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Be an Immune-Knowledge-ist

 By Dr. Zheng Qi, Rheumatology & Immunology Department
“We treat kids better!”. When I first stepped into Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (CHLA), the logo leaped out at me. When you walk in CHLA, you can see volunteers play guitar for little patients, you can see big and lovely dogs passing you by, you can see hospital’ garden crowed of neighbor farmers selling their products to hospital staff and patients every Wednesday morning. This is a profile of a hospital’s culture, I call it warm and special and fascinating atmosphere which makes a workplace as a home.
This summer, I spent four months in CHLA for Rheumatology and Immunology further study. Joseph Church is the head of division of Immunology and Allergy and also my tutor when I rotated in this department. He is an old and strict man who had just celebrated his 70’s birthday. Every early morning, he would push a small cart into the clinic office. The cart was full of patient pictures and information as well as references related to special diseases. He accumulated many patient cases, which have been encountered and re-organized into different folders. Every day, each doctor just handles eight to ten patients, so does Doctor Church. While, after each clinic day, he would focus on a particular case and teach us (me, fellow and residents) the molecular pathogenesis and what make patients have certain clinical manifestations and new treatment for the disease. At that time, his cart seems like a ‘gold mine’. Doctor Church is the first man who found Immunology and Allergy department at CHLA and has been working for the division for over 40 years. Until now, he still has a lot of questions about immunology and often shares his doubts and ideas with his students and colleagues.
In the end of my rotation, he shaken my hand and told me, “I feel honored to have you here. Remember to be an immune-knowledge-ist, because everything you have learned can help you be an expert in the future”. This will be one of the great treasures that I have in CHLA. I am grateful for the valuable learning opportunity at CHLA, which was given by our hospital. 

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