Famous Shanghai Doctor Does Not Know English

Chinese doctor talks with foreigners.

From Tianya, “Thoroughly stupefied/stunned, famous domestic doctor does not know how to speak English“:

I did not feel well a couple days ago, so I made an appointment with a well-known doctor of a three-class-A-level hospital of Shanghai. When I was in his clinic, I thought I did not do a good job describing to him how I felt in Chinese, so I started to tell him about my body condition in English. The well-known doctor looked like he did not really understand me, and three graduate students were called to come help translate. It took a good while for them to figure out how I felt, and the doctor gave a prescription according to my description.

The graduate students told me afterward, that where I really needed to go is the Foreign Guest Clinic of Huashan Hospital.

I was extremely stunned.

How could a well-known doctor from Shanghai’s not know how to speak English…

I know that renowned doctors from each country in the world almost all use English to communicate. These days, English is the world’s superior/most advantageus language.  Moreover, professional magazines, such as Cancer and Lancet and etc. are all published in English. As a “famous doctor,” I cannot believe he does not understand English. I used many “terms” when I was explaining my condition to him. I thought even if his English is not good, he could at least understand the terms. The truth was that he could not even understand what “syringe” was. I was really astonished.

I don’t know if that well-known doctor hangs out in the bar or the library in his spare time, but I do know that so-called “medicine” needs to be studied in English. Today, English is the leading language of science in the whole world.

Some people say that medicine in Germany or Japan is also good. In fact, many of the German, French, and Japanese medical people in my friends circle have their essays published in English periodicals. Many Germans, especially university professors, such as professors from the University of Tubingen and Frankfurt University, have no problem communicating with me in English. Many Japanese scholars, especially the professors and doctors of the University of Kyoto, speak fluent English, and we always exchange ideas in English. I have also met a French professor. He communicated with me in English, even though he had a tremendously strong accent.

However, in today’s China, even in Shanghai, there are people who have the reputation of “famous doctor” who don’t even speak English. How unbelievable…

I have no idea how they can improve themselves and keep up with the newest trends in the world. However, in Shanghai, the most developed city in China (and also my hometown), well-known doctors who work in the first-class clinic don’t speak English. How unbelievable. If Shanghai is like this, I can’t imagine the medical situation in the inner part of China….

Those who want to be in medicine should at least understand English. This way, they at least will not have problems reading the latest medical magazines. It’s important because medical people deal with people’s lives, not machines.

Not understanding English, not understanding medicine’s latest developments and trends, is basically being irresponsible with people’s lives and health!!!

Chinese doctor adjusting bandage for patient.

Comments on Tianya:

This foreigner can write pretty good Chinese!!
This proves that Chinese really has a market!!
LZ [lou zhu, original topic starter], how many years have been learning Chinese? It is not easy for a foreigner to learn Chinese!

What LZ has said is correct. Western medicine came to China from the West. Its origin is in the West. English is the leading language if one wants to have academic communication and publish academic papers. If one does not even know English, how would one improve their medicine?

F*, you know nothing about doctors.
The real famous Chinese doctors don’t speak English.
The doctors in our Henan (a province) don’t know English,
but there are many presidents or leaders of other countries who come and want to be diagnosed by them.
You SB [stupid cunt]; you are lucky to have been seen at all.
You deserve to be yelled at.

You eat Chinese rice, but fart (speak) like a foreigner. Despicable!!!

Godfather II: I never believed a doctor who doesn’t speak English.

Faint! What you said almost made me pass out! There are so many Indians who work overseas as doctors and not all of them are good doctors. Why should Chinese doctors learn English? I was very upset when I heard that one needs to pass the English exam to work in the government. Don’t people who work in the government serve Chinese people (except some special departments such as Customs)? Will they do their jobs better if they learn English?

Thoroughly stupefied, never thought I would have the opportunity to meet this Tianya celebrity.

LZ, you can choose to only find doctors who speak English to diagnose you!!! However, Chinese psychiatrists who know how to speak English are very very few, you will need to search really really hard!!!

The staff of the Shanghai Mental Disorder Institute neglected their duty of guarding their patients; they again let a patient escape.

Most famous foreign doctors don’t speak Chinese. If you don’t believe me, you can go try and see. But I doubt you can afford it. A famous doctor is not Doremon [a famous Japanese cartoon character that is a robotic cat], who can speak all languages…

Chinese doctors reviewing and discussing x-rays.

Comments on NetEase:

Thoroughly stupefied, famous English doctor does not know how to speak Chinese!!

People who cannot explain things clearly in Chinese, don’t go on Chinese BBS forums.

LZ is a typical foreign-worshipper, foreign dog.

SB, a doctor’s job is to diagnose his patients, not to translate languages. This, In China, is known as different animals being good at different things. You think a doctor needs to know everything? That whatever new medical trends are fashionable? Any doctor that can cure patients is a “good doctor.”

Recommend you go to English-speaking countries to see a doctor. Recommend you relearn Chinese starting from elementary school.

Not knowing English will not affect him feeding himself, but knowing English will affect you curing your sickness. In China, it’s better to learn Chinese.

Actually, everyone who knows English knows that English cannot be compared to Chinese. Next to Chinese, English is basically trash. It won’t be long before Chinese will become the worldwide language. Learning English is f*king useless.

I also want to yell at the LZ. Why mention “Shanghai”? Are you trying to say that Shanghai people don’t have good English? Moreover, you spoke English to him; you must have thought you were cool, huh? But in others eyes you are just abnormal and despised. Plus, you said that a famous doctor did not understand your so-called simple English. Let me ask you one thing, how old is he? An 80 year old man? Had he ever gone to college? When he was young, what was happening in China? People were fighting the Japanese, how could people study? So you need to think about all the reasons why he wouldn’t speak English. You spoke about the doctors from other countries blah blah; when they were young, what were the situations in their countries? Why don’t you think about that? Another thing: why don’t you think about the differences between countries? Some European countries use several languages. Why don’t you say that Chinese only speak one common language, and we cannot beat them on this perspective? Finally, I think that in China many people don’t speak English, and they live just fine, maybe even better than you do. People can live well without English, why do they need to learn English?

It seems that the person who wrote this post is a foreigner. May I ask, if we go to see a doctor in your country, do we Chinese need to demand that the doctor speak Chinese? Want to live in China? Learn Chinese first.

Why don’t you just type the whole story in English? You wrote this sh*t in Chinese for what? You can make yourself clear enough in Chinese, why didn’t you just talk to the doctor in Chinese? Do you have mental problems? Or which nerve has disappeared?

I learned my English all from “OH! YES, YES…” [porn] LZ, do you want me to diagnose you? SB.

[LZ] is purely looking for trouble. Hey, where is yesterday’s post about the traffic police officer who stopped a military car? A lot of people were following that.

A Chinese, living in China, who doesn’t understand Chinese, is himself not being responsible for his own life and health.

LZ is a SB! Are you not Chinese? If you are, why did you speak English! If your are, go have plastic surgery just like Johnson [should be Jackson] ! He changed from a black person to a white person. You? You can change from an yellow person to white person! That way, you can go happily be a foreigner! LZ is a despicable pig!

I am totally shocked. You have enough money to see a famous Shanghai doctor, but you can not speak normal Chinese.

LZ is despicable! Who had told you that a famous doctor needs to know English? What logic is this? The chairman of our People’s Republic do not understand English; do you think he cannot keep up with the world? I think you just ate too much foreign fast food.

SB theory! Obviously a Shanghainese, but while explaiing explaining your condition you had to use English. What does this mean? It means you are a “jia yang gui zi” [fake foreign devil]! Thoroughly stupefied! How could great Chinese people give birth to such a trashy fake foreign devil!!

A Chinese person who can’t express his basic body condition in Chinese. Even if he is not worthy of being a “famous doctor”, but you are not even worthy of being a “human”!!!

LZ’s head was kicked by a donkey. Do you not know how to speak Chinese? I most dislike those type of people who mix a few English words in their Chinese!!! Extremely SB!!!

NetEase also had a poll:

It is necessary for those who study medicine to understand English
4.79% 1,277 votes (4.79%)
It is not necessary for those who study medicine to understand English
95.21% 25,379 votes (95.21%)

Total number of voters: 26,656 [as of 4:20pm, 08/10/11]

What do you think?

See also:

Written by Ping

Ping, a native of China, grew up near Mount Everest and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in the US. Her interests are news reporting, column writing, and media ethics. Ping’s exposure to the Western world has allowed her to observe many cultural differences when compared to Eastern society as well as some misunderstandings about China in particular. Her experience motivates her to seek a career as a journalist in Tibet after she completes her studies in America.


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