Dr. Feng Hao is used to long workdays. As an academic surgeon specializing in digestive oncology, he regularly operates on cancer patients in Shanghai Ruijin Hospital, which is affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University, School of Medicine. His evenings are devoted to his research on cancer in his laboratory at the University, which he often leaves late at night. His research focuses on the search for more effective ways to treat hepatocellular carcinoma and colorectal cancer liver metastases. In addition, he is supervising a comparative study of the organizational structures of Chinese and German hospitals, which is now underway at the China Hospital Development Institute. Here, the idea is to identify salient differences in management structures and quality control, and to assess their impact with a view to improving efficiency and enhancing outcomes. Feng strives to create synergies by means of information transfer and dialog. “If we are willing to learn from each other, we can achieve more,” he says. This is an attitude that he developed during his time in Germany, and it is an integral part of his approach to his profession.
Surgery – a German story
Feng worked for four years, as surgeon and researcher, in the Faculty of Medicine at LMU. During this period, he not only honed his skills as a surgeon but also focused more on research than before. His decision to do a PhD at LMU was an easy one. “LMU is certainly one of the best universities in the world, and Medicine at the University, as in Germany as a whole, is very highly developed,” he says. Indeed, the significant role played by German doctors in the development of surgery was another reason why he decided to undertake further training in Munich. “German surgeons and researchers have made important contributions to the field, and there is much we could learn from them. Many Chinese physicians such as Prof. Qiu have brought German know-how back to China and this has contributed greatly to the development of modern medicine in the country.”
“Munich is not like Beijing or Shanghai”
Feng has fond memories of Munich. “In Munich I had the opportunity to do my doctoral studies under ideal conditions. The University and Klinikum Grosshadern are very well attuned to the needs of Chinese students, and I could always count on support and advice whenever I had questions on formal and organizational issues relating to my doctoral work,” he says. Nor has he forgotten the cultural richness of the city and the quality of life it offers. “Munich is not like Beijing or Shanghai. For me, the city was at once old and young. On the one hand, you have the old buildings and the imprint of so much European history, and on the other, the openness and security of a young, modern and relaxed city. Everybody speaks English. It‘s an international, an inspiring city. For anyone who is interested in European culture, or wants to experience life in modern Munich is the perfect base.”
An Alumni Network for the Benefit of China
In addition to performing operations and conducting research, Feng has also found time to form the first Chinese Alumni Association, which now brings together 530 people who have studied at LMU. Feng is convinced of the value of knowledge transfer. He firmly believes that it is the only means of promoting progress beyond the limits of individual disciplines and countries. This was one reason why he founded the first Association of LMU Alumni in China, and within weeks 530 Chinese graduates of LMU had joined it. Feng’s initiative has nothing to do with commercialization; he has no desire to extract any “economic benefits” from the Association’s membership. Feng’s only concern is to stimulate the further development of modern medicine in his homeland. By pooling the lessons learned at LMU, he and his colleagues wish to apply their fund of knowledge for the benefit of China.
The Joint LMU-China Scholarship Council (CSC) Doctoral Program for Young Chinese Academics
In cooperation with the CSC, LMU offers highly talented junior academics from China the opportunity to undertake doctoral studies in Munich under the supervision of renowned professors. Almost 300 Chinese graduate students have obtained doctoral degrees at LMU since 2006. The closing date for applications for this calendar year is 15 February 2018.