Sending out an SOS

Tianjin SOS Clinic has been opened for over 10 years, providing premium international-standard healthcare service to the local community. Last year, they opened a second location in Binhai called the Tianjin TEDA International SOS Clinic. Dr. David Wang has been working at the clinic since it opened back in November 2011. Tianjin Plus had a chance to ask Dr. Wang a few questions about his life and work in Tianjin.

Can you tell our readers about your background?

I graduated in 1994 from the Fourth Military Medical University, a prestigious military medical university in China. I have eight years experience in cardiology, with a degree as an Attending Physician. In 2002, I joined the International SOS Beijing Clinic and took a continued medical education break in 2010 for two years to live in the USA where I attained a United State Medical License.

What set of circumstances brought you to Tianjin?

Upon receiving my US Medical License in August 2011, I looked forward to returning to International SOS to support the launch of the new TEDA clinic. To me it was the best opportunity to apply my knowledge and care to the expatriate community. I am based full time at the International SOS TEDA clinic and I am working as a family physician.

Can you give our readers a bit of background on what International SOS is?

For our patients and clients, we are the world’s leading international healthcare, medical and security assistance company. We help organisations to manage the health and safety of their global workforce and customers as they travel and live away from their home countries.

As a medical professional, the global nature of International SOS and overall mission to provide the best quality medical assistance and care means that there are boundless opportunities for employees to show their talent and enthusiasm in pursuing their career here.

Of all the places you have worked, which was your favourite?

TEDA is my favourite place. The mix of nationalities that I see every day, as well as the speed in which this development area is growing is exciting and I’m very pleased to be a part of it.

What are the benefits of being an International SOS member?

International SOS membership provides medical, security and travel advice, and emergency help, 24/7 worldwide. Members have the opportunity of experiencing an international-standard of healthcare and a patient-centred medical care system. With 24/7 worldwide International SOS Assistance Centres, including one in Beijing and one in Hong Kong, an international doctor that understands the local medical system and healthcare challenges is just a phone call away. Members can talk to an international doctor in the Assistance Centre 24/7 for routine medical advice or emergency assistance as well as accessing any of our clinics in China. In an emergency, we can help to arrange medical transportation and medical care, coordinate medical fees, referrals, evacuate you to a centre of medical excellence, contact your family, and provide help if your safety is at risk.

In terms of health care, what advice would you give to newly arrived expats; both for short-term and long-term stays?

I recommend that they become familiar with their medical assistance provider and how to contact them, especially in the event of an emergency. In addition, it is extremely important to know and understand your insurance information. If you are here independently or with an employer, become familiar with the international and local hospitals and clinics and keep emergency numbers on hand. Teach children, spouses, and domestic workers such as ayis and drivers how to call your medical assistant provider and local ambulance service.

Preventative healthcare is always easier to manage, so ensure you have the appropriate vaccinations, do yearly health checks and know where to obtain the right medication for any known or chronic illness or allergy. If you have complicated medical concerns, communication is the key to getting the appropriate treatment. If you do not speak Chinese, find out which international facility has the relevant specialist on hand and don’t hesitate to obtain second opinions. For International SOS members, know what benefits you are entitled to, download the membership application and store the assistance number in your phone. Like your iPhone, the more you know it, the better it will work for you!

What are your future personal and career plans?

To use my knowledge to benefit more patients, not only by practicing medicine, but by being the leading role in establishing an advanced medical team to care for patients.

What do you do to relax in Tianjin?

I like playing sports, not only is this a physical past-time, but also a way to communicate with others, and in this way I know more about Tianjin’s people and the city.