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Chinese doctor behind a world cardiac summit in Beijing

Updated: 2015-10-09 08:29:33

( China Daily )

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But due to economic reasons, as well as the lack of skilled physicians and proper surgical facilities, only 38 out of every 1 million people are able to get a pacemaker, let alone an ICD, Zhang says.

The research plans to study more than 4,800 arrhythmia patients across some 100 medical centers in more than 15 countries and regions, including 32 hospitals in China, and through comparative treatment experiments on those patients, the team hopes to identify high risk factors that make it necessary to apply pacemakers or ICDs even among those from poor economic conditions, he adds.

"We hope to obtain a balance between the reduction of patients' economic burden and the increase of patients' survival rate and life quality," Zhang says.

It was his passion to save lives that led him to where he is today, and he is proud to witness China's progress in cardiac healthcare, Zhang says.

He was born in eastern China's Jiangsu province, and since early childhood had watched his grandfather and father working as doctors.

When Zhang was able to take the college entrance exam shortly after the "culture revolution" (1966-1976), he applied to Suzhou Medical College, one of the country's oldest medical schools.

He graduated from college in 1984 and worked at a local hospital as an intern. He slowly began to realize the inadequacies of treating cardiac problems such as arrhythmia at the time in China. That made him want to become a cardiologist, he says.

He enrolled into the capital's Peking Union Medical College, China's top medical school, for his postgraduate education and later worked at the cardiology department of Peking University Third Hospital.

From 1995-99, he went to the US on a training program, where he was exposed to the world's most advanced technologies and practices in treating cardiac problems, and participated for the first time in an international academic conference on arrhythmias.

"Although I've been to many big cities in the world, the only places I've really been to are the airports and the hotels," Zhang says of his busy schedule. "But I don't regret my choice in youth. Good doctors are always needed and respected."

Massimo Santini, a top official of the 15th World Congress of Arrhythmias praised Zhang's contribution in bringing the world's best cardiologists to China for the September summit.

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