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October 2021

Ann Neurol. 1980 May; 7(5): 395-405.

Impressions of neurology and neurosurgery in the People's Republic of China.

Tower DB, Feindel W.

During July, 1979, the authors visited the neurological and neurosurgical services of eight major hospitals and associated medical schools in Peking, Tientsin, and Shanghai, and viewed many of their teaching and research facilities. From these visits and our discussions with the staffs of these units, we came away with the impressions reported here. In the People's Republic of China today there are more than 2,000 neurologists and 1,300 neurosurgeons. At present there are two major clinical centers: the Peking Institute of Neurosurgery, directed by Prof Wang Chung-Cheng and located in the Xuan Wu Hospital affiliated with the Peking First Medical College; and the Shanghai Institute of Neurology, directed by Prof Chang Yuan-Cheng and located in the Hua San Hospital affiliated with the Shanghai First Medical College. In every hospital, patient loads are formidable (e.g., several thousand outpatients weekly), but the variety of clinical problems does not differ from those seen elsewhere in the world. The most common problems are head injuries, brain tumors, cerebrovascular disorders, infections, and epilepsy. Each of the centers is heavily engaged in undergraduate and postgraduate training, and research has been resumed after the major disruptions of the 1966-76 "Cultural Revolution." Research continues on acupuncture, but present emphasis is directed toward pain mechanisms, notably at the Shanghai Institute of Physiology, directed by Prof Feng De-Pei. We were most impressed by this, the principal neurophysiology and neuroscience research center in the country. Clearly, the People's Republic of China has a wealth of clinical material and many competent neurologists and neurosurgeons with stimulating research ideas-characteristics which offer real potentials for collaborative research.

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