AACC Guangzhou 2018 – Aaron Zhao

Well, better late than never. I’ll sum up my entire three weeks into one sentence: AACC gave me the opportunity I didn’t know existed.

As you can probably tell from the other students’ blog posts, the surgeries were the highlights of our hospital visits. I will never forget my first observed surgery: a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. I’ll be the first to admit that I was a bit scared at first, but when I stepped foot into the operating room, I couldn’t move my eyes away from the operating table. I was hooked. It was so exciting whenever there was a surgery happening in the OR. I mean, of course it was exciting. When and where else can a 18 year old high school graduate stand mere feet away from an open skull during a neurosurgery? I’m back in the states, and now my friends have trust issues with me; they think I’m lying when I say I’ve been nonchalantly watching random people’s surgeries over the summer.

At the hospital, all the doctors were so caring. They would take us out to lunch, tend to our wishes, gift us (way too much) lychee. If you wanted to see/do something, chances are if you ask someone, your wish will be granted. With Daniel’s help, I’ve dipped my toe into the world of medicine. I’ve learned medical terminology and got a general idea of how a hospital functions.

At Lantai (where you will be staying), we were treated nothing short of royalty. Delicious meals were prepared and served to us. People held umbrellas for us during the rain. Our personal driver would take us from location to location. The dorms were clean and air conditioned. The list goes on and on.

From singing karaoke ‘till 3AM to watching foot amputations. From sightseeing in Hong Kong to observing traditional chinese medicine. From TaiChi to tea ceremonies. From 50 cent bubble tea to dragon boat races. I made memories I will take with me for the rest of my life.