Comments from Members of APRDP Programs

Jie “Ray” Zhu

Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine (SJTUSM) Medical Exchange Student, 2012

It is a very exciting experience to have my first surgery rotation abroad. It provided me with great opportunity to observe numerous operations. I feel very lucky to have worked with a team of Sports Medicine, which in my opinion fits me perfectly. I love the feeling of having a talk with the patient, finding out what problems they might have, and solving their problems with surgery. And it is relatively rapid for orthopedic surgeons to see the outcome of their work, which gives me a feeling that I am really doing something to help their well-being and get them back to their active lives. We all feel very much welcomed here, for we have met great people like our advisors, attending providers with profound knowledge, residents who have always been guiding us, and support staff who have been a great help to this wonderful program. I hope the tie between UNMC and SJTU will become stronger in the time to come. So I thank UNMC and SJTU once again for offering me such a great opportunity that has been a great help to me to broaden my horizon. This short period of time will never be forgotten.


Ryan Edwards, M.D., Jonathan Fullner, M.D., Jeremy Stone, M.D., and Shea Welsh, M.D.

UNMC Fourth-Year Medical Exchange Students, 2012

Since the month of April was our last official elective rotation of medical school, we spent most of our time in the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) clinic. TCM is practiced right alongside modern medicine in this busy, 1000+ bed hospital in the heart of Shanghai. Learning about Traditional Chinese Medicine in its birthplace, from such a well-respected clinic, was an invaluable experience that has expanded our perceptions about the benefits of alternative medicine to a degree that wouldn't have been possible here at home. We were impressed by how effective TCM was in treating common ailments, particularly pain syndromes. We've come away from the experience better equipped to discuss questions our future patients will undoubtedly have about TCM and other alternative therapies. We found Shanghai to be more welcoming than we could have imagined. Throughout the rotation, we were quickly befriended by many medical students. Within a day or two, we quickly learned the ropes with their help. Our time in China was also well-spent immersing ourselves in the Chinese culture. While the sightseeing and traveling made life-long memories, it was the time spent with our friends learning about life in China that we will cherish. While it is true that with any cultural exchange you inherently find differences, it was the fact that many more similarities exist that really surprised us.


Chao “Mickey” Zhang

Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine (SJTUSM) Nursing Exchange Student, 2006

I came to UNMC in 2006 as an exchange student for one month, thanks to the opportunity presented by the APRDP program. The experience left me such an impression that when I heard of the BSN-PhD program in nursing, I knew I wanted to come back for graduate school. I arrived to the UNMC College of Nursing in 2008 and graduated in May 2013. It has been a long and arduous journey, but I consider it one of the most significant, adventurous and wonderful chapters in my life. I got the opportunity to work with the top nursing scientists and educators in the nation, learn about nursing research and practice in the United States and conduct my own research in simulation-based interprofessional education. I am now teaching at UNMC College of Nursing, Lincoln Division. I am so honored and happy to have the opportunity to serve UNMC.


Sheng Wu

Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine (SJTUSM) Joint M.D./Ph.D. Graduate, 2009-2013

My career goal is to become a doctor, who can relieve patients’ suffering with the most stubborn disease -- cancer. A doctor has limited capability to treat cancer, and the ultimate way to find effective treatments is through research work. I chose to work in the field of cancer therapy, to understand the cause of cancer, the mechanism of forming an unbalanced host-tumor micro-environment, and find molecular targets to improve current treatments. The Ph.D. training is a comprehensive training, to develop a scientific way of thinking, which can be applied to other areas of life. After this training, I will contribute my effort in targeted cancer therapy and be able to translate research achievements into practice in my future career as a doctor. I chose UNMC for my Ph.D. training because it has a renowned cancer research-training program, and a mature APRDP program which facilitates the collaborations and exchanges between the U.S. and China. A warm Chinese community at Omaha and a group of caring professors and coordinators in our program provide us a great platform to grow in a foreign country. It is a thrilling experience to be part of the joint M.D./Ph.D. program between UNMC and SJTUSM. Besides research work, we are provided with good opportunities to interact with medical students in UNMC, to do clinical rotations in the hospital, and to see how medicine is done in the US. In addition to work, I enjoyed every day in the U.S. and in Omaha. There are endless opportunities in life, and to seize them, to travel more, to see more, to experience more, and to meet different people will add to the joy of our journey of life. The collisions between cultures from different parts of the world, especially between the east and the west, have inspired me and broadened my views.


Song Li

Ph.D. Candidate through UNMC-CSC Degree-Seeking Program

I am a member of the global generation. When I decided to apply to UNMC, I just wanted to explore the rest of the world beyond my hometown Shandong and be minded with a global view. Yet after I was here, I realized that there was more than what I expected. I was astonished by the excellent facilities and faculties here. The Petri dishes and serological pipettes are disposable, the gas and vacuum systems are equipped anywhere through the research building, and all reagents and equipment are top branded. Courses here are short and practical, compared to my previous long and theoretical curriculums. The education here focuses on “teaching to fish”, i.e. teaching students to design projects independently. Most importantly, I joined a wonderful lab. I’ve learned many state-of-art research skills, broadly expended my understanding in the field of immunology, become well trained to investigate scientific problems independently, and broadened my networks with the world’s top immunologists. In the near future, I will be an “M.D., Ph.D.”, so I can be a physician with deep view in molecular levels of diseases or a scientist knowing the clinical side. As well, I will be a “global guy”, with the background living and studying in both Eastern and Western civilizations, so I can choose to work back in China, stay in the United States, or travel to any other country in the world. I’m so grateful to this amazing journey in UNMC, in Omaha, and in the United States.


Jingwei “David” Liu

Summer Research Program Student, 2013

At UNMC, I had a much more meaningful experience with the lab and research and colorful part-time life than at the other American university that I attended. During this three-month time, I was offered a position in a lab, doing research work on cartilage regeneration. Kind, warm-hearted and dedicated, just like other professors in this school, my principal investigator gave me a full view of his whole research project. I was actually assigned an independent task - reading papers, trying out, different methods, suffering defeat and indulging in the happiness when making a progress. This is a very precious experience as I learned to devise my own experiment, search for related papers,exchange ideas with other lab staff to get inspired. I enjoy the whole process, the process to solve problems and fathom the truth by myself. The UNMC staff are so nice and friendly. They will not hesitate to offer their help once you get stuck or give their encouragement when you lose confidence. And now I know why I chose UNMC for my summer research rotation.


Lei Yu

Doctor of Medicine Student Through UNMC-CSC Health Professionals Degree Program, 2012

The professional doctorate degree program (MD) at UNMC is one of the best programs for any Chinese students who are greatly interested in medicine. The advanced medical education curriculum is lectured by dedicated professors, and competing with the smartest medical students in the United States adds more fun to your study experience in this country.
At UNMC, we are inspired to study hard and trained to digest massive amounts of information in order to make the right decisions. We learn from patients and their families and are expected to become good doctors who make significant contributions to the field of medicine. I would say this is the best choice I have ever made.


Yimei Huang

Doctor of Pharmacy Student Through UNMC-CSC Health Professionals Degree Program, 2011

At UNMC, the characteristics of study and life that have impressed me upon my arrival never fade. I appreciate the opportunity to learn how to work with different types of people; everyone works to help one another. Each student gets equal opportunities to interact with standard patients through clinical skills lab; and gets equal opportunities to rotate in community pharmacy and institutional pharmacy. A variety of patient care activities are offered constantly by professional organizations like American Pharmacist Association. I was quite amazed at students’ great extent of involvement in these nationwide organizations. Through professional meetings provided by each organization, we can meet pharmacy professionals across the country. Omaha’s beauty is deep; take the time to savor the taste. My enthusiasm for life has been continuously growing.


Xin Zhang

Doctor of Physical Therapy Student Through UNMC-CSC Health Professionals Degree Program, 2011

UNMC has great reputation in PT education. It gives our Chinese student super excellent opportunity to study here through collaboration program with top Chinese universities. As the famous quote goes, “Education is not the filling of a pail. But the lighting of a fire”. That’s exactly what I experienced here within American medical education. Physical Therapy is quite a new area in China; there are not many who understand it. I love my major so much when I realize how useful it can be. A large amount of Chinese patients need physical therapy. They could be children with developmental diseases such as cerebra palsy; they could be athletes with a sports injury; they could be our friends with orthopedic surgery; and they could be our parents with chronic cervical or lumbar spine pain. This is why I am eager to let more Chinese students know this new area.