China’s new prosperity has brought to the fore concerns about medicine for the individual. Likewise, athletics is celebrated and that leads to injuries.
“People value family and they value health,” says O’Holleran. “Doctors there are very good.”
There was limited time to be a tourist. O’Holleran got to see the Great Wall and the Forbidden City. It was in Tienanmen Square that he finally had the feeling “China is watching you.”
Of course, he had no problems with the Chinese government. “You do what you’re supposed to do and everything goes well.” But that visit to the Square brought back to him the history in 1989, when a student rebellion was brutally suppressed by the government.
Among the Chinese doctors he met were many who had studied in America, and some of whom longed for the kind of freedom they had experienced here. For O’Holleran, that was probably the most profound lesson of all — an understanding of just how unique, how blessed we are here.
“It makes you appreciate America that much more,” he says. “There’s no place like America. We’re certainly lucky from a medical perspective, and we’re lucky as citizens.”