Dr. Cameron Rafael McKay Devoted to Chinese Medical Education at Nankai University

Fig.1: Dr. McKay and his wife

The 67-year old Dr. Cameron Rafael McKay is the winner of “Haihe River Friendship Award” of the year 2017, and he is also the first full-time clinical foreign professor of School of Medicine of Nankai University. Remarkably, He has brought the latest English Medical Courses and advanced American clinical teaching ideals to the School of Medicine and greatly advanced the medical education of Nankai University.

Fig.2: Dr. McKay is giving instructions to a Chinese teacher in the preparation of English-teaching course

McKay’s “happy teaching” method innovates educational ideals

Dr. Cameron Rafael McKay (“Old McKay” is a nickname for him from his students) graduated from California College of Podiatric Medicine, and he is a licensed medical practitioner with about 40 years’ clinical experience. After his retirement in 2015, he was sent by Brigham Young University to teach at Nankai University in the exchange program between Nankai University and Brigham Young University.

Dr. Cameron Rafael McKay has taught many courses including “General Medicine”, “Medical English”, “Evidence-based Medicine” and “Medical Imageology”. He proposed to adopt small-class teaching method in order to guarantee teaching quality. As a result, his accumulated teaching hours has reached 208 hours, which has exceeded the average teaching hours of other teachers of the School.

Meanwhile, Dr. Cameron Rafael McKay brought American teaching methods to Nankai University. He always demonstrates some experiments in person so as to inspire the students in a more direct manner.

Fig.3: Dr. Cameron Rafael McKay is instructing his student to conduct local anesthesia

During a course about Heimlich Maneuver, Dr. Cameron Rafael McKay would pretend to be choked by a fishbone, and ask his students how to handle the situation. His student would step onto the platform, put both hands onto his abdomen and press with strength, thus operating the rescue manners. During the course about local anesthesia, he unexpectedly asked a student to inject local anesthetics into his arm in order to better show the physical reaction after local anesthesia and the nature of anesthetic.

Serving Nankai University’s Medical Education and Passing on the Mission of Healing the Wounded and Rescuing the Dying

"In Mexico, 'Mi casa es su casa' means 'My home is your home'”. Dr. McKay said emotionally, “When I came to Nankai University for the first day, everybody around here impressed me with the same feeling.”

As a member of Nankai University, Dr. McKay tried his best to make his due contributions to his “family”.

In order to attract more American medical professionals to teach in the university, Dr. McKay seized every opportunity to get in touch with the outstanding overseas talents on either the occasions of meetings in China or his holiday in the US.

During the international talent forum of Nankai University in the winter holiday of 2017, he worked with the Dean of School of Medicine Xiang Rong and successfully brought four foreign teachers into Nankai University. All the foreign teachers have started to work in the university.

Fig.4: Dr. McKay is giving the course “General Medicine” to the overseas students

Many Chinese teachers have confronted with difficulties in teaching the overseas students due to their own English proficiency. Dr. McKay not only teaches medical courses for overseas students, but he also provides volunteering English teaching guidance for Chinese teachers of the School who can feel free to make appointments with Dr. McKay for English teaching tutorials.

“It seems that Dr. McKay has infinite energy. From dawn to dark, his schedule was always fulfilled with the tutorials for teachers, doctoral, master and undergraduate students and even for the kids of the teachers. As an elder at the age of 67, he always regarded us as his ‘Chinese kids’. Once he cooked for us in the lab at the sight of our working late to the midnight. He also invited us to his dorm and sends red packages during the Spring Festival.” One of Dr. McKay’s students Peng Xi recalled.

As a foot surgeon, Dr. McKay also provides free clinic for students and teachers. Once he found a student suffering from foot sprain during a class. He sent the student to hospital as soon as he diagnosed it as an anklebone fracture so as to prevent the worsening of the injury.

Thanks to Dr. McKay’s dedication to his work, he won wide applause from the teachers and students of School of Medicine. He successively won the award of 2016 “Outstanding Teacher of Nankai University’s School of Medicine”, and was shortlisted for the Person of the Year of 2016 “Foreign Teachers in China”. He also won the prize of 2017 Tianjin Haihe Friendship Award, which aims at commending foreign experts who have made outstanding contributions to the economic and social development of China, and is also the highest prize of Tianjin Municipal Government.

Fig.5: A photo of Dr. McKay and his students

“I have made two best decisions in my life: one is getting married with my wife, and the other, my career.” Dr. McKay said. “When I was a doctor, my teacher helped me a lot, however, what I could pay him in return was little. But now, I can make up for the regret through helping more students.”

In the early September this year, Dr. McKay applied for an extension of his teaching at Nankai University at the end of this term of employment. “I believe that my students will become successful doctors in the future and they will save a lot of lives. It is of vital importance for me to heal wounded and rescue the dying, and serve medical education wholeheartedly.” Said Dr. McKay.

Reported by Hao Jingqiu

Translated by Wang Yaqiang and Shi Yuchen

Proofread by Ada Yan

Nankai University

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