Hunimed Students’ Experiences Abroad: Giovanni’s story

Giovanni Forni is one of Hunimed medical students that had the opportunity to spend 2016 summer abroad for medical training.
In this article, he describes his observership experience at Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, in China.

China Experience

Written by Giovanni Forni, Hunimed student

I came to know Doctor Chen – associate chief physician at Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University – during his visit in Humanitas Hospital last December. At that time I was attending my surgery clerkship in our Urology Department. We immediately bonded and started a good friendship.
One night, after our usual Chinese dinner, he mentioned that he was willing to send me an invitation to visit his department in Wuhan. I caught the opportunity and I soon started planning for my unexpected but exciting visit.

Six months later I arrived in Wuhan City, deep in the hinterland of China, with my poor Mandarin but a great desire to learn. It was not my first time in China or in a Chinese hospital, but I was still struck by the radical differences from our reality.

Hunimed student during his summer observership in Wuhan, China

The Urology Department was situated at the last 3 floors of a 26-floor skyscraper where almost 180 patients were hospitalized at the same time. All corridors and halls were so packed with beds that doctors and I had to walk in line from one room to another. With so many patients, time management becomes crucial. Indeed, as one operation ended, another would start in few minutes with little or no break for physicians and nurses.

Doctors were very helpful to me: they patiently gave me explanations towards all surgical procedures and they even trusted me in helping them in both minor and major operations. Even though I was always exhausted at the end of the day, I highly appreciated the time spent in the ward.

After the working time, during the evening, doctors often took turns in showing me local markets and food district which are usually open till late night as it is the time when local people socialize between a bowl of règānmiàn (dry noodles with local sauce) and a glass of rice wine.

I am glad that I made some good friends and met well-established doctors who devote their life to research and medicine.

My greatest gratitude goes to Doctor Chen Zhiyuan and Xiuheng Liu, Professor of Urology at Wuhan University, for patiently following me during my observership and, of course, endless thank to Humanitas University for making this profitable experience come true.

A quick overview of all Hunimed students’ experiences in this video.

Read also Cecilia’s and Sara’s experience.

More individual stories coming soon: stay tuned!


Humanitas is a highly specialized Hospital, Research and Teaching Center. Built around centers for the prevention and treatment of cancer, cardiovascular, neurological and orthopedic disease – together with an Ophthalmic Center and a Fertility Center – Humanitas also operates a highly specialised Emergency Department.