“I think we were underestimated in the past”
Daiying Lin has built a successful career in her hometown of Shantou in Southern China, while still managing to raise her family. It does take its toll, but is definitely worth it, she says.
radiology.bayer.com (rbc): What are the challenges of practicing in a small Chinese megacity like Shantou?
Daiying Lin (DL): Considering Chinese dimensions Shantou is indeed little, but I come from Shantou and I feel very honored to dedicate my life to serve my people. We are living in the Internet age, so living in Shantou does not mean I am not connected to the world. I am happy working here.
rbc: What do you like most about your city?
DL: The hard-working spirit of the Shantou people. We are not only working very hard, we are also team players.
And I like the Kung Fu tea ritual very much – and the wonderful food.
rbc: Your workload at Shantou Center Hospital is huge. How do you cope with that?
DL: We do 400 CT and 170 MRI reports per day. The workload is tough, but I balance work and life. I do a lot of yoga during my free time and go for walks along the seaside. And I make sure to have enough time to enjoy Kung Fu tea with my friends.
Artificial intelligence Against Repetitive Work
rbc: If you could add one thing to the department, what would it be?
DL: Artificial intelligence. That’s because of the enormous throughput every day. I would like artificial intelligence software to save me and my colleagues from repetitive work. We could do more research instead.
rbc: What is special about your department?
DL: Many of our patients are local people. Their education level is generally not as high as in the big cities like Beijing or Shanghai. We speak this special Shantou dialect, so we can communicate very well with our patients. The spirit of our department is to serve as much as we can.
rbc: Do you as a radiologist also explain the readings to your patients?
DL: Everything is digitally connected, so the report will go directly to the clinician. This means the main communication between the patient and the radiologist is pre-exam. We check the patient’s disease history to choose the right scanning solution.
rbc: With the vast changes in China during the last decades, has the spectrum of diseases also changed?
DL: I have been doing radiology for more than 26 years and I see more and more cancer patients. The average life expectancy of the Chinese population has risen, so there are more old people with tumors.
Career and Family
rbc: There are more men than women in this department. How challenging was it for you to build your career while raising a family?
DL: Women play a very important role in family life in China, but also want to pursue self-realization and develop their careers. It takes its toll: When I got my scientific degrees and my tenure afterwards, I got up at five in the morning and went to bed at 11 at night. But it pays off. I love my work, but I also enjoy family life. I was lucky that my parents supported me.
rbc: Why did you become a radiologist?
DL: Back when I was at medical school, everyone was assigned to a specialty, there was no chance to choose. But I loved radiology, because it gave me the confidence that I really help patients and support clinical doctors to accurately diagnose a case. This is especially true for very rare diseases – without modern radiology they cannot be treated or identified at all. So I am really happy and satisfied, especially with MRI being my specialty right now. I am able to help a lot of patients.
rbc: Is there anything you would want to change?
DL: As a radiologist, it would make me very happy to improve the status of radiologists within medicine. I think we were underestimated in the past.
About Daiying Lin
With its 5 million inhabitants, Shantou is one of the smaller cities in China. Shantou Center Hospital is the largest and most prestigious hospital in Shantou. Daiying Lin is the radiology department’s Vice Chair at Shantou Center Hospital. She is responsible for MRI imaging.
The Kung Fu tea ceremony Daiying Lin is referring to is deeply rooted in the Shantou area. Kung Fu (or Gongfu) means the art of doing something well. So the Kung Fu tea ceremony’s literal translation means something like "making tea with skill". The ceremony consists of various steps, which they are easy to master and take only a couple of minutes. Shantouians usually use Oolong tea (which is partially oxidized, compared to fully oxidized black and non-oxidized green tea) for this ceremony.