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Sun Tao, left, president of Ningxia Medical College, and Dr. Mei Yun Li, right, chief physician at Ningxia, listen as Jerome Fuller of ECU’s Minimally Invasive Surgical Robotic Center of Excellence demonstrates a robotic arm from the da Vinci Surgical System. The Ningxia group visited ECU and two other U.S. medical schools to see how the schools train doctors to serve in rural areas. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Chinese Group Tours ECU

By Doug Boyd

A group from Ningxia Medical College in China visited ECU’s Brody School of Medicine during a three-university trip to study how U.S. medical schools train physicians to work in poor, rural areas.

The group of four toured the Minimally Invasive Surgical Robotic Center of Excellence and the Telemedicine Center. The group also discussed the school’s medical education curriculum.

They saw the Pitt County Memorial Hospital emergency department and the Regional Rehabilitation Center.

Dr. John Lehman, associate dean for research and graduate studies at the Brody School of Medicine and associate vice chancellor for research in the ECU Health Sciences Division, said the Ningxia group would like a delegation from ECU to visit their medical school.

“We discussed a number of areas of collaboration in research, teaching and patient care and the potential for exchange of faculty and students,” Lehman said. “They were very impressed with the faculty and staff at the Brody School of Medicine and PCMH, how we educate our medical students and patient care activities.”

Before arriving in Greenville on Oct. 9, the delegation visited the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle and the University of South Dakota School of Medicine in Sioux Falls.

Founded in 1958, Ningxia Medical College is in Yinchuan, the capital city of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region in northwest China.

Ningxia is one of five province-level autonomous regions or units that were established by China to preserve and protect the language and culture of the local ethnic minority groups for which they are named.

This page originally appeared in the Nov. 18, 2005 issue of Pieces of Eight. Complete issue is archived at