West China School of Medicine / West China Hospital of Sichuan University
--- a century of exemplary service, 123 years of medical excellence
West China School of Medicine/West China Hospital of Sichuan University (WCSM/WCH) is a prestigious medical center located on the banks of the Jinjiang River in Chengdu, a famous historical and cultural city of China. The precursors of the WCH, Cunren and Renji Hospitals, was set up in 1892 by the joint efforts of Christian missions from the United States, Great Britain, and Canada. In 1914, the School of Medicine of West China Union University (WCUU) was established and both Renji and Cunren Hospitals became the teaching hospitals of the university. In 1937, when the war against Japanese broke out, the universities in the affected areas such as Nanjing Central University, Jinling University, Jinling Woman Arts & Science College, Yanching University, and Cheeloo University were moved to Chengdu and managed together with WCUU. At that time, the Huaxi medical campus became a gathering place for medical experts and talent. In July 1938, the Union Hospital was jointly established by WCUU, Nanjing Central University, and Cheeloo University. In 1946, a new hospital of WCUU, named "University Hospital" or "West China Hospital", was built in Guo Xue Alley, where it still stands today.
WCUU was taken over by the Central Government in 1950 and renamed Sichuan Medical College in 1953 as part of an organizational adjustment, and the hospital was renamed the College Hospital of Sichuan Medical College accordingly. Subsequently, in 1985, Sichuan Medical College was renamed West China University of Medical Sciences, and the hospital renamed the First University Hospital of West China University of Medical Sciences (WCUMS). Finally, when West China University of Medical Sciences and Sichuan University merged in October 2000, the school was renamed the "West China School of Medicine/West China Hospital of Sichuan University".
After 120 years of development, particularly during the reform and opening-up period, WCSM/WCH has become a comprehensive medical teaching and research center with diverse disciplines, abundant faculty resources, advanced medical techniques, modern medical equipment, and strong potential in medical research. The Hospital was ranked one of the highest among all hospitals in China by the Ministry of Health in 1990.
WCH is one of the largest single-site hospitals in the world and a leading medical center of West China, treating complicated and severe cases, especially in the fields of living donor liver transplantation, severe acute pancreatitis, and clinical anesthesia. The hospital has 4,800 beds and covers an area of more than 470,000 sq m and service area of 400,000 sq m. It has more than 7,800 medical staff working among 38 clinical departments and 16 non-clinical and laboratory departments. In 2011, more than 3.5 million patients visited the outpatient department, 173,000 patients were discharged from inpatient departments, and more than 93,900 operations were performed. The average hospitalization stay was 9.64 days. The hospital has been gaining its momentum over the past year. Since 2009, the hospital has ranked second on the China Best Hospital List for three times. In 2011, it ranked 3rd in the Most Popular 3A Hospital List and 2nd in the Top 50 Chinese public general hospitals concerning social contribution. A telemedicine network based on video conference technology has been established, covering 531 hospitals at all levels in 14 provinces and cities, serving 500 million people. So far, 1.09 million people has participated in online interactions and 6,500 tele-consultations have been were carried out. A regional information platform was also set up, by which desktop-to-desktop online healthcare service and medical education can be conducted among 54 member hospitals. In addition, the information network can also offer continuous medical education for faculties to improve the overall medical service in west China. Thanks to the improved management mechanism system, the hospital harvested great achievements. In 2007 and 2008, WCH won Golden Awardsof hospital management by Hospital Management Asia.
If WCH has focused on becoming a place of medical excellence, WCSM has worked to create doctors who can provide that excellence for generations to come. WCSM is one of the most famous medical institutions and also a national model of higher medical education in China. It grew out of the School of Medicine of WCUU, which was set up by Christian missions from the United States, Great Britain, and Canada in 1914 and was among the first in China to completely adopt a Western higher education system. When it was known as WCUU, the school was one of the first of its kind in west China to grant doctoral degrees, and the medical graduates were granted a doctoral degree in medicine by WCUU and the State University of New York (SUNY), which agreed to recognize each other's medical degrees. WCSM was approved by the Ministry of Health to launch a 7-year program of medical training in 1988 and by the Ministry of Education to launch an 8-year program in 2004, making it one of the first medical institutions to provide extended medical education.
WCSM has more than 814 professors and associate professors, including one academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2 professors of the "Outstanding Teacher Award in Higher Education Institutions", 6 professors of the "Yangzi River Awards Plan", 11 winners of the "National Fund of Natural Science for Outstanding Young Scientists", 165 supervisors of Ph.D. students, and 325 supervisors in the Master's program. The School is authorized to confer doctoral degrees in the two primary disciplines of Clinical Medicine and Integrated Western-Chinese Medicine. Clinical Medicine at WCSM ranked 5th and Integrated Western-Chinese Medicine ranked 3rd nationwide in the 2008 Primary Discipline Evaluation conducted by the Ministry of Education. The School's teaching excellence has been recognized in nine disciplines by the Central government, and in 26 disciplines by the provincial government. Graduate education involves a postdoctoral program in Clinical Medicine, with 33 programs leading to the doctoral degree. The programs leading to a master's degree cover all the secondary and tertiary disciplines in the hospital. Current enrollment of students includes 45 postdoctoral researchers, 470doctoral candidates, and more than 1000 master's candidates.
At present, undergraduate education consists of more than 2,500 students in five divisions: Clinical Medicine, Higher Nursing Education, Laboratory Medicine, Allied Health Professions, and Rehabilitation Medicine. Since its foundation, the school has always insisted on "rigorous and diligent" approaches in teaching and learning and Continuing to provide the highest quality medical education. The school has succeeded in graduating a large number of competent medical professionals who excel clinically as well as in all aspects of being a good physician.
WCH seeks to become the national center for medical scientific research and technology innovation. It has one State Laboratory, two ministry-level key laboratories, one Cooperative Research Centre online system under the Ministry of Education, and 26 open laboratories. Furthermore, the Chinese Cochrane Center, the National Safety Assessment Center for New Drugs and Traditional Chinese Medicine (GLP Center), the National Center for Clinical Trials of Drugs (GCP Center for Western Medicine & Traditional Chinese Medicine), and the National Institute for Cosmetic Safety and Efficacy are all based at the hospital.
In recent years, the Hospital has successfully secured more than 1000 grants from the major national funding agencies such as the "973 Project", "863 Project", "Tenth Five-Year Plan", "Eleventh Five-Year Plan", and the Natural Science Foundation of China. The Hospital has received close to 840 million RMB of research funding in the past five years and since 1999, and it has won more than 120 science and technology awards at different levels. It has applied for over 100 patents, 100 of which have been granted. WCH has excelled among all medical institutes nationally in the number of research papers published, and it ranked first in China in the number of SCI and MEDLINE-indexed articles in 2005, 2007 and 2008. Currently, the hospital publishes nine different academic periodicals, all of which are included in the resource periodicals for national scientific publications and two of which are indexed by the MEDLINE database.
WCSM/WCH has adopted a unique system in which one leadership team manages both institutions. This "dual organization" has continuously innovated its management model and initiated a series of scientifically-based reforms, which has ensured sustainable development of the hospital. WCH has been ranked among the best several times in the annual competition "Hospital Management Year" conducted by the Ministry of Health, and it won the Asian Hospital Management Award in 2008. Its management and achievements have been widely recognized at home and abroad, and it has hosted hundreds of visits by leaders from large and medium-sized hospitals each year in the recent decade.
When the Wenchuan earthquake of 8.0 on the Richter scale hit Sichuan Province in 2008, WCH, as the regional healthcare center closest to the epicenter, acted as a "Diagnosis and Treatment Center for Earthquake-wounded Persons and Patients with Difficult and Complicated Diseases", as a "Technical Supporting Center for Hospitals in the Affected Areas", and as a "Logistics Support Center for Medical Rescue Teams from Other Provinces". WCH ranked at the top among hospitals nationwide for the number of severely wounded persons treated and the rate of patient survival, achieving several miracles in the history of medical rescue efforts. After the earthquake, WCH was referred to as the "backbone" of the medical rescue efforts by the media. Its staff was praised by Premier Wen Jiabao as "not only morally respectable but also highly skilled", and the hospital was awarded the honorary title of "Heroic Organization in Earthquake Relief and Rescue" by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, the State Council, and the Central Military Commission. A 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit Yushu in China's Qinghai Province on April 14, 2010. West China Hospital sent a medical team to the disaster area on the same day, then donated medical supplies worth 5.5 million yuan to aid relief work in the area. Meanwhile, the hospital treated more earthquake victims than any other hospitals outside Qinghai Province.
"The snow on Mt. Xiling can be seen through the window. Just outside the door, the sea-going boat of Dongwu moored by the Wanli Bridge" (a poem by Du Fu, Tang Dynasty). Situated at the foot of the Wanli Bridge mentioned in the famous poem of Du Fu, WCH continues to pursue the philosophy of "Care and Service" with the spirit of "serving humanity, exploring science and pursuing excellence". It strives to uphold the motto of the hospital – "Morals, distinction, knowledge, truth, innovation and excellence" by serving its homeland with selfless dedication. Like the sea-going boat that sets sail, WCSM/WCH forges ahead towards the goal of establishing itself as an internationally acclaimed center of research and clinical excellence.
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