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Healthy understandings

Updated: 2024-03-23 11:02 ( China Daily )
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Zigong Qingshi, written by Tan Xianjie, examines health issues. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Women can better fight disease if they know more about their bodies

'Cure sometimes. Treat often. Comfort always." This renowned quote in the medical field has been embraced as a standard for practice by countless healthcare professionals worldwide for decades.

However, Tan Xianjie, a Chinese doctor with more than 30 years of experience, has added a new phrase: "Educate forever".

The gynecologist at the prestigious Peking Union Medical College Hospital usually sees patients and performs surgical procedures during the day. However, in his free time, he dedicates himself to sharing with the public scientific knowledge related to women's health conditions. He explains medical processes in books, offers advice on social media and tells doctor-patient stories on TV programs.

Words related to women's health such as "menstruation", "uterus" and "vagina" are frequently spoken by him, which may occasionally cause slight embarrassment in public, but Tan remains unfazed. The gray-haired doctor says that he aspires to provide more women with knowledge about their health and assist them in disease prevention.

"A doctor, regardless of his or her level of expertise, can only attend to a limited number of patients and perform a limited number of operations. But a popular-science book, an engaging lecture or an informative video can spread health-related information to a much wider audience," Tan says.

He first resolved to become a doctor because of his mother. Born into a big rural family in Southwest China's Chongqing municipality, he suffered the tragic loss of his mother when he was 12 years old. He was attending a county boarding school, and visits back home were infrequent.

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