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Healthy understandings

Updated: 2024-03-23 11:02 ( China Daily )
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The two-part book, Huashuo Shengming Zhigong, by Tan. [Photo provided to China Daily]

"My family, concerned about my studies, didn't tell me of my mother's passing until I went back during winter vacation," Tan recalls. "Upon hearing the devastating news, tears streamed down my face and I even lost consciousness. When I woke up, grief overwhelmed me and I continued to weep for my mother until I was overcome by exhaustion."

Since then, Tan made up his mind to pursue a career in medicine. He dedicated himself to academic excellence, attending the best local senior middle school and university and securing a position at Peking Union Medical College Hospital, China's premier medical institution.

He chose to be a gynecologist, as his mother had passed away from endometrial cancer, a form of gynecological cancer. He said his career choice was a promise he had made to his beloved mother.

Tan has provided treatment to nearly 200,000 patients over the past 30 years. What left a lasting impression on him was a patient who did not pull through.

In 2013, Tan admitted a patient with recurrent rectal cancer that had spread to her reproductive organs. Several hospitals had declined to perform surgical treatment due to the great risks involved. The patient's condition was critical, and it was uncertain if she would survive for more than a week.

Initially hesitant about surgery, Tan changed his mind after learning that the patient had a 10-year-old child and wished to live longer to bid farewell. Eventually, he operated. Unfortunately, three months later, the patient passed away.

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