The hospital was built in 1921 by the Rockefeller Foundation in an effort to “build the best medical center in Asia.” It is renowned both domestically and internationally. It was the earliest medical facility to provide service to foreign guests in China, with special wards for foreign dignitaries and a clinic for senior cadres. The hospital ranked first on the list of China’s Best Hospitals Honor Roll for six consecutive years, from 2010 to 2015, released by The Institute of Hospital Administration of Fudan University.1
It has more than 4,000 employees, including 5 academicians, 20 national key disciplines, 29 national key clinical specialties, 16 PhD programs, 29 master’s degree programs, 6 national bases for continuing medical education, 18 training bases for residents with secondary disciplines, 15 training bases for residency specialists with third-level disciplines. The hospital has more than 2,000 inpatient beds.
It successfully performed China’s first renal transplant operation in 1973 and has a long history of and strength in performing liver transplants.2
Its liver transplant division has a strong team of doctors trained overseas. It has two doctoral advisors, three master’s advisors, five professors or associate professors, and five attending surgeons/physicians. All of these staff members hold PhDs. It also recruits a large number of training surgeons/physicians every year, and is responsible for teaching eight-year medical students and graduate students for Peking Union Medical College.3
The current director of hepatobiliary surgery is Huang Jiefu, former Deputy Minister of Health. He is a promoter of the second surge of liver transplantation in China. He served as director of the China Organ Transplant Board, vice president of the Chinese Medical Association, and a visiting professor of Harvard University, Stanford University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was the chief editor of 11 surgery monographs and participated in the editing of 5 surgery monographs.
The first list of organ transplant surgeons in Beijing contains names of doctors in the field of liver transplantation, such as Mao Yilei, Sang Xinting, Zhong Shouxian, and other well-known liver transplant doctors at Union Hospital.4
PhD advisor Zhong Shouxian lead the first liver transplant surgery at Union Hospital. He graduated from the Kharkov Medical Institute in the former Soviet Union and subsequently studied at Massachusetts General Hospital of Harvard University and the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He also served as vice chairman of the National Pancreatic Surgery Group, and editor and consultant of more than ten professional journals, such as Chinese Journal of General Surgery and National Medical Journal of China. 5
Mao Yilei was named one of the best ten professors of surgery at Peking Union Medical College Hospital in 2014. He completed a residency training program at Modbury Hospital in Australia in 1990. In 1997, he graduated from a PhD program in surgery at Lund University in Sweden, under the tutelage of Stig Bengmark, an academician of the European Academy of Sciences and President of the World Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association. He conducted research as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University in the United States and completed his clinical training with the Division of Surgical Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).6
Sung Xinting, the current deputy director of the liver surgery department and master’s degree advisor, studied at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden as a visiting scholar from 1993 to 1995.
In June 2006, the liver surgery department received funding of one million U.S. dollars from the China Medical Board in New York (CMB). This fund has been used to assist in the establishment of transplant standard and registration systems, domestic laws and regulations regarding transplantation in China, strengthening professional training, and expanding liver transplant-related research achievements. This project has the Peking Union Medical College Hospital of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences as the main body, in cooperation with the First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University and
Tianjin First Center Hospital. Professor Huang Jiefu, former Vice Minister of Health, served as the project director. The department is also responsible for a number of National Natural Science Foundation projects and cooperates with the United States, Canada and other countries for research-related projects.7
Its official website has removed all its liver transplant quantity figures and shows there are only 28 beds. However, in 2013, Guangzhou Daily reported that Huang Jiefu said, “I did 500 liver transplants last year.”8 These beds cannot accommodate even Huang Jiefu’s liver transplant recipients (or those performed by the team he oversaw).
Its urological surgery department started kidney transplants earliest, and has advanced technology and significant effect. It ranks second in a composite score in the Beijing area. In the field of kidney transplantation, it is on an internationally advanced and domestically leading level.9
There are currently 67 staff members and 80 beds in the urological surgery department. It has 37 doctors and 26 nurses, including 9 professors, 6 associate professor, and 11 attending surgeons / physicians, among whom are 3 doctoral advisors and 8 master’s advisors. It has 12 postdoctoral fellows or doctorates, and more than 10 people who have gone to Europe and other developed countries for further study. Each year, these PhD and master’s degree programs recruit 6 to 8 students and 12 in-service graduate students.
The hospital’s website shows that since the first kidney transplants were carried out in the 1970s, the hospital has completed nearly 1,000 kidney transplants. However, this number has not been updated in years.