Duke Medical Chinese


The objective of Duke SOM Medical Chinese is to equip medical students with the necessary terminology, clinical phrases, and cultural competency in dealing with the growing number of Chinese-speaking patients. We intend to bridge language and cultural barriers by providing students with the opportunity to learn medical Chinese and to put it into use at the annual health fair for the Chinese population in Durham as well as in other clinical settings.



Social Event (the meet and greet)

Keep you eyes, ears, and maybe even mouth open for the upcoming Fall 2016 meet and greet event! Come meet your student instructors some time between September and October!

Medical Chinese Lessons

Language lessons focus on learning medical vocabulary and phrases for the primary purpose of conducting a patient history. Hour-long classes are offered to those interested in the Chinese language, regardless of fluency. Instructors led small group lessions targeted for three different levels of fluency. Students will be given a textbook/handout made by our curriculum directors for use during and outside of class. We wish to combine the practice of medical interviewing with the addition of the physical exam in preparation for the health fair as well as MS1’s transition into the wards. Didatic lessons will continue to be clinical based, organized by common diseases in each organ system. Each student would gain a basic understanding of important questions to ask during history taking and practice counseling patients on topics such as alcohol and smoking cessations.

In the past academic year, the language courses covered basic conversational vocabularies (i.e. self introduction, obtaining consents), medical vocabularies (i.e. anatomy descriptions, descriptions of pain and discomfort), mock patient interviews with various topics.
Annual Health Fair

Duke SOM Medical Chinese have held four annual health fairs in the past four years. We also partner up with Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association on this exciting project. Our fairs are held in the fall or spring of each year at a local Chinese church, and our target population is the elderly Chinese-speaking population in Durham. The fairs are typically 3-4 hours long, and consist of several health talks (given in Chinese by our members) and services to measure blood pressure, HA1c, and BMI.  Basic physical exams, including neural exams (diabetes foot exams w/ monofiliment for example) are also conducted. In addition, we partnered with Duke Sightsavers, who provided vision checks and glaucoma screenings. The fair is staffed with 10-20 medical students, 1-2 physicians to help interpret test results, and an ophthalmologist to counsel patient on eye exam results.  We usually have 50+ patients attending the fair!

In the past academic year, the health fair was held in spring 2016, and attracted about 70 patients during the day. We look to continue the success this year!

Guest Speaker Series

In Fall 2016, we would like to introduce guest speakers to our meetings to discuss exciting Chinese topics in the context of medicine (i.e. evidence for traditional Chinese medicine, healthcare policies in different countries, cultural barriers, research/rotations away from Duke). Having expert speakers will be new for this group, so stay excited!

Med chinese.jpg


Faculty Advisors

Duke Medical Chinese is under the mentorship of:

  • Yuh-Chin Tony Huang, MD, MHS
    Professor of Medicine
  • Yong-Hui Jiang, MD, PhD
    Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Neurobiology


Duke SOM Medical Chinese currently has approximately 20 active members with varying fluency in Mandarin.

Leadership 2016-2017 

Curriculum Director, Co-Chairs (and instructors!):

  • Jennifer Chien
  • Brian Jiang (bgj2@dm.duke.edu)
  • James Tian (james.tian@dm.duke.edu)

Past Leadership:

2015-2016: Curriculum Director and Co-Chairs — Jennifer Chien (jennifer.s.chien@dm.duke.edu), Brian Jiang (bgj2@dm.duke.edu), James Tian (james.tian@dm.duke.edu).

2014-2015: Curriculum Director and Co-Chairs — Emily Mao (yuehui.mao@dm.duke.edu), Julia Sun (lailai.sun@dm.duke.edu)