As a young man, I developed an interest in history and government. I therefore entered BYU as a political science major, even though I had my eye on medicine for a career. After my freshman year, I was called to serve in Hong Kong, where I learned to love the Chinese people and culture. Along with other Hong Kong/Taiwan missionaries, I yearned for the day the gospel would be taught on the mainland.
Returning to BYU after my mission, I changed my major to Asian Studies, and continued to take pre-med courses. While my science classes were necessary tools for my future profession, the courses I enjoyed most focused on China and Asia. It was my great privilege to study under Professors Lanier Britsch, Larry Brown, Ray Hillam, Paul Hyer, Spencer Palmer, and Sechin Jagchid.
While at BYU, I first attempted to combine my dual Asia/science interests. My senior paper was a comparison of nurse practitioners in Utah (a new advent in medicine) with Mao’s barefoot doctors during the Cultural Revolution.
After graduation from BYU in 1975, I entered the University of Utah’s School of Medicine. I completed specialty training in 1982 and moved our young family to Salem, Utah. The Lord has blessed me with a wonderful wife and a family of eight marvelous children. I am in my twenty-fourth year as a family physician.
Throughout this time, my BYU experience, mission, and desire for Zion to grow (Doctrine and Covenants 58:27) has kept me involved with humanitarian projects in China and elsewhere. In 1978, just after the “bamboo curtain” fell, I was honored to represent U.S. medical students in a scientific delegation to China.
Beginning in 1985, I began to organize teams of doctors, who traveled to China to teach and lecture for one to two weeks. This effort evolved into a focus on teaching techniques to care for sick infants or neonatal resuscitation. With generous support from the Church, this fledging effort continued and expanded in China, and I returned many times.
Teaching neonatal resuscitation to health providers in developing countries has now become a “Major Initiative” of Church Humanitarian Services. It is now my privilege to assist with the administration of this program as a part-time service missionary.
Two years ago I returned to BYU as a student in the Master of Public Health (MPH) program. In the thirty years since my undergraduate experience, some things have changed (I am older than most of my professors!) but I still love to learn. BYU has had a profound influence on my life thus far and will continue to do so.