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. 陳浚達 Victor Chan • 內外全科醫學士三年級生 • Year 3 student of the MB ChB Programme 可否談談你今年暑假在倫敦大學學院(UCL )的實習 體驗? 今年3月我考慮在暑假參與研究實習,從《自然》期刊得知該 校的 David Attwell 教授是國際知名的腦神經專家,所以主 動聯絡表示想跟他學習,他竟然一口答應。於是我5月底遠赴 英倫,到他的實驗室研究小神經膠質細胞(microglia)。我 們把老鼠腦切片,用共聚焦顯微成像技術觀察這種細胞的形 態,並用Sholl方法分析數據。小神經膠質細胞和神經退化疾 病有重要關聯,如腦退化症和柏金遜症。若醫學界要研發新 藥和治療方案,就要對這種細胞的運作有基礎了解。 為何特別選擇腦神經的範疇? 是性格使然,我本身喜歡探索未知和接受挑戰,大腦是一個 複雜的器官,有很多尚待發掘之處。 你以GPA 3.9的成績從生物化學系轉系至醫學院。為何 始終對醫科念念不忘? 我選擇讀醫,是因為自己喜歡認識新事物、接觸人和思考 生命意義,而醫學本身結合科學與藝術,我指的藝術是溝 通之道,例如醫者如何安慰病人,如何了解患病背後的各種 原因。 為何選擇中大醫學院? 這是我的不二之選,因為當中有不少在我成長之路留下影響 力的人,比如SARS抗疫英雄 沈祖堯 教授和 鍾尚志 教授。我 亦喜歡醫學院的人情味,同學之間會守望相助,老師也樂於 與學生交流。我負笈英倫實習之前,曾約見研究神經學和腦 退化症的 莫仲棠 教授,從他的專業分享獲益不少。他更提醒 我參與醫學研究的初衷─幫助病人。中大醫學院不單給予 我醫學知識,也啟發我的人文關懷。 過往在生化系的學習對現時的醫學訓練有甚麼 幫助? 生化系給予我札實的科學知識,訓練我嚴謹的頭腦 和力求完美的態度,磨練我的意志力和應對壓力的 技巧,為我打下醫學訓練的基礎。 你在二年級時以優異表現囊括三項獎學金, 可否分享一下學習訣竅和減壓之道? 其實最重要的是對學習的熱忱和好奇心,只要你熱 愛學習醫學知識,自然便會有好的成果。同時要記 住不要做GPA奴隸,要享受學習的過程。過於着緊 成績只會倍添壓力,也未能靈活運用所學知識。學 習並不單純為應付考試,而是為了將來的病人。此 外,我會盡量在課後釐清所學,明白了原理,日後溫 習自然更得心應手。我發現懂得調節心態才走得更 遠。壓力很多時不是來自課業,而是來自朋輩。我初 時會經常懷疑自己的學習進度是否比同學慢,但後來明 白與其和他人比較,倒不如着眼於自己掌握到多少醫學 知識。我明白健康的重要,閒時喜歡跑步、打羽毛球和 爬山。 談談令你印象最深刻的一件藝術作品。 大學圖書館門前的「仲門」,象徵通往學問的入口,也 一直見證重要的校政論壇和畢業典禮等重要場合。 「仲門」早午晚呈現不同的面貌,它在朝早靜待旭日升 起,午間遙望百萬大道川流不息的人群,黃昏迎接百燕 歸巢。我步入圖書館時總難免帶着壓力,但溫習完離館 時,從「仲門」遠望,一望無際的天空盡收眼底,頓覺 豁然。 08 # 4 8 2 | 0 4 . 0 9 . 2 0 1 6 中大醫學院不單給予我醫學知識, 也啟發我的 人文關懷 。 The Faculty not only gives me medical knowledge, but also instils in me a humanistic orientation . Photo by ISO Staff 口 談 實 錄 / V iva V oce