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ICRP Coversheet

Student Name: Immanuel Greene

Student ID #: 325981

Study Abroad Site: Beijing, China


ICRP Placement (Organization/Business Name): Beijing United Family Healthcare: New Hope
Oncology Center
Project Supervisor(s) at ICRP Placement: Nadia Sbaihi
Dates of Placement (Month(s) and Year): December 22, 2014 January 23, 2015
Project Title (in English): New Hope: Holistic Healing in a Western Context

Abstract (in English, one or two paragraphs):


The purpose of this project was to gain a deeper perspective into the use of Traditional
Chinese Medicine (TCM) in adjunct with and separately of Western Medicine in China. While
interning at Beijing United Family Healthcare New Hope Oncology Center, interviews, candid
conversation, and symposiums were all used to corroborate and collect research. New Hope
Oncology Center is home to an oncology ward, mental health clinic, and resident TCM doctor that all
contribute to complete recovery of diagnosed patients. In Beijing, one of the most densely populated
cities in the world, there exists a lack of resources in terms of healthcare. New Hope Center, as a part
of Beijing United Family Healthcare, is an example of an organization attempting to bring change to
the current standard for healthcare in China They do this not only by providing quality and in-depth
treatment for patients in a warm and loving environment, but also by using innovative techniques,
such as the combination of TCM and Western Medicine to ensure holistic healing of patients.

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Coming to China was a mix of regrets, questions of why I am here, and panic of finishing
my actual major on time. Before coming to China, at a pre-departure orientation, a counselor
from Kalamazoo College talked about something called the W-Curve which is summed up as a
roller coaster of high points and low points experienced while on study abroad. It was described
as a never plateauing sine wave of the impending manic-depressive state that comes with the
study abroad experience, and when I got to Beijing I was at the bottom of the curve. I was
expecting a high point, but with the aforementioned emotions racing through my head along with
the loneliness that came with leaving all my friends in The US and having to make new one here,
I couldnt seem to pull to pull myself out of my negative slope. As I got to know people in
Beijing and became more and more accustomed to my surroundings things started looking up. I
began to explore on my own and look for different opportunities to get involved in different
activities around Beijing. I even started looking up internships that interested me for when our
semester ended, and started reaching out to get a better idea of what the duties entailed.
When first introduced to the Integrated Cultural Research Project, I ran through all the
very Chinese possibilities for a project. I started writing a prospectus to study Chinese Opera, but
could not find an affordable way to do that. I then shifted focus to studying a traditional Chinese
instrument, which again was not affordable. I found an internship working with an organization
that would allow me to trade work for lessons in Chinese cuisine. All of these were very
interesting, but I still felt far from home, not only in terms of the distance, but also in terms of
me being a Pre-Med: Chemistry and Psychology double major. My Project Coordinator, every
week flooded our inboxes about different events going on in Beijing and this week had an event
discussing mental health in China. In searching for different internships, I reached out to Beijing

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United Family Hospital, the hospital where Doctor George Hu, the man giving the talk, works
and said that I would be interested in coming in and talking to him after the event to discuss his
findings and find out more about his research. I also hinted at an internship. Dr. Hu contacted me
personally and encouraged me to apply for an internship at the hospital where he worked and to
feel free to come in and talk to him. About a month before the first Prospectus was due, I applied
for the internship and was moving forward with my prospectus on Chinese cuisine. A few weeks
later I got accepted to work as an intern at Beijing United, but in the Oncology center rather than
the Mental Health Clinic. I originally planned to do this as an addition to my project, but after
talking to my Project Coordinator and getting a better idea of what the Integrated Cultural
Research Project (ICRP) entailed and all the possibilities, I decided to solely intern at the
hospital.
Before starting my internship, I wanted to explore how a Western hospital functions in
China, a country with such a long history of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), explore the
history of TCM, the cultivation of Western Medicine in China, and how the two are integrated to
be used together. I also saw this an opportunity to gain some experience in the medical world. In
writing the prospectus, I found some research from Yale University about the use of TCM to
relieve the effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. TCM has proven to be very effective
in curing various gastrointestinal disorders and conditions such as vomiting, nausea, and
diarrhea, all of which are common side-effects of chemotherapy. Scientists at Yale used
combinations of the Chinese medicine formulas to produce an effective drug in stopping these
side-effects, and concluded that Chinese medicine may be a model approach for drug

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developers.1 On my first day at the clinic, I was ready to dive into these aspects, but had to
change my approach.
Beijing United Family Healthcare is the first and remains Chinas largest foreigninvested healthcare provider. After 17 years in China, UFH has established itself in Beijing,
Shanghai, Guangzhou, Wuxi, Tianjin, and now Mongolia as the provider of choice for those who
want the very best in personalized healthcare. Their mission is to to provide comprehensive,
integrated healthcare services in a uniquely warm and caring patient and family service-oriented
environment. Upon arrival at The New Hope Oncology Center I could see how Beijing United
sought to achieve their mission. New Hope Oncology Center is a satellite clinic of Beijing
United Family Hospitals main campus in Chaoyang district. The Center specializes in the
diagnosis treatment of various types of cancer and provides a integrated and internationalstandard approach in their methods. I was really nervous to be working in a cancer clinic, but
upon arrival I was greeted warmly by the staff, nurses, and doctors, and was amazed by the
relaxed and warm atmosphere of the clinic.
My first day at New Hope was a huge struggle. It started with me trying to say the full
name of the hospital to the taxi driver and after failing at that a few times, I just told him where it
was. We got to the Chaoyang area and since I had never been to that side of town I was using my
phones GPS and recalling my direction giving lesson in Chinese class to try to navigate this new
place with an uncalibrated map. We passed the clinic twice before I recognized it from the
picture online. Even though the staff of New Hope all speak enough English to handle business
everyday, when I walked up to the front desk I explained to the receptionist, whom I would later
1

Anonymous. Chinese Medicine May Help Chemotherapy Patients. China Daily Xinhua.
(2010), 16 Dec. 2014. <http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2010-08/19/content_11173580.htm>

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get to know as Frank, in Chinese that I am the new intern that is to start today. It turns out that I
was in the wrong place. Frank, told me to go to the Administration building and find the HR
department to register. He tells me how to get there, but when Im on my way over to there
building I get lost (lu chi), I ask two other people where the main campus of the hospital is, and
after I finally find the building, I talk to the receptionist there and find out that again, I am in the
wrong place. They take me out the back door to this field with barbed wire around it, a guarded
gate, and adults all in the same clothes running around in a circle. It reminded me of a prison
yard. At this point I was not sure where i was going and where I was supposed to be. I kept
following the directions of the receptionist and walked into the building behind the prison yard
and found out that I was actually in Beijing Polytechnic College, which in fact shared a building
with the HR department of Beijing United. As if this extra 30 minutes of transit was not enough,
I went to the HR department and was told by 5 different people that my contact person was in 5
different places, so upon finding my contact and registering I was very relieved. Afterwards I
received my badge and made my journey back to the New Hope Center to meet Frank officially
as the new intern at Beijing United Family Healthcares New Hope Oncology Center.
Frank took me around the clinic, introducing me to all the staff, nurses, and doctors and
they all greeted me very warmly saying welcome to the family. Frank, telling everyone that I
spoke like a local caused most of the people that we ran into to test my Chinese either by reading
their name badge, or reading something off of a menu. Besides the warm and friendly nature of
those working in the clinic, the atmosphere in the building just was very calm, relaxed, and had a
home-like feeling. I went on and on about the feeling of the clinic in my field notes for the first
day of work. Even the lighting in the consultation, treatment, and waiting rooms were enough to

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relax anyone. While walking around, I saw that the Psychology clinic where I originally wanted
to intern was housed in the same building and the psychologist and psychiatrists work very
closely with the oncology doctors radiologists and nurses. I also assumed that there would be a
lot of crossover that existed between the departments in terms of patients. What surprised me
further was the resident TCM doctor also in the clinic. Frank explained that Dr. Shao Wenhong
(), a very popular TCM doctor, is the Section Chief and Chair of TCM for Beijing United.
The TCM clinic was a little ways down the street, but due to the overwhelming use of TCM by
chemo and radiation therapy patients, Dr. Shao personally set up an office in the New Hope
Center. It seemed like accomplishing my original goals would be easier than I expected.
After all of the introductions Frank introduced me to file keeping. I was put in charge of
everything pertaining to patient files. I spent all day filing, printing, labeling, copying, and
collating files either behind the front desk with Frank, or in an extremely small and
uncomfortably hot room in the basement. After three days of this, I was about ready to quit
because when I thought internship in a hospital, I expected to be walking around with a doctor
and listening in on appointments. I did not think that any of this would help with the purposes of
my ICRP. However, the more I filed, the more I started picking up patterns in the records, and
the more I grew to understand how things work in the clinic. The TCM doctor uses a very
specific kind of paper for keeping record of patients and in filing, I saw that a lot of the patients
in the oncology clinic also go to see the TCM doctor. The large demand for TCM talked about by
Frank was very visible in the patient files and, without disclosing any personal information, was
a majority in comparison to those not going to see the Dr. Shao.

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In addition to the benefits of being able to glance at files as I was collating, I got to
engage in a lot of interesting conversations with Frank and my other coworkers. We talked about
everything from stereotypes, racial issues, and social differences to travel, food, and mannerisms
between our different backgrounds. I dispelled a lot of stereotypes that they had, seeing that not
many of them had had an extended time with an American or African-American, in this close of
proximity. I also learned a lot about the Chinese culture and habits. They also always made a
point to have me try different foods and traditional Beijing cuisines. One of the most interesting
part of my experience behind the front desk is when we taught each other very local and
dialectical Chinese and English. I learned a lot phrases and random words that Frank encouraged
me to use to make me sound more Chinese. When teaching them English, I gave them
suggestions for talking to patients and customers in the clinic and also taught them different
slangs and sayings from different parts of the country.
On the first day at the clinic, I had worked all of my hours and was I was getting ready to
leave. Frank told me to find a seat and just as he said that all of the doctors, nurses, and staff
gathered around my station at the front desk. I thought it was an intervention or that I had done
something wrong but Dr. Lau, the most senior and Chair of the Oncology started to lead to lead a
discussion on the current patients. The round table meetings happen once a week, usually on
Monday or Tuesday and the doctors, nurses, and staff discuss the progress of the patients and any
concerns they may have. They have the meeting in English, not to cater to me, but rather to
improve the English of the workers there. This experience was another surprise due to the fact of
the amount of sincerity that existed between those in the meeting and the patient files. The
patients were not just a Medical Record Number or a case file. The doctors and nurses knew the

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patients well enough to not only discuss their progress in the hospital, but also how the treatment
was influencing their relationships with their family, and they even made a point to schedule
treatment around personal engagements. Even though the treatment is essential in the healing
process, New Hope makes sure to prioritize the patient and their well-being over the treatment of
the disease.
The second round table meeting that I was able to be present for was about 3 weeks later.
At this meeting Dr. Lau brought up a patient that was really close to being done with treatment.
He suggested successive rounds of chemo and radiation, but a nurse had to cut him off and
request a different method of treatment. That nurse had been in contact with the patients nephew
through WeChat and found out that the nephew was struggling with having to see his uncle
going through such heavy rounds of chemo. Dr. Lau really wanted to finish treatment with the
patient but again, prioritizing the patient over the treatment, he suggested a different method of
treatment to reduce the tax on the body. At this point I learned that the nurses are required to
contact the patient and the patients family four to five times after chemo or radiation treatment.
The main purpose of this, explained to me by the clinic manager, is to check in on the patient,
but the other purpose is to start to establish personal relationships with not just the patient but
also with the patients family.
The Clinic manager explained to me that her vision for New Hope Center is to establish
an extended family for the patient and the patients family. She understands that cancer is a
disease that affects everyone surrounding the patient. She wants affected by the circumstances to
want for nothing and to feel comfortable coming to the clinic for any grievance, complaint, or
concern. This is a very reasonable vision not only given the warm and kind nature of the staff,

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but also due to the wide spectrum of treatment available for people in the New Hope Center. My
original speculation of the crossover of patients in between the departments was brought up in
the conversation when the Clinic Manager mentioned that many times after a diagnosis of cancer
a patient, and more often, a patients family member will go to the mental health clinic at New
Hope to speak with a psychologist and remain a patient through the duration of treatment. The
patient uses the Oncology clinic for treatment of cancer, and the TCM clinic for the relief of the
side-effects of treatment. While I was at the clinic I started to change my prospectus for my
ICRP. I was so set on comparing holistic healing and western medicine in China, but after being
in the clinic for a few weeks I realized that I was in a place that used the combination of both
Western and TCM to promote holistic healing in China. New Hope Oncology center is exactly
the place that the manager envisioned. It is a place where a patient can be a part of a family that
not only cares a great deal, but also a family that caters to every need that exists through the
duration of their time in the clinic. This is an enormous need for this type of healing in China.
Even with the rich history of holistic TCM, the use of Western medicine in China really does not
live up to the precedent.
Another point that was brought up at the second round table meeting was the issue of a
patient having to complete treatment at a local hospital. Dr. Lau appeared to be deeply saddened
by this news, I assume not just because of the loss of a patient, but rather because of the poor
conditions that exist in the local hospitals. He said that people really do hate to go back to the
local clinics., and everyone nodded in agreement. This meeting again, took place my fourth
week there. In the first week my coworkers encouraged me to go with Frank to canvas at a local
hospital. They said it would be a good experience to see the difference that exists between New

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Hope and the conditions of the local clinics. Frank and I were supposed to arrive at the hospital
at nine in the morning, but he got stuck in traffic and came 45 minutes late. I was a little upset
due to the lack of sleep the previous night and was also in this new and uncomfortable
atmosphere. My coworkers warned me about going to the clinic, but it still did not completely
prepare me for what I saw at the hospital. I had to leave early that day because I was so
overwhelmed. On the way home I wrote my field notes while they were still fresh in my mind:
There were people literally in every part of the hospital asking for doctors, waiting for
appointments, crying, holding loved ones, and the list goes on. This hospital was just for Cancer
Patients, I cannot imagine what a general hospital must look like. In comparison to our comfy,
quiet clinic on the other side of town, this was China compared to the UK. There were lines at
service counters, lines at bathrooms, and lines to sit down. As if this was not enough, looking at
patients was enough to make my heart sink. There were those that just came out of chemo, and
were just worn out. People slept on the floors, people cried in corners, people sat around
hugging loved ones, and in talking to some patients there some of them were in final rounds of
chemo, but some had loved ones that may not make it to new years.
-Wednesday December 24, 2014 (9:00-11:15)
There were simply too many people and not enough resources to cater to all of the needs of the
patients.
As it turned out, Frank and I were at the hospital that day to bring in patients to our clinic.
This was not as successful as planned. New Hope being a part of Beijing United is a private
clinic and does not accept a lot of forms of insurance so a lot of patients pay larger sums for
treatment and consultation. A consultation at a local clinic with insurance could be as low at 5
RMB. However, at New Hope a consultation can be as much as 3000 RMB. This steep price led
to us turning a lot of people away. Many came to us with problems with the service in the
hospital and many came to us as a last resort because the extent of healthcare in the hospital was
not enough for effective treatment, but we just had to give them our information and hope for the

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best because most of those that came would not be able to pay for treatment at New Hope. After
seeing this stark difference that existed between the two healthcare worlds, I really wanted to
explore the difference between the hospitals outside of the administrative aspect.
Usually Chinese hospitals do not let students walk around with doctors unless they are a
medical student, however since we are a small clinic and the China path and US path to
becoming a doctor are much different, they made an exception for me. Dr. Gu YanFei ()
accepted me as her assistant and allowed me to see patients with her when I was not working
with Frank. Sitting in on consultations and check-ups was an interesting experience. I was
surprised to have understood most of what was being said between the patient and doctor
Gu, especially since every appointment was completely different.
Out of all the patients we saw, there is one that sticks with me. A woman came into the
clinic after being referred by an outside imaging clinic. She had been scheduled for Dr. Gu to
review her x-rays and sonograms for diagnosis. She and her husband came in and I remember
her husband seeming very nonchalant and seemingly not very invested in the process. I later
learned that he was just tired from being bounced between local hospitals without service he felt
to be good enough. New Hope Center, I assume, is the place that he deemed acceptable for
treatment of his wifes cancer. After Dr. Gu looked at her charts and images, she confirmed the
diagnosis of Lung Cancer, but this news did not seem to sink her heart as much as the cost of
treatment. The woman just simply could not afford treatment at New Hope, but instead of turning
her away, Dr. Gu gave Frank a call, explained the situation and she and Frank got their medical
network to look for a clinic that would fit their price range. After about 15 or 20 minutes of
searching, Dr. Gu found another private clinic that was affordable, then she took all of the

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womans charts, images, and information and sent them over to the hospital. After they left, Dr.
Gu told me that she did not want them to have to go to a local clinic for treatment. Her husband
works in a local hospital and she told me that he says about 30 or 40 patients a day, and unless
the doctors want to stay in the hospital for 15 hours, they have ensure that the appoints are about
5 to 7 minutes each.
Dr. Gus example of care and concern for the patient is commitment to the patients that
Beijing United stand for. It is the going the extra kilometer to ensure that the patient has
everything they need in order to completely recover. Dr. Gu takes it a step further, showing that
even if she cannot be the one to ensure the patients health, she will refer them to somewhere she
can be sure will provide that care at a more affordable price.
It is not that the doctors in local hospital do not care about the patients, and its not that
the doctors do not wish to ensure the patients complete recovery, it is just that the numbers of
patients to doctors is not sufficient. The problem that I come across in the process of my ICRP is
the contradiction stemming from precedented healthcare in China and that of what exists now.
My experience at the local hospital really opened my eyes to the lack of resources that exists in
terms of healthcare. China, being a country so based in holistic healing and holistic health, falls
short in terms of providing this Western healthcare for the general public.
Before the start of my ICRP, I attended the mental health talk given by Dr. Hu, which
coincidentally opened the door for my internship opportunity. In his research he has found the
same problem that exists in the local hospitals exists in the diagnosis of mental illnesses. In his
talk he mentions that psychiatrists compared to psychologists are more in demand. Psychiatrists
see about 80 patients a day for about five minutes each. They prescribe a drug and send the

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patient off. He also mentioned that the amount of mental health clinics and various other styles of
western medicine clinic are in low supply. People that live in country-sides, small towns, or
villages have to travel for any amount of time from hours to a day at some points to get to this
clinic. They are then with a doctor for 5-7 minutes and sent off.
When I spoke with Dr. Hu one-on-one, he told me that this phenomenon causes these
so-called disenfranchised people to not come in for various care, or for them to only come if
they have a serious case of some illness. So many illnesses, conditions, and diseases go
undiagnosed because of the quick-fix culture in effect with Chinas healthcare system. Chinese
people are subject to a great deal of completely different pressures and struggles than those of
western civilizations. In terms of mental health, an example that Dr. Hu brought up was that with
the One-Child Policy, many high school students feel that if they do not succeed, they will be the
end of their familys lineage. This pressure leads to them overtaxing themselves in studying for
the Gaokao (), Chinas college admission test, and this also could give rise to many mental
health cases that go unprecedented in the diagnosis standards of the West. There needs to be
funding and resources available to develop diagnosis and treatment research and practices to fill
this healthcare need.
A change in standards is needed in Chinas healthcare system. In focusing in on a topic
for my ICRP, I landed on the New Hope clinic and the mission of Beijing United. With the
disparity that exists between those with access to healthcare and those without, New Hope
Center is a shining example of the model that needs to be present in China. As I got further and
further into my project, I was sure that my original goals had to be completely changed to adjust
to my roll in the clinic, but after reflecting on my whole experience I have realized that my

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journey was like taking the 7th ring road to try to end up at the Forbidden city. I got to
experience many aspects of my topics and through that got a full panoramic view of the
problems I want to address. China does have a rich history of TCM, but is also still in the process
of integrating Western medicine into the everyday culture. The two forms of medicine are
increasingly being used together to treat illnesses and relieve side-effects. With the proven
effectiveness that exists in research done my many labs around the world, there needs to be an
increase of the integrated use of the two medicine. China has a unique opportunity to become a
leader in healthcare in the world today. With Chinas financial status increasing everyday, there
needs to be more funding allocated to healthcare to not only provide more opportunities for
healthcare suitable for their numbers in terms of population, but to also fulfill the precedent put
into place by the thousands of year of holistic healing. New Hope Oncology Center is one of
many clinics in Beijing and in China that are striving to improve the healthcare standards in
China.
The Clinic manager of New Hope wants to not just treat the symptoms of cancer, but
wants to treat the patient and the patients family along with that. New Hope, being a Western
style hospital functions in China by providing holistic healing to its patients in the integrated
treatment of cancer. They integrate TCM and Western medicine by the juxtaposition of cancer
treatment therapy with TCM to relieve side-effects and make the experience more bearable. This
phenomenon is become more and more apparent in China, and in talking with Kelly Ohlrich,
whom for the purposes of her ICRP interned in a hospital that combined Western treatment of
diabetes with TCM to relieve side-effects, it is apparent that the possibilities of this powerful
combination of treatment goes beyond anything Western medicine or TCM can accomplish

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alone. Examples of the New Hope Center clinic are needed in China to bring a internationally
invested form of healthcare accessible all over China and, maybe someday, accessible all over
the world.

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Words Learned
1. (lch)
poor sense of direction
2. (gmen)
endearing term for buddy
3. (hu)
sickeningly sweet or salty

14. (shu yn)


Cashier

28. (rxini)
Breast Cancer

15. (xing nin)


(qyng
mhungjin)
Methamphetamine

30. (fii)

16. (ddio)
Low-key person

31.
(gndnyi)
Gastrointestinal cancer
32. (wichngyn)
Gastrointesnitis

17. (bnkshng)
Bachelors student

33. (fk)
Gynecology

5. (xa)
To like in the platonic
sense

18. (kuzhng)
Over-exaggerate

34. (rk)
Pediatrics

6. (wb
shnyn)
Moan and groan about an
imaginary illness

19. (ymin)
In order to avoid
20. (mnzhn)
Outpatient

35. (zhnglu)
Tumor

7. (bi d gu)
Doctors coat

21. (kipng)
Peacock open feathers

8. (qngs)
Pour out ones heart

22. (zhngl)
To put in order

9. (xioq)
Niggardly, cheap

23. (bngl)
Patient file

10. (lozhn)
stiff neck when waking up

24. (difu)
informal: doctor

11. (zhopinzi)
X-ray

25. (fnglio)
Radiation therapy

12. (kh)
Customer

26. (lnbi)
lymphoma

13. (qinti)
Receptionist

27. (hissi)
Melanoma

4. (cxi)
(mxing)
To pine for someone

36. (shush)
Surgery