A Piece of Our History

A piece of our history: a Chinese translation of the Hippocratic Oath from the late 1980s

We recently discovered a piece of art created by one of our society’s founding members – a beautiful artwork of Chinese calligraphy which signifies the representation of Chinese Canadian medical doctors in Canadian medical society of the late 1980s. We give our thanks to Gladys Tong, who has researched the events around the creation of this artwork and written an introduction as follows.

In the early 1980s, several local Vancouver physicians including Dr.  Cheung C. Wong (late), Dr. Daniel Y. Tong, Dr. Howan Koo, Dr. Jay Cheng (late), Dr. Kai S. Chan, & Dr. Gilbert Ma met to discuss the formation of the Chinese Medical Society here in Vancouver. They were instrumental in starting the society and nominated Dr. Jay Cheng (late) to serve as the first president. By May 1985, the CCMS (BC) was legally constituted under the leadership of the late Dr. Jay Cheng (psychiatrist).

In 1988 Dr. Daniel Y. Tong had the idea to translate the Hippocratic oath into Chinese so that there would be Chinese representation in the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) in Ottawa. He did the translation and his father Wing Po Tong wrote the Chinese calligraphy. The finished work was presented to the CMA on Aug 24, 1988 by the CCMS (BC) at the Annual Meeting of the CMA at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Vancouver. It now resides in the CMA building in Ottawa.