29 Mar 2012


Earlier this month, I had the honor to give a talk at a surgical conference in Taiwan. After the talk, we had lunch with the organizers.

One of the overseas speakers was a retired professor from Japan. The discussion somehow turned to the history of medical schools.

“When the first medical school was established in Japan, there was much debate on the system we should adopt. We were to choose from the British system and the German system. In the end, we decided to follow the Hannover model. In essence, the professor had supreme power in the department,” he explained.

The organizer nodded in agreement. Then he told me a story about his mentor, to whom my named lecture was dedicated.

“One day during ward round, Professor L was displeased with my case management. He threw the case notes out of the door of the room. Our ward was on the second floor, and the chart fell right down to the ground floor. Without a word, I ran down, picked up pieces of the notes and tied them with a string. When I returned, I bowed, apologized and handed the notes back to Professor with both hands. The next thing I knew, the notes flew out the door again.”

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