Newsletter No. 482

Can you tell us your internship experience at University College of London (UCL)? In March, I was looking for a research internship to spend the summer. Then I learned from Nature that Prof. David Attwell of UCL is an internationally-acclaimed neurologist. I wrote to him stating my intent of learning under him. To my surprise, he immediately agreed. So I set off for the UK in late May to study microglia in his laboratory. We dissected mouse brains to observe its cell morphology with confocal imaging technology and Sholl Analysis. The microglia are highly related to neurodegenerative diseases like dementia and Parkinson’s disease. To develop new drugs and treatments, medical practitioners need to have a good understanding of these cells. Why did you choose neurology in particular? I think that’s me. I like delving into the unknown and taking up challenges. The brain is a complicated organ. Many parts of it is still off limit to us. You transferred from the Department of Biochemistry to the Faculty of Medicine with a GPA of 3.9. Why were you intent on studying medicine? I love to learn new things, meet people and ponder on the meaning of life. I chose to study medicine because it is an integration of science and art. The ‘art’ is the art of communication, like the way doctors comfort patients and seek the many answers to sickness and suffering. Why the Faculty of Medicine at CUHK? This is my only choice. People like Prof. Joseph J.Y. Sung and Prof. Sydney Chung meant a lot to me as I grew up. I also enjoy the human touch here, where classmates help one another out and teachers are willing to communicate with students. Before I went to UCL, I benefitted from the sharing of his professional expertise by Prof. Vincent Mok , himself a neurologist and a dementia researcher. I was reminded not to lose track of why I took up medical research in the first place, namely, to help the patients. The Faculty not only gives me medical knowledge, but also instils in me a humanistic orientation. How is your previous training in biochemistry beneficial to your medical studies? The Department of Biochemistry has laid a solid foundation in science for me, trained my mind to be rigorous and taught me to stop at nothing but perfection. The willpower and stress-coping skills acquired there also profoundly benefit my medical training. Your brilliant performance had earned you three scholarships in Year Two. What’s the secret? Most important of all are passion and curiosity. If you’re passionate about acquiring medical knowledge, you will eventually excel academically. I also keep reminding myself not to be a ‘GPA slave’, but to enjoy the learning process. If you are grade conscious all the time, you’d bring pressure upon yourself and that may even affect how you apply what you learned. I study for my future patients, not only for the exams. I’ll lose no time in clarifying and understanding the things I learned in class, so that revisions become much more effective later. I found out that pressure doesn’t come from the coursework, but from the peers. Realizing this, I no longer compared myself to my classmates and wondered if I had done enough. I started to relax and turn my attention to my leisure time and my health. I love running, playing badminton and hiking in my spare time. Please talk about an artwork that impresses you the most. I like Ju Ming’s Gate of Wisdom in front of CUHK Library, which symbolizes the passageway to knowledge. The sculpture has witnessed major University events like policy forums and congregations. It appears to be solemn at dawn, lively at noon with the movements of people on the University Mall, and quiet at dusk to welcome back the swifts in residence. I always enter the library with a heavy heart burdened with study plans. When I leave it, I can look beyond the sculpture and see the sky stretching outwards. Unfailingly I’d feel refreshed again. 陈浚达 Victor Chan • 内外全科医学士三年级生 • Year 3 student of the MB ChB Programme 可否谈谈你今年暑假在伦敦大学学院(UCL )的实习 体验? 今年3月我考虑在暑假参与研究实习,从《自然》期刊得知该 校的 David Attwell 教授是国际知名的脑神经专家,所以主 动联络表示想跟他学习,他竟然一口答应。于是我5月底远赴 英伦,到他的实验室研究小神经胶质细胞(microglia)。我 们把老鼠脑切片,用共聚焦显微成像技术观察这种细胞的形 态,并用Sholl方法分析数据。小神经胶质细胞和神经退化疾 病有重要关联,如脑退化症和柏金逊症。若医学界要研发新 药和治疗方案,就要对这种细胞的运作有基础了解。 为何特别选择脑神经的范畴? 是性格使然,我本身喜欢探索未知和接受挑战,大脑是一个 复杂的器官,有很多尚待发掘之处。 你以GPA 3.9的成绩从生物化学系转系至医学院。为何 始终对医科念念不忘? 我选择读医,是因为自己喜欢认识新事物、接触人和思考 生命意义,而医学本身结合科学与艺术,我指的艺术是沟 通之道,例如医者如何安慰病人,如何了解患病背后的各种 原因。 为何选择中大医学院? 这是我的不二之选,因为当中有不少在我成长之路留下影响 力的人,比如SARS抗疫英雄 沈祖尧 教授和 钟尚志 教授。我 亦喜欢医学院的人情味,同学之间会守望相助,老师也乐于 与学生交流。我负笈英伦实习之前,曾约见研究神经学和脑 退化症的 莫仲棠 教授,从他的专业分享获益不少。他更提醒 我参与医学研究的初衷─帮助病人。中大医学院不单给予 我医学知识,也启发我的人文关怀。 过往在生化系的学习对现时的医学训练有什么 帮助? 生化系给予我札实的科学知识,训练我严谨的头脑 和力求完美的态度,磨练我的意志力和应对压力的 技巧,为我打下医学训练的基础。 你在二年级时以优异表现囊括三项奖学金, 可否分享一下学习诀窍和减压之道? 其实最重要的是对学习的热忱和好奇心,只要你热 爱学习医学知识,自然便会有好的成果。同时要记 住不要做GPA奴隶,要享受学习的过程。过于着紧 成绩只会倍添压力,也未能灵活运用所学知识。学 习并不单纯为应付考试,而是为了将来的病人。此 外,我会尽量在课后厘清所学,明白了原理,日后温 习自然更得心应手。我发现懂得调节心态才走得更 远。压力很多时不是来自课业,而是来自朋辈。我初 时会经常怀疑自己的学习进度是否比同学慢,但后来明 白与其和他人比较,倒不如着眼于自己掌握到多少医学 知识。我明白健康的重要,闲时喜欢跑步、打羽毛球和 爬山。 谈谈令你印象最深刻的一件艺术作品。 大学图书馆门前的「仲门」,象征通往学问的入口,也 一直见证重要的校政论坛和毕业典礼等重要场合。 「仲门」早午晚呈现不同的面貌,它在朝早静待旭日升 起,午间遥望百万大道川流不息的人群,黄昏迎接百燕 归巢。我步入图书馆时总难免带着压力,但温习完离馆 时,从「仲门」远望,一望无际的天空尽收眼底,顿觉 豁然。 08 # 4 8 2 | 0 4 . 0 9 . 2 0 1 6 中大医学院不单给予我医学知识, 也启发我的 人文关怀 。 The Faculty not only gives me medical knowledge, but also instils in me a humanistic orientation . Photo by ISO Staff 口 谈 实 录 / V iva V oce