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More foreigners study traditional Tibetan medicine

Puntsok Wangmo (M), president of the Zhangzhuang Hospital of Tibetan Medicine, Massachusetts, the United States, explains a patient's condition to two American students, July 22, 2009. (Xinhua Photo)Slawomir, 44, carefully watched every act of her tutor Lan Ke, a Hepatology expert from the Qinghai Provincial Traditional Tibetan Medicine Hospital (QHTTMH), while her classmate Matthew stood along side filming the scene.

As interest in Tibetan medicine increases amongst the international medical community, more and more foreigners have chosen to study this subject. Some of them like Slawomir and Matthew even came to China's Tibetan medicine hospitals for their internship.

The QHTTMH, considered to be one of the nation's best traditional Tibetan medicine hospitals, has received foreign interns mainly from the U.S. and Europe since 2004. Now ten-odd foreign students are studying there, including seven from Massachusetts' Zhangzhuang Hospital of Tibetan Medicine.

"The seven came for clinic practices, thus deepening their understanding of this medicine, such as herbal studies and medical heritage," said Puntsok Wangmo, president of the Zhangzhung hospital.

Nashala, 58, took this experience as a precious opportunity to learn about the Chinese ethnic culture. "I found multiple ethnic groups mingling with one another in Qinghai. Foreigners like me feel relaxed in such a multi-cultural environment," she added.

Previously, the seven students have passed a test on herbalism. Before completing their internship, they have to participate in an examination that all undergraduates from the Qinghai University Medical Faculty must attend. The only difference is that the papers will be translated into English in advance.

On July 29, the QHTTMH ushered in another seven students from Stanford, Harvard and Columbia universities for a one-month internship.

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