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90-year-old doctor couple

INTRO

A 90-year-old doctor couple have been practicing medicine for more than six decades at a hospital in east China.

Their hard work and medical skills have won praise from patients.

PKG

The silver-haired doctor is Xu Cheng, a gynecologist in Jinan, capital of eastern Shandong Province.

Xu began to work at Shandong Provincial Hospital at 7:30 am every weekend morning, half an hour before normal working time.

SOUNDBITE (CHINESE): XU CHENG, Gynecologist, Shandong Provincial Hospital
“Patients come early and wait in the morning, so I come early too. Many of them need examinations and tests, which take a lot of time.”

Every time when Xu examines her patients, she patiently tells them what to do to help recover and what time to take medicines.

SOUNDBITE (CHINESE): XU YUEHONG, Patient
“Many patients come here to see Doctor Xu, especially those with complicated gynecological diseases. Xu prescribed inexpensive medicines with best effects to treat them well.”

Xu usually treats dozens of patients in the morning and hardly finds time for a break or even a glass of water.

Her assistant says Xu won’t stop working until all patients leave her clinic.

SOUNDBITE (CHINESE): SONG YANAN, Xu’s assistant
“I put a glass of water on Xu’s desk every morning, but she almost never drinks. She said she would go to bathroom after drinking and this would waste time for treatment”.

SOUNDBITE (CHINESE): XU CHENG, Gynecologist, Shandong Provincial Hospital
“I don’t feel tired when treating patients”.

Xu’s husband, Tao Zhongwei, founded the department of respiration in the hospital. He works four days a week.

Both Tao and Xu were born in 1925 and began to practice medicine in 1948.

SOUNDBITE (CHINESE): TAO ZHONGWEI, Respiratory physician, Shandong Provincial Hospital
“Back then Chinese were called the ‘Sick men of East Asia’. China was in short of doctors and medicines. Many patients couldn’t afford treatment and suffered a lot. So I chose the profession.”.

SOUNDBITE (CHINESE): XU CHENG, Gynecologist, Shandong Provincial Hospital
“At that time, China was lagging behind the rest of the world in health and medicine. Getting ill meant waiting to die. When I was young, I decided to open a big hospital to treat patients for free.”

After work, Tao and Xu read medical books to keep up with latest medical development.

SOUNDBITE (CHINESE): TAO ZHONGWEI, Respiratory physician, Shandong Provincial Hospital
“I will treat patients until I cannot move. We work to serve the people”.

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