An exemplary professor and general

An exemplary professor and general
On the occasion of Prof. Nguyen Ngoc Doan’s birthday (1914-2014), there have been articles about the image of a simple major general and outstanding medical doctor, as well as his contributions to the country’s medical development.

Graduating in medicine in 1939, he joined the Liberation Army the National Guard after the August Revolution and became Head of the medical session of Regiment 115. He had taken part in various military campaigns. He was a leading expert in internal medicine of the Army Medical Institute 108 and leading professor in pharmacology of the Hanoi Medical University.

Despite his important positions, what impresses me the most is the image of a simple man in loose and unironed army uniform. He always went to work by bike though he was permitted to use cars.

Ms. Duong Thi Chanh, a nurse of the Army Medical Institute 108 said Prof. Doan’s bike was so old that no thief wanted to steal it though he left it unlocked near a tree in front of the Insitute’s technical bureau.

Both pedals are lost, so he asked his friend to make two wooden pedals and used steel wire to tie them, she said.

Ms. Chanh said that Prof. Doan was always willing to share the difficulties with his staff, recalling one day when she and other nurses were having lunch with bread, the major general came and enjoy the simple lunch with the nurses.

He was such a simple general, the nurse said.

According to medical doctor Le Van Dinh, Prof. Doan always went to work by bike to keep fit in order help war invalids.

Ms. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Tu, Prof. Doan’s second daughter, said her father was always the one who got up early in the morning to prepare breakfast for the family and went shopping for dinner when he finished work.

His favourite food was stewed fish, which he said was delicious and contained calcium, and cassava and corn.

He was a devoted teacher who was always willing to help his students and young colleagues. He never talked about himself, but he was always eager to talk about anything he knew. Even in the last few days of his life in the hospital, he explained difficult things to his students. He said he was very happy to see that his students were better doctors than him. When he was working at the Hanoi Medical University, he always attached great importance to training young doctors. He encouraged young colleagues to learn foreign languages so that they can read medical books.

Prof. Hoang Tich Tuyen recalled Prof. Doan’s exciting lecture, saying that he usually made complicated things simpler by giving examples. He never considered plus or minus. In stead, the modest professor devoted all his time to curing people.

Dr. Dao Boi Hoan remembered a day when Prof. Doan called him to his room to check Hoan’s PhD thesis.

He looked exhausted and sad, so I asked him if he was tired, he said his son had an accident while working and underwent an operation in the afternoon. On the day I completed my thesis, I offer him a bunch of flowers but he told me to offer it to Prof. Dang Danh Khoi, who was having serious disease and passed away the day after, Dr. Hoan said.

What touches me the most is his he refusal to use precious medicine on his last days and reserved them for other war invalids as he knew that no medicine would cure him.

Prof. Doan was also one of the two major generals who were not a member of the Communist Party of Vietnam.

Source: Đại đoàn kết

Translated by Dic