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Liver specialist, 96, still inspiring colleagues and medical students at Shanghai hospital
It was a Tuesday morning and chief surgeon Wu Mengchao of Shanghai"s Eastern Hepatobiliary Surgery Hospital, surrounded by his young students, had just helped remove a liver tumor from a patient. The operation took the 96-year-old Wu about 35 minutes, whereas it would usually take two hours for an average surgeon.
Despite his advanced age, Wu, the nation"s top hepatobiliary surgeon, does not show the slightest hesitation in his surgical capabilities. His glasses and mop of gray hair are the only signs of his advancing years. His mind remains sharp, his eyes are clear, and his hands are rock steady.
Being the first doctor in China to establish a theoretical basis for liver surgery, Wu removed his first liver tumor in the 1960s. Since then, he completed more than 16,000 operations over a 75-year career.
Retirement has never been a choice for the determined doctor, who continues to do surgeries at least twice a week.
"I"m still working because I"m still capable and hope to guide more youngsters," said Wu, founder and director of the hospital, which is affiliated to the Shanghai-based Second Military Medical University.
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