Psychiatrist hopes to pass on UNMC lessons

by Kalani Simpson, UNMC public relations | August 22, 2017

Image with caption: Yi Fu, M.D.

Yi Fu, M.D.

As her tenure at UNMC came to a close, people asked Yi Fu, M.D., the faculty member and attending psychiatrist at Tongji Hospital of Tongji University in Shanghai, China, if she would like to come back.

"Of course, I would love to!" she said.

Dr. Fu is now back home in China, passing on the lessons she learned at UNMC. The ultimate goal was for her to return to Tongji University, one of UNMC's strongest international partners in China, and implement techniques she learned about supervising third- and fourth-year medical students and residents.

Through the ADRDP (Asia Pacific Rim Development Program) and other programs, UNMC has regular faculty exchanges with a handful of universities in China and other nations. Dr. Fu was the first psychiatrist from China.

Dr. Fu attended grand rounds, faculty meetings and attended didactics for residents and fellows. She also had key clinical experiences in the Clinic for Outpatient Psychiatry Education (COPE), Acute Crisis Unit (ACU), psychiatric consultation and liaison services for both the hospital and emergency department, Douglas County Community Mental Health, and The Home Instead Center for Successful Aging (HICSA).

She appreciated the insights learned here, and will strive to put them into her practice and her teaching.

But some differences between U.S. and Chinese medical models are significant, she said.

In China, practitioners and faculty must deal with a much larger population, for example.

"We see many patients. We teach many students," Dr. Fu said.

Her clinical work can be stressful, she said. Dr. Fu often sees between 100 and 200 patients per day.

"When I am finished, I don't want to talk anymore," she said.

In the U.S., she saw physicians striving to treat the whole patient, and not merely their disease.

"Doctors here have a good job in this medical model," she said.

The Department of Psychiatry welcomed her and created what she called a "perfect schedule."

"There are so many thanks to the people who I met in psychiatry department of UNMC. Steve Wengel, M.D., chair of psychiatry; and Thomas Magnuson, M.D.; Sharon Hammer, M.D.; and Sheritta Strong, M.D., deserve special thanks," she said.

She hopes to put into practice what she has learned, and to return to UNMC someday.

"I'm looking forward to my next visit," she said.

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