Day 22 – West China School of Medicine & West China Hospital, Train to Chongqing, Intercontinental Hotel, Changyu Wne

We visited West China School of Medicine & West China Hospital in the morning. The Hospital was established in 1892 and now is ranked either 1st or 2nd research hospital in all of China. The Dean of the Hospital gave us an introductory presentation about the Hospital and Medical School. They partner with Duke and Harvard Medical in the States. They also are involved with Telemedicine with 524 hospitals. They educate 200,000 students/year. The length of stay has dramatically reduced from23 days in 1993 to 9.5 days today.

During the presentation, there was an eruption of loud noises and banging on the conference doors. For the first time I felt a little concern about safety. We were told that a patient passed away and that was the reason for the outburst of violence and noise that was occurring outside of our room. The Dean of Nursing left the presentation to address the commotion occurring outside. The doors inside were manned and braced by Chinese men and the doors had been locked from the inside. After about 10 minutes, the commotion subsided. Not sure how it all was resolved.

We were given a tour of the facilities. The campus is very lovely with multiple gardens; the architecture was also very historical. It was graduation day for many students The hoods on the graduates were very beautiful and had a flower design lining. We also visited the outpatient clinic that sees 10,000 patients a day. It was very crowded.

We headed to the train station for our trip to Chongqing. The train terminal was vey spacious and modern. I broke down and visited the McDonalds for lunch (a double cheeseburger, fries, and coke). It was amazing how consistent the cheeseburger and fries are — coke is different. We boarded another bullet train, although this one was not quite as fast or new. The trip used to take 6 hours; it took us only 2 hours.

We arrived at our next hotel, Intercontinental. This hotel is not as nice as our previous hotel and we are still working out Internet issues. However, the location is downtown and provides the students many evening options.

Trey hosted a wine tasting with three varieties of Changyu red wines. Not quite the same as Italian or French, but one variety was not too bad.

Denise and I were hungry and we went in search of dinner. We wandered the main street and passed the Liberation Monument. Here is a short description from www.chinahighlights.com

In 1940, the Republic of China government in Chongqing built a wooden memorial at the site to commemorate Sun Yat-Sen who was the first president of the Republic of China and was considered the “Father of China.” In 1945, the Republic of China government built a monument in its place to celebrate the victory in WWII. And in 1950, the People’s Republic of China government named the monument. In 1997, the Jiefangbei Plaza was built around the monument. It measures about 400 meters by 350 meters.

We found lots of stores but very few restaurants. We tried some side streets that had very local street food but we passed in this. We ended up at Pizza Hut across from the hotel. It was edible. (It appears we should have gone right instead of left to find restaurants. We will head out tomorrow night in search of local cuisine.). I also bought some local gardenias and air freshener with hopes of improving the smell in my room.

Sean is out with some of the students…

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