Miss Emily Chi Lai TANG

Medical Specialities: Medical Student (University of Dundee, Expected graduation 2021)
Location: Dundee, Scotland, United Kingdom

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Miss Emily Chi Lai TANG

Dr Wu Lien-Teh is Emily Tang's third great-uncle.


I feel proud to have an ancestral connection to Dr Wu but until recently he was more family folklore, rather than being an active driver for my career ambitions.

Although he has earned a place in history, his achievements are not widely known or publicised. Certainly there has been no mention of his name in any of my teaching at medical school, so this is an opportune reminder of his contribution to medical science, especially during this time of Covid-19 pandemic. If Covid-19 has instilled global panic with a mortality of what will eventually be shown as, say, 10%, imagine what it must have been like in Manchuria in 1910 battling with an unknown infection with near 100% mortality. No wonder the befitting title of Plague Fighter.

It is unbelievable to think that his airborne transmission hypothesis was dismissed at the time and, now, that is the essence of infectious disease prevention. His face mask is thought to be the origin of surgical masks which are in universal use today.

Scotland and the world have ground to a halt with the Covid-19 lockdown and, although there are now tentative plans to relax the restrictions, the pandemic is far from over. What form the new normal life will take remains to be seen.

I am a 4th year medical student. Teaching was suspended abruptly in March and students were advised to return home. This was due to the redeployment of teaching staff to frontline duties and to protect us from possible infection from non-essential patient exposure. Virtual tutorials, lectures and webinars have become my daily routine.

If I had not completed an intercalated science degree, I would now have been plunged into the deep end with my final year student peers. Their graduation was expedited to enable them to start working on the frontline, and that could have been me. Although everyone has had to adapt very quickly to the new ways of learning, I am concerned, without on-going clinical teaching, how this will impact on my ability to become a good doctor when I qualify hopefully in a year’s time.


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