20 Dec 2012


Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of meeting a few young Chinese doctors at a regional symposium. I learned quite a lot about my mother country. Above all, every student is actually a member of the Communist Youth League. Previously, I thought the League was open to just a selected few who were destined to become Communists. Furthermore, all Chinese doctors I met thought us Hong Kong people overreacted during the national education scandal. “Of course it is nothing but lies,” one of them said. “The thing is we have no trouble realizing this.”

As the dinner was served, a lady cardiologist raised the issue of training and career development in China. “In some centers, the boss controls everything. If you do not get along well with him, he can easily destroy your career. One of my colleagues has very good hands and has published a few papers. But as the boss does not like him, he can now only work at the out-patient clinic and has no chance to do procedures. Surely these things don’t happen in Hong Kong, do they?” she said.

I wanted to say that I grew up lucky, but decided to switch the topic. “It is freedom,” I replied. “In Hong Kong, we at least have the freedom to choose our job. Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.”

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