A Glance at Pathology in Hong Kong
A Glance at Pathology in Hong Kong
For a little historical background,
the British took possession of Hong Kong Island in 1841. The indigenous
Chinese population at the time was about 2,000. In 1881 the London Missionary
Society added to the services it provided to the Chinese people by establishing
a medical clinic staffed by a Dr. William Young, a Scottish medical graduate.
At that time, and for many years afterwards, Chinese people would consult
‘bone setters’ and practitioners of traditional (mainly herbal)
Chinese medicine in preference to ‘Western” doctors.
James Cantlie (1851 – 1926)
When the Japanese army took control of Hong Kong on Christmas Day 1941, the final year medical students were sitting their examinations. Many staff and students of HKU were interned and the functions of the University ceased. Gordon King remained out of prison to continue the service provided by the Queen Mary Hospital. He decided to take as many of the medical students as he could and flee into China. 140 of the 300 students went with him. After some hair-raising travel experiences, they were scattered through a number of the Chinese medical schools in areas not controlled by the Japanese.
At the end of the war, 63 of the students returned to Hong Kong. They formed a valuable nucleus from which to rebuild the medical school and the medical services, when normal activity was resumed in 1948. Gordon continued as Dean in the period of post war reconstruction.
In 1912 the University of Hong Kong
was officially founded, and the College of Medicine became the first Faculty
of the fledgling University. At the present time the Li Ka Shing Faculty
of Medicine of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) is situated on the slope
of a steep hill on the Western aspect of Hong Kong Island. The Faculty
buildings that house administration, basic sciences, research laboratories
and teaching facilities were completed 4 years ago. This complex is situated
near the bottom of the hill. The Queen Mary Hospital which is the main
teaching hospital is situated about 800 metres further up this rather
steep hill. The University pathology department which works closely with
the Clinical department is situated in the hospital complex.
The Pathology Department of the HKU (some key figures)
P.C. Hou was appointed Professor 1948 - 1960. He had been a Professor of Pathology in China before this (Chefoo University 1936 – 1946 and West China Union University 1946 – 1948, and had gained an international reputation for his research on liver disease, particularly in relation to the liver fluke, Clonorchis sinensis. From 1960 – 1967 he was Vice-President of the Chinese Medical College, Peking. During his tenure in Hong Kong, he was able to engineer the post war reconstruction of the Department.
James Gibson, a graduate of Edinburgh University was Professor (1963 – 1984). He oversaw the installation of all the new technological advances that occurred during his 20 year tenure and he helped it to gain an international standing as a centre of Research, Teaching and Service. The 2006 Report of the department clearly indicates that the present staff are continuing in this tradition.
The present situation in HKU
Some years ago the Pathology Museum was modernised and the specimens were carefully stored in order in a compactus file. The solutions have been changed every few years and they are beautifully clear. A small number of representative specimens from each organ system have been kept aside for use in teaching as part of the problem based learning programme.
The photographer, Mr. Jaggar, S.K.
Lau has almost completed the task of taking digital photographs of all
the specimens. He has enhanced these photographs and they are being stored
and catalogued for possible use in the future.
It is interesting that the current Curator of the Anatomy Museum, Mr. James Ting followed his father in this position. When he was a child he used to assist his father in the preparation room. The father of the senior photographer in the Pathology Department, Mr. Jaggar Lau worked as a Laboratory assistant with Mr. Ting senior. Both of these father son combinations have worked for HKU for over 70 years of its 120 years existence.
Information for this article was
obtained from speaking with various staff members in Hong Kong, including
very valuable information from Prof. LC Chan (HKU) and Prof. HK Ng (CUHK),
and from the publication:
Gold Medal Award
Leah Shander first became associated
with the IAP in 1974 when she attended the 10th International Congress
in Hamburg, Germany. She was a Congress Organiser who had so impressed
Kash Mostofi with the way she ran a Conference for him that he commissioned
her to run the 11th International Congress in Washington in 1976. She
used the Hamburg meeting as an educational activity.
A Meeting in Moscow
In October 2005 the President of the IAP, Francis Jaubert led a distinguished group of senior office bearers of the IAP to attend a meeting in Moscow, October 3-7. The meeting was held in the N.N Blokhin Cancer Centre in Moscow, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of Professor N.A Kraevsky, one of the pioneer Russian pathologists and a founder of the Cancer Centre in Moscow. The conference was held under the auspices of the Russian Society of Pathologists, the Russian Cancer Research Centre and St. Petersburg Paediatric Medical Academy with the assistance of the IAP lecturers who are shown in the photograph above. The IAP education committee contributed a small amount of money to assist in the expenses involved with the education material for the conference.
The conference theme was ‘New Methods and Procedures in Oncomorphology. Dr. Nicolai Petrovichev, Chairman of the Department of Pathology at the Cancer Centre was the co-ordinator of the meeting. The topics included sessions on immunohistochemistry, diseases of lymphoid tissue, a slide seminar on soft tissue tumours, a review of the practice of pathology in Russia, and the role of pathologists in the diagnosis of iatrogenic disease.
There were 217 registrants, 38 from Moscow, 153 from elsewhere in Russia,
and 26 from former Soviet Republics. The proceedings of the conference
were recorded on CD for delegates by Dr Moroz of the cancer centre.
The social program included a banquet, a visit to the Bolshoi Theatre for a performance of Swan Lake and a short visit to Suzdal and Vladimir, two old Russian cities.
Information and photographs for this report were provided by Antonio Llombart-Bosch, Francis Jaubert and Olga Makarova.
5th Asia Pacific International Academy of Pathology
Congress and Chapter of Pathologists ASM
IAP In Action
Report from the Bolivian Division
|Back to Contents List|