Qi Fang: Affective interweave with patients
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“It is terribly wrong to make patients serve doctors, which means they are treated as sources of medical experience. Doctors should treat patients equally. Less educated and inarticulate patients need more help, care and love. Patients’ interest is always the priority, including, not to abuse doctors’ power for personal gains, or to gain anything directly or indirectly from patients. To win a patient’s trust, we have to understand him or her, his or her understanding about the illness.” Professor Qi Fang (方圻) always repeated those views, which have profound implications (Fang, 2002).
Prof. Fang was a founder and pioneer in many areas of cardiology. Since 1950s, he had engaged in the study of various cardiovascular diseases. He early advocated the clinical application of electrocardiography. Together with Prof. Yingkai Wu (吴英恺), Prof. Fang established Fuwai Hospital, China’s first special hospital of cardiovascular diseases in 1956, and was appointed Fuwai Hospital’s first director of Internal Medicine. Prof. Fang led China’s application of cardiac catheterization and pushed forward the diagnosis and treatment of congenital heart diseases. He was also the first to study blood stream dynamics for rheumatic heart diseases and laid the foundation for hemodynamic testing in China. From the 1970s on, Prof. Fang focused on the studies of coronary artery disease, arrhythmia, electrocardiogram and cardiovascular drugs (PUMCH, 2018).
Prof. Fang painstakingly educated young doctors all through his life. He was one of the first group of doctoral tutors of PUMCH. He was chief editor of four books, one of which Modern Internal Medicine won the first prize of National Excellent Science and Technology Books Award and second prize of National Science and Technology Progress Award. He gave instructive guidance to medical students and junior doctors with no thought for rewards. Sometimes, they would list Prof. Fang’s name on academic literatures which he helped to plot or revise. However, Prof. Fang always firmly refused (Yan, 1992).
Prof. Fang enthusiastically participated in the work of academic exchange activities and medical associations. He was vice president of the Chinese Medical Association (CMA), director of the Association’s Society of Internal Medicine, and editor-in-chief of the Chinese Journal of Cardiology. From 1977 to 1980, he served as a member of the World Health Organization Medical Study Advisory Committee. For three terms he was deputy director of the Society of Cardiology, CMA. He supported the establishment of China Hypertension League (CHL), promoted CHL joining World Hypertension League (PUMCH, 2018).
Prof. Fang earned many honors in his 72-year medical career. In 1954, he received the Three-Class Meritorious Medal, Chinese People’s Volunteer Army. In 1985 he received the title of Model Party Member from the Party committees of Beijing Government and the Ministry of Health. In 1986 he received the National May 1st Labor Medal. In 1989 he received the title of National Distinguished Worker. In 1994 he won the Healthcare Special Contribution Award. In 1995 he was given the Bethune Medal, the highest honor that can be granted to a medical worker in China (PUMCH, 2018).
However, the most cherished “prize” to Prof. Fang was from Premier Enlai Zhou. Prof. Fang looked after Premier Zhou’s health for a long time. In his deathbed and in the presence of Prof. Fang, Premier Zhou asked his wife Yingchao Deng to come close and whispered to her: “Fang is a model Party member…” Prof. Fang joined the Communist Party of China in 1956. After Premier Zhou passed away, Deng gave Prof. Fang a quartz clock. This clock had been sitting on Premier Zhou’s office table till death. The gift meaningfully implied Premier Zhou, as well as Prof. Fang’s extremely busy and tightly scheduled life (Ma, 1997).
On January 30th, 2018, Prof. Fang died of illness at the age of 98. Throughout his selfless life, Prof. Fang took little heed of fame and wealth, and was remembered for his genuine kindness and superb expertise (Chen et al., 2018).
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