The Children's Hospital

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My Study in CHLA

By Dr. Liao Chan , from Hematology/Oncology Department
 
 I have an opportunity to study in Hematology/Oncology Department of Children's Hospital, Los Angeles (CHLA) for 3 months.
 
CHLA is a non-profit institution that provides pediatric health care since 1901, and also the first and largest pediatric hospital in Southern California. It is a premier teaching hospital since their affiliation with Keck School of Medicine of USC in 1932.
 
They have the largest pediatric hematology, oncology and blood and marrow transplant program in western U.S. Their Radiation Oncology Program is one of the only three in the country with state-of-the-art facilities. They are the only hospital with headquarters for four pediatric oncology multicenter clinical trial consortia, testing innovative therapies. Since 2008 they have ranked as Top 10 for pediatric cancer care by U.S. News & World Report. They have one of the largest programs of clinical trials for children with cancer and blood disorders. The Clinical Trials Program gives their patients the latest and most promising therapies. Each year, the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases enrolls more than 1,400 children in approximately 140 clinical trials and other research studies. I met some patients with relapse neuroblastoma or rhabdomyosarcome from China. They are treated here at extremely high expenses. A mother told me that they had to pay 1 million dollars in advance before treatment. 
 
The hospital is very clean and beautiful. The doctors don’t have to wear white coat. I follow the attending physicians doing the inpatient Rounds, talking about cases. The Hematology/Oncology Department is located in the new building of the hospital with all negative pressure rooms. All patients can be accompanied by parents. They have a huge team working together. They really pay attention to hand hygiene, washing their hands before and after entering each patient’s room. They care about patients’ dignity, privacy, comfort, and also pain control. They offer a Survivorship and Supportive Care Program which helps cancer survivors to embrace their future as healthy and fulfilled individuals, which we haven’t done yet. They really cure sometimes, relieve often and comfort always!
 
For two days I follow the experienced attending physicians to the Outpatient. All the outpatients are scheduled. After the nurse examine the vital signs and the lab results come out, the patients wait in separate rooms. One doctor is usually arranged 10-15 patients per day and sees each patient for about half an hour. Besides medical questions, they also talk about patients’ private life. The nurse practitioner makes sure all the things assigned by the doctor are proceeding. Many patients, especially those with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, can receive chemotherapy in the clinic.
 
They have lectures and conferences on the latest advances in pediatrics, as well as case discussion and scientific research design, from which I benefit much. Most doctors can apply for research fund and do research in The Saban Research Institute, which comprises basic, translational and clinical research. It ranks eighth in procuring National Institute of Health (NIH) grant funding. At the same time, many physicians conduct multicenter clinical trials and publish high level articles.
 
I continue to study in the CHLA!

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