Officials from Shijiazhuang Kidney Disease Hospital in China visited Western University of Health Sciences on Friday, Dec. 2, 2011 to learn more about osteopathic medicine and lay the groundwork for future collaboration.

The hospital, located 150 miles south of Beijing, has more than 1,000 beds and specializes in kidney disease, and also has affiliated general hospitals.

Dr. Xitong Cao, President and CEO, and Dr. Ke Xu, dialysis center, met with several administrators and faculty members from the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP), as well as WesternU researchers and representatives from other colleges.

Cao said through a translator that he appreciated the tour of the campus and noted that WesternU has created an energetic environment despite the challenging global economic situation.

China is developing quickly, which causes a high demand for scientific and technical skills.

“I want to learn from WesternU how to develop a successful management style and educational style and take it back to China,” he said.

He is also looking to develop a student exchange where WesternU students have rotations in his hospitals in China and Chinese students visit WesternU.

“I want to get high-quality, professional people,” Cao said. “Here they will get a high-level education so they will be adapted to fast-developing China.”

WesternU has a lot to learn from their colleagues in China as well, said Edward V. Barnes II, MD, FACP, who is a COMP Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, Division of Nephrology and Hypertension.

“The fact that he has a kidney hospital that does things a little differently than we do here in the States might bring different perspectives and new innovations in the way that we do things,” Barnes said. “It would be good to collaborate. They may have a different approach to research, which might allow us to do a little more in-depth research on curative treatment for the kidneys rather than chronic disease management. I think we can both learn from each other discussing models that we have here versus models they have there.”

Through an exchange program, Chinese students could learn about WesternU’s innovative methods.

“We’ll show them what we’re doing to try to change medicine,” Barnes said. “I think their students will benefit from coming here.”