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Personal Reflections of my Time at Zhejiang University Children’s Hospital

by Dr. Shelly Haug, MD, FAAP

from Neonatal-Perinatal Fellow Physician at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital


The fluorescent lighting emanating from the room; infant after infant in clear incubators covered with blankets, the beeping of heart rate monitors and the alarms of the oxygen saturation monitors; even the hustle and bustle of the nursing staff, residents, fellows and neonatologists on the unit felt like home to me. As I stepped into the Zhejiang University Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), it was so very reminiscent of my home NICU at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital in California in the United States.  It is such an honor to have visited here this month.  My personal reflections of this time can only impart a sliver of the amazing experience this has been.
Each day began with discussing difficult neonatal cases with the NICU residents, fellows, and neonatal physicians. The resident physicians presented details of every neonate in excellent English and proposed remarkable differential diagnoses along with outstanding questions related to improving patient care. Each day presented unique opportunities to collaborate with our colleagues here and helped develop what I feel is a lasting gift, the gift of friendship.
Discussion included cases of severe intraventricular hemorrhage with hydrocephalus requiring shunt placement, neonates with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy and cases of severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia.  The goals of collaboration particularly focused on resident education as well as the hope of increasing education at surrounding outlying areas to aid in prevention of such cases. Similar to my home NICU, we want our colleagues here to see improvement in the incidence of such cases which like at our institution we encouraged through improved neonatal resuscitation and education at our outlying hospitals.
Each afternoon concluded with an educational lecture. Various topics included respiratory physiology, pulmonary mechanics, neonatal palliative care, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy as well as analysis of current journal articles on bronchopulmonary dysplasia and neuroprotection. Medical students, resident physicians, fellow physicians, neonatology attending physicians and nursing staff attended these lectures aiding in numerous dynamic discussions.
I appreciate my educational time here as well as the many opportunities to learn about the remarkable Chinese culture. I was given the opportunity to visit many museums and even personally saw a traditional Chinese medicine doctor while here. I will always appreciate the majestic mountain scenery and even bamboo rafting down a river in Guilin.  Walking across the great glass bridge and riding in the glass elevator in Zhangjiajie was more amazing than I can describe. I am honored to have seen so much and amazed with how much more of China there is to see.  I hope one day to be able to see much more of this amazing country.
As my time here comes to a close, I know Zhejiang University Children’s Hospital has had a truly lasting impact on me. The friendships developed, the collegial spirit driving improvement in patient care, the amazing Chinese culture; I will always have a place for this children’s hospital in my heart.

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