Students of a junior high school in northern Taiwan's Hsinchu City has recently decided to name their class after a local doctor who devotes himself to looking after residents in his hometown in Taitung County.
A total of 10 classes for seventh graders at Hsinchu's Municipal Zhu Guang Junior High School will be named this year after people who have achieved great medical accomplishments in their lives.
Xu Chao-bin, head of the Daren Township Public Health Center in the southeastern county, is among the group that includes other medical professionals such as Hippocrates, Florence Nightingale, and Hua Tuo, a Chinese physician who practiced in the second century.
Since it opened eight years ago, the school has been letting students name their classes after people who have made great achievement in various areas. Xu is the first Taiwanese to be chosen in the school's history.
Xu, 45, caught the public's attention when he was awarded the Caring for Life Award by the Buddhist charity group Dharma Drum Mountain Humanitarian and Social Improvement Foundation in 2010.
Honored for his efforts to help establish a 24-hour emergency service in Dawu Township, Xu's story of continuing to practice medicine after suffering a stroke that paralyzed part of the left side of his body was widely publicized after the award ceremony.
The following are excerpts from local media coverage of the doctor.
United Daily News:
"Maybe it's because of my good looks?" quipped Xu in an interview with the newspaper after learning he had been chosen to name a class.
The doctor of indigenous Paiwan descent said it is a great honor for him, since there are more established medical professionals than him in the country.
Chen Yi-chen, teacher of the "Xu Chao-bin" class, said students had studied about each person on the list provided by the school before choosing the one they wanted to name the class after.
One of the students in the class, surnamed Shao, said she thinks Xu is brave and different, while another student, surnamed Chen, said she is moved by Xu's devotion despite his physical disability.
The school has invited Xu to give a speech in October, and the class is also planning to visit the doctor in Taitung next summer.
Xu, who quit his high-paying job at a major hospital 10 years ago to take up the physician post at the public health center in his home town, drives over 5,000 kilometers to visit every community in mountainous Daren every month.
While he still cannot use his left hand freely after the stroke he suffered seven years ago, despite rehabilitation exercises, Xu continues his practice because he is "the only doctor for over 4,000 residents in Daren."
Xu said he felt quite intrigued after a friend sent photos of student uniforms with his name embroidered on them, and he is eager to know how the students feel about wearing them.
The doctor added that he hopes he can make a positive impact on the students and inspire them during their time in school. (Sept. 8, 2012).
(By Kay Liu)