Professor Phillips Recognized For His Work With Tianjin Medical University

Article Conference CoverageFrom the 31st Annual Meeting of the American Association of Gynecological Laparoscopists (AAGL)

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Prof. Louis Keith, MD, PhD: I’m Louis Keith, I’m on the executive board of, and I’m here with Professor Jordan Phillips at the ACMI booth at the convention of the AAGL. Jordan was kind enough to ask me to assist him in the foundation of the AAGL many years ago and here I am having the great pleasure of interviewing him at the 31st convention of this organization. I have a specific point in interviewing you, Jordan, and that is to find out about not just another one of your trips to China, but a trip to China in which you were given an award. Now, as many of our listeners and viewers know, you’ve been to China many times, you’ve received many awards. This one is different. Tell us about the award, where it was given, who it was given and the importance of this in the international relations between the United States and China, if you will.

Prof. Jordan Phillips, MD, PhD: Certainly. Louis, it’s a pleasure to see you again. No matter where it may be, it’s always nice to see you. Yes, it is over 31 years now since we actually formed the AAGL and look at what’s happened.

 Prof. Louis Keith, MD, PhD: I can’t believe it.

Prof. Jordan Phillips, MD, PhD: No, one cannot believe the elegance of what’s happened. But China has been a joy for us, for my wife and myself. This time I was invited by the expert society, the experts of China, and the Chinese government gave to me the outstanding and the most significant award the Chinese government can give to a foreign expert and this was given and presented at the Great Hall of the People, it was presented by the Premier of all of China, showing the importance of foreign experts in helping the development of China.

 Prof. Louis Keith, MD, PhD: Now when you call yourself an expert, I know of two aspects of the relationship of your expertise in China. The first is your bringing laparoscopy to China and the second one was the medical books for China, which is a form of expertise, as well.

Prof. Jordan Phillips, MD, PhD: Yes.

 Prof. Louis Keith, MD, PhD: Now did they say, did the Chinese government specifically say what aspect of your work in China they were honoring?

Prof. Jordan Phillips, MD, PhD: There’s a third, what I call gifts to China. Yes, I did the first laparoscopy in China and then disseminated this technique all over China. I brought the first instruments, and yes, I started medical books to China International. We’ve now distributed over three million books in over 1000 libraries throughout China. The third gift to China is where I’ve actually created a sister city, a sister university relationship between my university, the University of California Irvine, and Tianjin Medical University, where we now have a sister relationship. By that, we have an exchange of scholars at all levels, we have exchange of professors, of teachers, of faculty, of researchers, of students. The Chinese coming to us to Irvine, to the University of California, and our people going to China, to Tianjin. Tianjin Medical University actually nominated me to receive this award.

 Prof. Louis Keith, MD, PhD: So, then, you could say that this was the frosting on the cake of all the awards.

Prof. Jordan Phillips, MD, PhD: That’s right, it really is. It’s the greatest thing that’s ever happened. We have, it was so significant that they had a five-day celebration in the whole of Beijing. Before that, Tianjin had a two day celebration because they’ve never, Tianjin has never won this prize before and the mayor of the city of Tianjin, nine million people in this city, and there’s municipal government and the people from the medical, Tianjin Medical University had a two day celebration for us in Tien, in the city.

 Prof. Louis Keith, MD, PhD: All right now, where is that close to? For the people who are not familiar with the geography of China, which is a subject in itself, where exactly is this?

Prof. Jordan Phillips, MD, PhD: Tianjin is ninety miles from Beijing; it’s the seaport to Beijing. It’s close to the coast and this is where all of our books actually are shipped to Tianjin.

 Prof. Louis Keith, MD, PhD: So they knew about you long ago.

Prof Jordan Phillips, MD: Oh, they knew, they’ve known me for twenty-three years.

 Prof. Louis Keith, MD, PhD: So they are the recipients of your largesse.

Prof. Jordan Phillips, MD, PhD: Yes.

 Prof. Louis Keith, MD, PhD: Well, where do you go next in China? What’s your next thought? If you had a wish list and could do something that you want to do that you haven’t done in China, what would it be?

Prof. Jordan Phillips, MD, PhD: I would say it’s using this sister university arrangement. We are now bringing TCM, traditional Chinese medicine, to the University of California at Irvine. We have set up a special department for this, we have physicians that are capable of doing acupuncture and prescribing Chinese herbs as supplements to other traditional western medications and this is a major step forward.

 Prof. Louis Keith, MD, PhD: Very good. Well, it seems that it doesn’t end.

Prof. Jordan Phillips, MD, PhD: No.

 Prof. Louis Keith, MD, PhD: It’s an endless stream of knowledge . . .

Prof. Jordan Phillips, MD, PhD: Yes.

 Prof. Louis Keith, MD, PhD: . . . of friendship, of communication.

Prof. Jordan Phillips, MD, PhD: And exchange.

 Prof. Louis Keith, MD, PhD: And exchange.

Prof. Jordan Phillips, MD, PhD: Yes, we learn from them and they, in turn, have learned from us.

 Prof. Louis Keith, MD, PhD: Jordan, it’s been a real pleasure.

Prof. Jordan Phillips, MD, PhD: Good. Nice to you see you, Louis, it’s always nice to see you.

 Prof. Louis Keith, MD, PhD: Thanks.

Prof. Jordan Phillips, MD, PhD: You’re welcome. Thank you.

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