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Home Our Volunteers Stories Succeeding in Order to Honor the Love of Master Cheng Yen

Succeeding in Order to Honor the Love of Master Cheng Yen

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Dharma Master Cheng Yen once told me, "Take good care of the patients at the hospital!" These words have often resounded in my heart since that moment. Because of her words, I have always served others wholeheartedly with love and compassion. With that same attitude, I embraced the knowledge about the various medical expertise needed to better serve the community in the future, which I received during my years of training as a medical surgeon.

It has been six years since I started to serve at the Tzu Chi Hospital. Upon graduation from the Tzu Chi University School of Medicine and completion of mandatory military service in Taiwan, I recalled my earlier vow to rescue people's lives and to relieve their suffering. To fulfill this vow, I decided to specialize in medical surgery, a vocation that I have always wanted to pursue. However, the road to becoming a surgeon was not as smooth as I had imagined. The entire training process was arduous and meticulous in the details but truly helpful.

I would describe the training as a struggle to survive; it is a confrontation between will power, effort, physical strength and mental pressure. Fortunately, I got through with my determination to pursue surgery. There were many stumbles along the path of growth and maturity. At the beginning, there was always someone there to guide me; slowly progressing from a needle, to a thread, to a knife, and then to a pair of scissors. Step by step, I walked along this path towards a career in surgery.

"Communication is key." This is the most important principle that I learned while serving as a resident physician for 5 years. Whether it is between patients or medical assistants, frequent communication can eliminate unnecessary misunderstandings, and is the best way to obtain assistance from others. In addition, I once worked an 18-day shift in a month, and had the opportunity to care for patients in the front lines. I learned to handle some emergency situations, and gained a great deal of precious experience.

Although this tough training was difficult, it allowed me to build a strong foundation in picking up advanced medical techniques. In January 2012, I transferred to the colorectal surgery department, and learned the NOTES (Natural Office Transluminal Endoscopic Surgery) method.

Compared to the traditional Laparoscopic surgery method, NOTES is a new technique which significantly reduces pain and does not leave a scar on the abdominal area after surgery. When conducting colorectal surgery, as was common in the past, an incision of about 20cm to 30cm in length needs to be made to remove lesions. With the new technique (which adopts a minimally-invasive procedure), large incisions are not necessary anymore. Instead, lesions are removed through the body's natural anatomical openings such as the vagina, colon, etc.

This type of surgery can eliminate the risk of surgical wound infections, avoid side effects, and allow a quicker recovery in patients. These advantages will make it easier for patients and their relatives to accept the surgery and feel more at ease. I am really glad that I have the opportunity to take part in learning this type of minimally-invasive surgery.

During the process of learning surgery, one must not be afraid of the long journey. Instead, one must constantly work hard and collect experiences in order to take charge independently. In the future, I hope to be able to personally guide more of my fellow Tzu Chi University juniors towards forming a great medical team which contributes to the force of rescuing lives. I vow to not only try my best, but to also remind myself at all times that I must achieve this vision.

Comment of Dharma Master Cheng Yen:
That's great, you surely did not disappoint me, you make me proud! Learning that there are superb medical techniques now, I really feel at ease. Originally, traditional surgical methods require making such long incisions, but now, surgeries can be done without leaving scars, leaving the body intact; these are indeed superb medical techniques!
I am extremely grateful for your sincere determination. All in all, time can accomplish anything. These are all due to your diligence.


By Dr. Wu Chin-chia, surgeon of Tzu Chi Hospital
Recorded at the Volunteers’ Morning Assembly on February 22, 2012
Article prepared by Chen Chih-ming
Translated by Hui Xian Wong
Edited by Caroline Sun and Kristofor Fan