As first year Chinese Medicine (CM) students at IMU, we had the opportunity to observe and learn the proper way of diagnosis in Chinese Medicine at Chi Hui Tang Traditional Chinese Herbal Centre (known as Chi Hui Tang in short). During our short Semester One, our cohort was placed into several groups of 5-6 people and went for a clinical attachment at Chi Hui Tang in Seri Kembangan. Besides us, there were also a lot of volunteers helping immobile patients and preparing herbal medicines. During this clinical attachment, we saw a lot of elderly patients with different kinds of symptoms such as knee pain, back pain and diabetes. We were also given the opportunity to observe how a Chinese medicine practitioner perform a proper diagnosis and professional treatment such as acupuncture, moxibustion and herbal medicine.
From this attachment, we have improved in the four diagnostic methods of Chinese Medicine such as observation, olfaction, enquiry and pulsation. Initially, there will be a lecturer demonstrating on how to perform a good diagnostic method. After that, we were given the opportunity to observe the tongue and check the pulse. This is a really great experience that helps us to differentiate the pathological pulses and tongue conditions. On top of that, we also learn communication skills in order to obtain enough relevant medical information from the patients. After the lecturers have completed their diagnosis, a short discussion will be conducted with the students to discuss on syndrome differentiation, pathogenesis, etiology and treatment principle. This really gives us a clear idea on how to do a good and clear diagnosis in the future. Also, we have gained a basic idea on performing acupuncture and moxibustion. Other than that, we have developed a deeper and better understanding on how to write a good case record.
Overall, the experience in Chi Hui Tang is very good and it broaden our knowledge and experience from many different perspectives. As future Chinese Medicine practitioners, it is important for us to improve our diagnostic skills and professionalism. Throughout this experience, we also realised that our knowledge is still far from sufficient and this increases our study motivation.
Written by IMU Chinese Medicine students, Siew Kuen Xian and Keng Shun Seng
Related article: Volunteering in the Chi Hui Tang Community Service