IAMAT |International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers| IAMAT |International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers|

Meet our Scholars in China

Photo By: IAMAT

Making a difference to travellers in China

Since 2002, IAMAT has awarded scholarships to doctors and nurses from China. Many of our past scholars wrote to us to celebrate the 10th anniversary of our scholarship program in 2012.

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Angeline

In my opinion, the most important thing that IAMAT has given me is that I now understand why travel medicine exists and the importance of helping at-risk travellers so that public health can be protected.

Hello from Angeline

Thanks to IAMAT members' generous support, I was so lucky to win the scholarship in 2009 and had the opportunity to take a two-month travel medicine training course in Hawaii. There, I had the chance to work with experts in the field. The course helped me grow personally and taught me how to better serve travellers with my professional knowledge. In May of this year, I took the ISTM Certificate in Travel Heath exam in Singapore and passed. The training course in Hawaii really helped me to succeed.

In my opinion, the most important thing that IAMAT has given me is that I now understand why travel medicine exists and the importance of helping at-risk travellers so that public health can be protected.

I will try my best on this long road in the coming years, and because of IAMAT, I believe I can do better.

Best regards,

Meng Jing (Angeline)
Certificate in Travel Health®


Alice

After my return to China, I continue to practice travel medicine, just like I learned in Seattle, and extend the knowledge I acquired to my colleagues.

The experience that changed Alice

Over six years have passed since my IAMAT scholarship training at the University of Washington in Seattle (one of the top 10 medicine schools in US). How I miss those times!

My most precious memories are from the campus pathways underneath gorgeous cherry blossoms, the lush grass field near the Hall Health Center, and the excellent and amiable instructors! All this, when put together, made my whole experience unforgettable!

When I was greeted with the packed schedule from Hall Health Center, excitement and trepidation followed. Thanks to the educational team, I could fully enjoy my busy days at the university, including the Seattle Children's Hospital and Harborview Medical Center. The scholarship gave me professional travel health skills and a global perspective on travel medicine practice. When my training ended with my successful presentation on Hepatitis C Virus vaccine development, I realized that the IAMAT scholarship had changed me.

After I came back to China, I continue to practice travel medicine, just like I learned in Seattle, and extend the knowledge I acquired to my colleagues as well. Rather than giving the same information to all travellers, our clinic now provides personalized travel health advice taking into account each traveller's health needs, destination, trip itinerary, current health status and vaccination history. When I see how much we help travellers, I am always conscious of IAMAT's achievement!

I plant, I cultivate, I harvest. This is what I have experienced in Seattle thanks to my IAMAT scholarship.

Lei Da (Alice)


Kathleen

After two months of studying, I returned to Shenzhen International Travel Healthcare Center. I quickly applied the knowledge I acquired to improve my workplace. I also implemented new procedures to improve the clinic's workflow, and continue to train doctors and nurses in travel medicine clinic best practices and give lectures about the importance of travel health to corporate clients. Through all these efforts, we finally see the financial and social benefits of our work.

Kathleen's message

From March to May 2004, I had the privilege of obtaining IAMAT's support to study travel medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle, USA.

For the first time, I learned about travel medicine consultations, immunology, and how to provide professional care. This laid a solid foundation for my career in the field. After two months of studying, I returned to Shenzhen International Travel Healthcare Center. I quickly applied the knowledge I acquired to improve my workplace. I made recommendations to the clinic director on the need to set up a travel medicine clinic for travellers, including pre-travel medical consultations and vaccination, providing advice on how to stay healthy while traveling, and post-travel medical assessments for those coming back from abroad as soon as possible. I also implemented new procedures to improve the clinic's workflow, and continue to train doctors and nurses in travel medicine clinic best practices and give lectures about the importance of travel health to corporate clients. Through all these efforts, we finally see the financial and social benefits of our work.

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary scholarship celebration, I want to take this opportunity to heartily thank IAMAT's President, Assunta Uffer-Marcolongo, IAMAT staff, the friendly teachers at Hall Health Center, and IAMAT members. IAMAT's scholarship gave me a wonderful opportunity to learn and live abroad.

Liu Chunfang (Kathleen)


Min

My heartfelt thanks go to IAMAT for its travel medicine scholarship program. The knowledge I gained laid the foundation for my career in the growing field of travel medicine.

Thank you from Min

When my colleagues told me about travel medicine 10 years ago, I had limited knowledge of this growing field; it was so new in China. At that time, only a few of us were involved in health quarantine, surveillance of infectious diseases among local populations and foreign visitors, and vaccination and medical examinations related to migration. We wondered what travel medicine was really all about: How did a travel medical service operate? What qualifications did travel medicine providers need? How could we establish a travel medical business in China? And how could we match the pace of development in travel medicine overseas? We needed answers to these questions and it was obvious we needed to look beyond China.

At this early stage of our quest, I came across IAMAT in Beijing in 1998 and was fortunate enough to meet its President, Assunta Uffer-Marcolongo, in a meeting introducing the non-profit organization and travel medicine. Upon discovering IAMAT, I came to realize that my daily work was definitely associated with travel medicine. In 2002, I obtained an IAMAT scholarship to study travel medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle, USA; my first opportunity to study overseas. It was here that my career in travel medicine was established.

At the university, I was involved in a rotation learning program across a number of travel medicine clinics, namely Hall Health Center, the Medical Center of UW, and Hanson's disease, HIV, STIs, and TB clinics at Harborview Medical Center. Although it was only a short training program, I quickly learned the western style of providing travel medical consultations and vaccination. The working practices of the doctors and nurses in the clinics were most impressive; whether on pre-travel or post-travel, recommendations or discussion, information preparation or disease diagnoses, and consultative learning or professional communication. All these learning experiences were invaluable to my future work in travel medicine in China.

There were few medical providers in 2002 who understood and practiced travel medicine in China. The China Inspection and Quarantine Services (CIQ) working system was the only network to offer travel medical services nationwide, but the quality of care was not very advanced at that time. Most of the CIQ clinics could only offer international travellers simple medical examinations for surveillance of infectious diseases and could only offer Cholera and Yellow Fever vaccinations. As a physician who undertook the IAMAT scholarship, I made every effort to introduce international health standards to my clinic, one of the best travel clinics in China.

Time goes so fast, and 10 years have passed quickly. Through the joint efforts of all my colleagues in my clinic, the services provided to international travellers now include pre-travel medical consultations, vaccinations against not only Yellow Fever but also other travel-related vaccinations for preventable diseases like MMR, PolioHepatitis AHepatitis B, Influenza, varicella, Meningitis, Hib and pneumococcal pneumonia. With regards to post-travel medical services, we have built up a network for helping international travellers returning home from malaria endemic areas.

My heartfelt thanks go to IAMAT for its travel medicine scholarship program. The knowledge I gained laid the foundation for my career in the growing field of travel medicine. Thanks also to Assunta who made a huge contribution to IAMAT and the scholarships. We could not have achieved so much in travel medicine without her contribution.

Zhang Min
Certificate in Travel Health®


Simon

IAMAT has done a lot of work in laying down a solid foundation and lifting the professional standards of clinical practice in China. The good work of IAMAT has directly and indirectly benefited travellers the world over.

Simon's greeting

I was privileged to receive an IAMAT scholarship in 2003 for professional development and training in Travel Medicine at University of Washington in Seattle, USA, under Professor Elaine C Jong – an eminent authority in the field. IAMAT's scholarship program gives young physicians an opportunity to gain insights into advanced medical science models and travel medicine professional standards. Through IAMAT's travel medicine grant, I attended the International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM) conferences in Vancouver (2007) and Melbourne (2008), and obtained the ISTM Certificate in Travel Health. Being a certified travel health practitioner has inspired my colleagues. Since then, four young physicians in our clinic have also obtained this certification.

As a world class city, Shanghai has excellent medical and public health resources. The needs of inbound international travellers are usually well served. On the other hand, we have observed that as our skills and capacities grow, the people that benefit most from our service are actually Chinese nationals who travel abroad. Over the last few years, advanced Malaria prevention and control programs have been introduced and implemented. Local Chinese travellers departing from Shanghai for overseas destinations are increasingly aware of the need for Malaria prevention.

Last year, I diagnosed a case of combined infection of imported falciparum and ovale Malaria. Prior to that diagnosis, the patient had been misdiagnosed on several occasions in district hospitals without receiving any prompt treatment. Once the condition was correctly diagnosed in our clinic, the patient was given full proper treatment. After his discharge from the hospital, the patient expressed his deep appreciation of my service and professionalism. I take this opportunity also to convey his gratitude to IAMAT for its great work. IAMAT has done a lot of work in laying down a solid foundation and lifting the professional standards of clinical practice in China. The good work of IAMAT has directly and indirectly benefited travellers the world over and will continue to do so in the future.

Zhou Xin (Simon)
Certificate in Travel Health®


Tatiana

Being awarded the IAMAT Scholarship really was the most wonderful experience and I will never forget it, thanks to the generous support from IAMAT members! It has taught me to provide the best professional service to international travellers and improve our country's practice of travel medicine.

Tatiana's testimonial

Hi, I am Rui Tian (Tatiana) from the Beijing International Travel Healthcare Center, and I got the IAMAT scholarship to complete a six-week intensive training course in travel medicine at the Kaiser Permanente Honolulu Travel Health Center from September to November in 2011.

First, I want to express my thanks to the generous support from IAMAT members. Second, I want to show my gratitude to Dr. Vernon Ansdell, Dr. Johnnie Yates, and their colleagues at the Honolulu clinic for their invaluable mentorship.

The IAMAT scholarship gave me a really fascinating and challenging, but rewarding, training experience which helped me a lot. It has broadened my view of travel medicine practice and given me a lot of information to take back to my clinic in China. After the training, I got promoted from doing physical checkups to being Director of our vaccination department. Now I can use what I learned during my training to provide better consultations to my patients who will travel all over the world. I also teach my colleagues on consultation best practices to ensure that the traveller is well-informed and protected. To fully prepare travellers against illnesses and injuries involves meaningful interaction and asking pertinent questions about their destination details, trip itinerary, current health status, vaccination history, type and length of travel.

I am particularly interested in post-travel care now. In China, travel medicine and tropical medicine are two independent fields. My job is based on pre-travel consultation and vaccination; we don't do post-travel care because the Beijing International Travel Healthcare Center is not a hospital. However, I do my best to build bridges between travel medicine and tropical medicine. Now I connect with the doctors who work in the Tropical Medicine Research Institute and we will together work on post-travel care. Recently, we diagnosed Dengue fever cases in 16 peacekeepers who returned from Haiti after one year.

Being awarded the IAMAT Scholarship really was the most wonderful experience and I will never forget it, thanks to the generous support from IAMAT members! It has taught me to provide the best professional service to international travellers and improve our country's practice of travel medicine. Thank you very much!

Tian Rui (Tatiana)
Certificate in Travel Health®


Zoe

An increasing number of travellers are willing to seek medical assistance from our healthcare centers during their trip in China. I believe these achievements cannot be separated from IAMAT's years of effort and dedication.

Letter of thanks from Zoe

I am writing this letter to thank IAMAT for its great contribution to travel medicine in China. I would also like to thank Assunta Uffer-Marcolongo for her selfless help to me and other Chinese doctors.

I have been working at the Shanghai International Travel Healthcare Center as a nurse for 5 years. Although I didn't have the opportunity to get an IAMAT scholarship, I have received a lot of help from IAMAT over the past few years. Assunta has personally provided training and given travel medicine textbooks for free on many occasions. Through extensive training and knowledge acquired from other countries, our clinic staff can now provide professional medical services to travellers. I sincerely wish that travel medicine in China will catch up to the level of developed countries in the future.

Whenever we receive positive feedback about our services to patients, we would like to thank IAMAT from the bottom of our hearts for promoting the development of travel medicine in China through its continued support. As a result of the scholarship program, IAMAT has trained many talented doctors and has made an important contribution to the development of travel medicine. More and more doctors are able to provide professional care in fluent English to travellers coming from different countries and regions. An increasing number of travellers are willing to seek medical assistance from our healthcare centers during their trip in China. I believe these achievements cannot be separated from IAMAT's years of effort and dedication.

Once again allow me to express my heartfelt thanks to IAMAT members, including Assunta, for their help. Congratulations to IAMAT on celebrating the 10th anniversary of its scholarship program!

Zhou Xuan (Zoe)
Certificate in Travel Health®


Last reviewed and updated: December 30, 2016

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