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Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I hope you weren’t hoping for a hard news story today. In a very unscientific poll, I asked my students (doctors) what they were thankful for this year. At some point during their “toast,” roughly 30% mentioned their health, 90% mentioned their family, and about 20% mentioned their co-workers. Here is a somewhat random sample: I am thankful for my parents, they gave me some money this year to buy a car. Now I don’t have to be cold going to work, so I am thankful for that. I am very thankful to my parents-in-law, this year they gave my husband and I a lot of money to buy an apartment. Now we all live together, and they help us to raise […]


Today I want to illuminate what life is really like for the average Chinese person that has yet to fully reap the rewards of China’s rapid development. We’ll be looking at a friend’s monthly budget up close, which I think you’ll find quite interesting. From other discussions with students, this seems to be a fairly typical budget. She is about 20 years old, and is in her final semester of college (a three year program). Her school requires her to complete an internship as part of her degree, the hospital gives her practically no work to do and she takes home no salary. All in all it seems to be a huge waste of time and money for her, but for some reason it is necessary for […]


A few months ago America tossed itself into panic mode again, like it does every year when it realizes how low our students are ranked on standardized tests. So it may surprise some of you to learn that despite China’s number 1 ranking on the tests this year, the best Chinese students all want to go somewhere else for college. I had a number of students over the years talk about their aspirations to go study in the US or England, but none of them eve had the money to make that a possibility. It turns out there are very few scholarships for international students; schools expect them to be able to pay. So it’s only now that I’m living in a city where people […]


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