Students at a junior-high school in Hsinchu City recently decided to name their class after a Taiwanese doctor who has devoted himself to looking after residents in his hometown in Taitung County.
A total of 10 classes of seventh-graders at Hsinchu Municipal Zhu Guang Junior High School this year are to be named after people who have made great medical contributions.
Hsu Chao-pin (徐超斌), head of the Daren Township (達仁) Public Health Center, is among the group of medical professionals that includes Hippocrates, Florence Nightingale and Hua Tuo (華佗), a second-century Chinese physician.
Since it opened eight years ago, the school has been letting students name their classes after people who have made great contributions in various areas. Hsu is the first Taiwanese to be chosen in the school’s history.
Hsu, 45, caught the public’s attention when he was awarded the Caring for Life Award by the Buddhist charity group Dharma Drum Mountain Humanitarian and Social Improvement Foundation in 2010.
Hsu quit his high-paying job at a major hospital 10 years ago to take up a physician’s post at the public health center in his hometown. He drives more than 5,000km every month to visit every community in mountainous Daren.
Honored for his efforts to help establish a 24-hour emergency service in Dawu Township (大武), Hsu’s story of continuing to practice medicine after suffering a stroke that paralyzed part of the left side of his body was widely publicized after the award ceremony.
Although he still cannot use his left hand after the stroke he suffered seven years ago despite rehabilitation exercises, Hsu continues his practice because he is “the only doctor for the 4,000 residents in Daren.”
“Maybe it’s because of my good looks?” Hsu said after hearing that his name had been chosen by the students of the class.
The doctor, a Paiwan Aborigine, said he felt honored, especially since there are more established medical professionals than him in the country.
Chen Yi-chen (陳羿真), teacher of the “Hsu Chao-pin” class, said students had studied each name on the list provided by the school before choosing the one they wanted to name the class after.
One of the students in the class, surnamed Shao (邵), said she thought Hsu was brave and different, while another student, surnamed Chen, said she was moved by Hsu’s devotion to his profession and his hometown, despite his physical disability.
The school has invited Hsu to give a speech next month, and the class is also planning to visit the doctor in Taitung next summer.