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August 1980

An American Ophthalmologist in the People's Republic of China

Arch Ophthalmol. 1980;98(8):1487-1488. doi:10.1001/archopht.1980.01020040339027

To the Editor.  —I recently had the honor of being invited by the government of the People's Republic of China as the first American ophthalmologist to participate actively in the teaching and practice of ophthalmology. I wish to report herein a portion of my experiences as a retinal surgeon at a single eye hospital in Beijing (Peking), where I spent six months (May through October 1979).Tong Ren Hospital (previously the Hospital for Workers, Peasants and Soldiers1,2) was founded in the 1880s as an optical center by an American missionary. It has since evolved from a small dispensary to the now-famous 300-bed municipal hospital servicing Beijing and the surrounding northern provinces of China. Ninety physicians at all levels of training, numerous paramedical personnel, and technicians provide services for the 120 inpatients and the outpatient clinics with their daily 700 to 1,000 ophthalmic patients. Most of the 30 to 40