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P&S Journal

P&S Journal: Spring 1995, Vol.15, No.2
The P & S- Hong Kong Connection

By Judith Sulzberger '49

In November 1994 I traveled with Anke Nolting to Hong Kong to attend a formal ceremony in which Dr. Herbert Pardes, vice president for Columbia Health Sciences and dean of the Faculty of Medicine, and Dr. H.K. Ma, dean of the Hong Kong University Medical College (HKMC), signed an agreement committing the two institutions to a three-year trial collaboration.

HKMC is one of the foremost medical centers in Southeast Asia, with 1,200 applicants for 170 admissions per year. It is located on a mountainside high above Hong Kong, and many of the buildings have magnificent views of Hong Kong, a modern metropolis with a constantly expanding population. Huge new apartment complexes push the borders of the city to the boundary of the People's Republic of China.

The coming together of the two colleges from opposite sides of the globe was the inspiration of Dr. Clyde Wu'56, who has provided seed money for the project. Dr. Wu, a cardiologist practicing in Michigan, is an American citizen, but he was born in Hong Kong and makes frequent trips back to his birthplace.

Before the agreement was reached, faculty representatives from both colleges met in Hong Kong and New York to discuss possible areas of cooperation. P&S representatives who traveled to Hong Kong for preliminary discussions were Dr. John Bilezikian'69, professor of medicine; Dr. David Chiu'73, professor of clinical surgery; and Dr. David Hirsh, professor of biochemistry and molecular biophysics. Each sent a written report to Dr. Pardes, expressing their impressions and ideas, and the final agreement was based largely on their findings.

Dr. Pardes arrived in Hong Kong two days before the accord was signed. During that interval he and other representatives from P&S, including Dr. Nancy Wexler, professor of neuropsychology; Rachel Rose, senior development officer; Anke Nolting, associate dean; and I met with Dr. Ma and HKMC faculty to discuss final issues.

The document, signed by both deans on Nov. 15, contains the following program elements:

  1. Traveling fellowships for Hong Kong University faculty members for one to three months of study in an academic department at P&S to learn clinical skills, research techniques, and teaching methods not currently available in Hong Kong.
  2. HKU program development in which HKU faculty members may spend six to 12 months at P&S for in-depth education and training in a field agreed on by both administrations.
  3. HKU visiting fellowships/professorships for P&S faculty members (basic science or clinical) to go to HKU for two to three weeks to participate in sister department activities and in CME programs for Hong Kong practicing physicians.
  4. HKU research fellowships for P&S research fellows and faculty members to study problems indigenous to Hong Kong under supervision of HKU medical faculty.
  5. HKU research grants to support collaborative projects between both institutions.

A possibility exists for a similar accord with the Peking Union Medical College in Beijing. At present, students from this school are being evaluated by HKMC. They are funded by Dr. Clyde Wu's sister-in-law, Ivy Wu, wife of Gordon Wu, a renowned Hong Kong engineer industrialist. The Gordon Wus have a daughter, June, now attending P&S.

copyright ©, Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center

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