The 2009 China Winter Session was a remarkable trip that had an unprecedented agenda which afforded its participants a rare opportunity to see the ‘many faces’ of China in a short span.Participants of the 2009 China trip experienced everything from the impressive high rises terrain of Beijing and Shanghai to the modest though compelling habitations in Chengdu and Hainan. Guided by four key research areas – community health (Beijing), emergency medicine (Wenchuan), rural health care (Hainain) and consumer participation (Shanghai) – trip participants engaged with an array of health care professionals, providers, high level administrators and consumers.
Wenchuan was, by all accounts, the most extraordinary component of the 2009 Winter Session. Students interacted with county government and health officials and health care workers who recounted their first hand experience during the 5/12 earthquake. The visit was impassionate as the destruction from the earthquake was still largely apparent. However, it was also highly inspiring to learn of (and see the outcomes of) all the collective recovery efforts that had been undertaken.
In all, the students were immersed in the concepts, operations and implementation of the multi-varied Chinese health care system, all the while experiencing the diverse culture of China.