Q&A with Ian Tang, MD, Physician

Apicha Community Health Center Nov 25, 2015  

Update: As of October 2017, Dr. Tang is no longer a provider at Apicha Community Health Center

Dr. Ian Tang joined Apicha Community Health Center‘s medical team in 2013 to serve as a primary care physician.

He studied medicine in Hong Kong before coming to the United States to do his internal medicine residency and complete a fellowship specializing in infectious disease.

After his training, Dr. Tang conducted lab research at Rockefeller University and taught at New York Medical College.

1. You are one of the newer family members at Apicha CHC. What has been your experience so far and how would you describe the corporate culture at Apicha CHC?

Apicha is a very well run health center that strives for excellence. My coworkers are dedicated, skillful, and resourceful. I believe the patients here get an outstanding level of care.

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2. Why did you decide to do your residency in the US after completing your medical studies in Hong Kong?

I always admired the diversity of the USA. It is a great melting pot where different cultures of the world come together and new ideas and inventions are created. I also especially like New York City because it is a powerhouse for the arts: music, performance, drama, opera, ballet, museums, and art schools – my latest discovery.

3. What are – in your opinion– the main differences in health care and medicine in Hong Kong and NY?

When I was growing up Hong Kong was British colony. It is a two tiers system: basic health care just like the NHS in the UK for all, but expensive treatments are beyond reach for many due to budget constraints. People with means pay cash for interventions not covered by insurance. I believe there is private insurance there now as well, but since I have not visited Hong Kong for over 20 years I am not an expert in that subject.

4. How has coming from an international background helped in your career and specifically with patient interaction?

I believe my early preparation to live abroad allowed me to maintain the ability to learn new languages. Being able to speak different languages helps to improve the interaction with patients. I believe they generally appreciate my trying to speak their language as a gesture of good faith.

5. What did you enjoy most about teaching at the New York Medical College?

I was one of the teachers attending in the Infectious Disease fellowship program. The fellows were very competent internists who wanted to become infectious disease specialists. When I joined the program I noticed that despite their high level of skill in everyday practice the past rate for the Infectious Disease boards needed improvement. I made it a point that fellows working with me get daily Continued Medical Education that simulate real life practice. I was glad to see the fellows passing the examination after the intervention was started.

6. What general health advice do you give to your students?

I think it is important to take care of yourself so you can provide good care to others.

7. What are your favorite activities outside of work?

Sleeping? Ice cream…. I am just kidding. I hope you print it. I had played classical piano for a while but am very rusty now. I do enjoy classical music, opera, and fine art museums. I am taking an oil painting class that is great fun because there is a lot of room to experiment and express oneself without words.

8. Is there anything else you would like to share with Apicha CHC’s blog readers?

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