What can doctors do actively for their patients instead of passively curing diseases?

This is the question I often ask myself

Twenty years ago, as I was still working as the attending doctor for both the department of Pain Management and Anesthesiology at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital. At the same time, I was also in charge of the establishment of Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s terminal cancer pain control center, which performs treatments towards the control of pain in terminal stage cancer patients.

During my time at Chang Gung, the family of several of my patients expressed gratitude towards me for alleviating the pain their significant ones had to go through during the final stages of his or her life. However, being a Pain Management doctor, I often feel very upset due to the fact that I can only alleviate the pain of my patients rather than successfully save their lives. Looking at my patients’ helpless eyes, I feel a deep sense of helplessness.

 “What else can a doctor do, besides loosely alleviate the pain of the patient, in the patient’s last days?” This feeling of powerlessness propelled me to practice Preventative Medicine and motivated me to rethink my motives and the meaning for being a doctor. In 1991, I founded the Lian-An Medical Institution. The institution provided comfortable environment and humane services so that the general public would no longer be anxious about medical examinations. Because of this, we have achieved the mission of “Early Examination, Early Treatment.” In 1994, Dr. Guei-Liang Wang and I founded An-Fa Clinic with the mission to lead and guide the anti-aging movement. In 2000, Dr. Huei-Zhen from Taipei Veterans General Hospital and I founded the Ron-Ke Medical Visual Imaging Center. This Center led Preventative Medicines to enter into a new age of Imaging and Nuclear Medicines.

In 2006, I introduced the concepts of Preventative Medicines to China and founded the Jin-Kang Health Management Center in Shanghai.

It has been twenty years since I embarked on this journey of preventive medicine. Even though most people in China and Taiwan have already commonly accepted the idea of preventive medicine, I still ask myself, “In regards to current medical limitations, what can I do more?”

Two years ago, I had the opportunity to shadow and intern stem cell field in the US. After witnessing the miraculous stem cell treatments (including the recovering of myocardial infarction patients, the regaining of the ability to walk from patients with stroke, and the regeneration of soft bone tissue from degenerative arthritis patients), I realized that the answer I’ve been looking for all along is this.

I believe that we must actively store our adult stem cells when we are still young. Having your adult stem cells stored allows you to take advantage of the benefits of upcoming stem cell treatments. This is like buying bio-insurance towards our life, a new way to extend the happiness between our family and us.

It is due to this thought, and also my own commitment to eliminate aging-associated diseases, that Enhance Cell Bank is established in 2010. Hopefully, the new way of thinking allows people have the freedom to enjoy healthier span of lives.

Henry Chu, 2010