AACC Guangzhou 2018 Blog Post – Henry Chen

I had one of the best experiences ever at the AACC 2018 Summer Shadowing program in Guangzhou. Although I was only there for the final two weeks, the program gave me a perfectly balanced insight into not only observing and interacting with medical personnel, hospital patients, and medicine in general, but also helped me experience Chinese culture and traditions as a whole.
When I first arrived in Guangzhou, I was welcomed by multiple AACC members, including Dong Ge and Mrs. Cai. They were very caring and helped me settle in and get accustomed to living in Lantai, the company that everyone was living in. Over the course of the next couple of days, I got to meet most of the students, including Aaron, Morgan, Dom, Daniel, and, for a brief time, both Shirley and Brannin. As time went on, I became very good friends with all of them, and I hope to maintain contact with them as time goes on as well.
AACC was mainly oriented towards high school, college, and graduate school students who were trying to pursue a career in medicine, so we would go to the Second Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou four days a week and go follow doctors and medical professionals in their respective departments. I got to experience many things that I never would have gotten to in America, such as watching surgeries live, talking with patients, and meeting with physicians while they are working. Furthermore, thanks to Mrs. Shi and her son Daniel as translators, I got to learn a lot about medical terminology, medical procedures, and much more medical information in a very short amount of time. This experience provided an excellent experience in showing what it is like to not only work in a hospital, but also helped open my eyes in becoming interested in other medical fields, such as general surgery and physical rehabilitation.
AACC was also very adept at providing lots of cultural opportunities to us. We would go travel to a different cultural site both during the weekend and one weekday each week. I learned a lot about ancient Chinese culture in Guangzhou, and got to travel many culturally diverse places, such as Hong Kong and downtown Guangzhou. It was a lot of walking, but it helped me stay in shape! Not to mention, AACC provided me with a cultural opportunity after each trip to the hospital. These activities included learning how to master calligraphy, perform Tai Chi, create botanical and plant creations, and interact with the elementary children and teach them how to dance. Ultimately, this made me ask and answer my own questions of “Who am I?”, “What are my roots?” and “What do I want to be?”.
Overall, this experience was one of the best programs that I have ever had. I want to thank everyone in AACC for making this program possible and for providing everyone with opportunities to travel to the hospital. I would also like to thank Lantai for giving us a place to stay, food to eat, and cultural activities to do everyday. Finally, I would like to thank Daniel and Mrs. Shi for translating between Chinsese locals and doctors and us students, and for helping us guide our way through Guangzhou. I hope to take part in this program sometime in the future!