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Update on week 2 of Dr. Blumenthal’s China visit

Update on week 2 of Dr. Blumenthal’s China visit

Update #2.

The first 2 patients of week had ankylosing spondylitis and a traumatic cervical HNP (Herniated Nucleas Palposus) with Brown-Sequard syndrome (loss of sensation and motor function). He is a candidate for an Anterior Cervical Fusion not Arthroplasty. I am seeing more cases this week and again more are cervical than lumbar.

Consulting with Professor Yang.

Getting used to clinics is easier than getting used to OR. In clinic the junior doctors do the H & P (history and physical exam) and present the patients and their studies. There are often  2 patients and their families in the consultation room at once.

For lunch they bring in fast food particularly KFC with a Chinese twist. I am still doing dinners at night.  Have not had a western dinner here yet. However, we have inserted a Korean and Japanese meal to mix things up. But get this, Shanghai has a Morton’s we are going to hit at the end of the week. Can’t wait for a western steak and a decent red wine.

Dinner with the junior doctors.

In summary, it takes a bit of adjustment but I do recommend the experience. The language issue will make you more sympathetic when we have visiting Chinese surgeons. In clinic patients are patients and they still want to hear about options both surgical and non-surgical.

China has an abundance of everything as you know….but for those who know me…there is not enough Purell!

Scott Blumenthal, MD

Texas Back Institute