Nanjing, where we will have a tour in the morning and afternoon presentations tomorrow. Because I was traveling here for two weeks, I bought the 800MB data plan (with reduced cost for voice calls), and while I’m over half done with the trip I have only used about 12oMB. So I might as well write now instead of waiting for the hotel wifi.

Stephanie and NBA FinalsYesterday I started by watching the first half of Game 7 of the NBA Finals in my hotel room, but we had to leave for our morning discussion and tour with about 5 minutes remaining in the third quarter. Thankfully our interpreter, Stephanie, had a more economical data plan and let me watch the game on her phone during our 15-minute ride to the hospital.

Walking Tour of HospitalWe had an excellent discussion at The First People’s Hospital of Zhangjiagang with leaders from the various specialties, as well as some younger doctors and nurses. Then we had a 30-minute tour of the facilities, including the telemedicine capabilities they use for about three cases per day currently.

At the end of the tour, we had the customary group photo with the hospital leaders:

First People Hospital Leaders

The man on the far right’s English name is Gordon, who studied for one year at Cleveland Clinic and therefore became a Cavaliers fan. At dinner the evening before we had talked about the Warriors-Cavs matchup and he asked if I wanted to bet on the outcome. During our group discussion I had gotten text updates from my son Joe on the progress of the game, so I told Gordon I was glad to not have accepted his challenge.

After a brief rest at the hotel, during which time Kent was reunited with his suitcases which had missed our flight from Beijing, we headed back for the 2 p.m. lectures. I believe this was the largest crowd of the tour so far (about 400 people), because it included representatives from 30 other regional hospitals, as well as 200 people from our host organization.


After our presentation, we had the customary gift exchange, and both the hospital president and the audience were pleased at the thought of receiving a pen made from wood that had its origins in a seedling once held by Dr. Charlie Mayo:

Gift Exchange

This was the fifth of our nine sessions, and a week from now I should be sleeping in my bed at home. It’s been a great adventure and I’m thankful for the opportunity.

Author: Lee Aase

Husband of one, father of six, grandfather of 15. Chancellor Emeritus, SMUG. Emeritus staff of Mayo Clinic. Founder of HELPcare and Administrator for HELPcare Clinic.

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