Follow Claude T. Moorman III, MD (Godfather), Aaron Krych, MD, Lance LeClere, MD and Robert Magnussen, MD, MPH on their tour through the Asia Pacific.
On Friday, we arrived at Taoyuan International Airport and set our watches back one hour. As we walked through the exit, the warmer air was noticeable as cooler early-spring temperatures in Seoul gave way to the mid-80s in Taipei. That evening, we met Professor Chih-Hwa Chen and Assistant Professor Pei-Wei Weng at Din Tai Fung restaurant for a welcome dinner. The restaurant is known for the ultimate experience in XiaoLongBao (handmade small dumplings), and we were not surprised to hear it is ranked #1 in the “101 Best Restaurants in Asia” list — it was fantastic!
A national holiday fell over our first weekend in Taipei, and the city seemed to relax from its normal frenzy. Professor Chen accompanied us on a sight-seeing and cultural tour in northeastern Taiwan. We visited the Longshan Temple (Dragon Mountain Temple) where we learned about Taiwanese religion and culture. We toured Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall to learn about Taiwan’s history over the past 80 years, including the three principles of the people written by Chiang: “Ethics, democracy, and science.”
We also traveled to Yehliu Geopark, nestled into a bustling beach town on the coast. The van ride left ample time to discuss healthcare in Taipei. We were curious to learn that culture-expanded autologous bone marrow and adipose derived stem cells are available for patients in Taiwan for the treatment of knee arthritis. We also discussed the biphasic minced cartilage scaffold under study for cartilage defects.
We enjoyed the company of many others, including Assistant Professors Jia-Lin Wu and Chen-Kun Liaw. Professor Chen gave our group Mandarin lessons, and we learned the nuances of different chop-stick designs. We continued to hone our dexterous abilities with the chop-sticks to master arthroscopy skill when we return home.
Our busy academic schedule in Taipei included a visit to Taipei Medical University and Shuang Ho Hospital, which featured a lively morning conference with lectures and discussion. In the operating room, Assistant Professor Pei-Wei Weng performed an ACL reconstruction for chronic instability, and Professor Chen discussed his multiple strategies to improve tendon to bone healing.
We then whisked away in a bullet speed train to Southern Taiwan where we met with Professor Paul Pei-Hsi Chou and toured the National Sports Training Center in Kaohsiung. We had a great time interacting with the Olympic athletes in gymnastics, power lifting, and volleyball, observing their drive for Citiuis, Altius, Fortius.
We participated in a second symposium at Kaohsiung Medical University discussing stem cells, suprascapular nerve entrapment, and patellofemoral disorders, and capped off the evening with an incredible Italian dinner at all’Onda, orchestrated by the food and wine pairings of Professor Chou—a true culinary master!
On Tuesday, we said zai jian (good-bye) to our new friends, and left for Hong Kong.
AOSSM gratefully acknowledges DJO Global for their support of the Traveling Fellowship program.