On Wednesday we visited a very impressive hospital in Nanjing called Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital, which is the affiliated hospital of Nanjing University Medical School. This hospital was founded by a Canadian Christian missionary, Dr. William E. Macklin, and is now 124 years old. So it’s close to the vintage of Mayo Clinic.
The original four-story outpatient facility, built in 1892, is still standing. That’s where we met with the hospital leaders for an interesting presentation about its history. The current president, Dr. Guangshu HAN, was born in this hospital and was inspired by his parents’ examples, who also were leaders in the hospital’s development. It was obvious he is moved by the selfless love of the missionaries who founded and served in the hospital.
After the presentation we toured the hospital’s historical suite, also within that building, which was renovated in 2006 and renamed Drum Tower Hospital Memorial Hall. It reminded us very much of a combination between the Plummer Building Historical Suite and Mayo Clinic Heritage Hall in the Mayo building in Rochester. Our tour guide spoke flawless English and did a great job of bringing the museum to life.
During my visit I’ve also gotten a refresher on Chinese history, some things I perhaps had learned in high school or college but which had not been as vivid as they are now. One was the Sino-Japanese War, or what the translators have called the Anti-Japanese War, and the Nanking Massacre (also called the Rape of Nanking).
During my museum visit I snapped photo from one of the Western physicians’ diaries, recounting the stories of what happened as he and several others stayed behind to treat the wounded while sending their families away to safety. I captured the photo so I would be able to read the diary later, and was surprised that in the Wikipedia article linked above, a portion of that diary page was quoted verbatim. Click the image to read, but be warned that it’s gruesome.
After the historical tour we visited the hospital and its beautiful facilities, but stopped along the way for a photo with the statue of Dr. Macklin. During our initial discussion with Dr. HAN he mentioned that their hospital had a piano in the central courtyard, and that volunteers regularly played music there for a pleasant diversion. That fit very well, of course, with my closing story about Mr. and Mrs. Marlow Cowan. So as we continued the tour he made sure we got to see and hear their piano.