Message from the Creators
A truly interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral collaboration
《杏林遍地》is the most unique kind of collaboration, one that brings together for a common cause an alumnus (myself), current medical students (the singers and the talented lyricist-author Bart Wong), a parent of a student (Cantopop maestro Chiu Tsang Hei), as well as faculty members from different departments (Harry Wu, medical historian who is a semi-professional singer-songwriter from Taiwan, and Chi Chung Wong, Assistant Director of General Education Unit who has inspired generations of music lovers in Hong Kong) … not to mention many other musicians and personnel, without whom the song would not be possible.
A pop manifesto
On your first listen, you may find that this sounds just like a pop song, one that utilises the good old verse-verse-chorus structure like many theme songs. Think about Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas" in response to Ethiopian famine and Michael Jackson's "We Are the World" as part of the international aid effort for Africa. In fact, underneath that pop-tinged melody, it is also a manifesto of the values that the medical and health profession upholds – that we should be humbly treating the patients all through their circle of life. It serves as a reminder of the initial dream and mission to be the "forest of the apricot trees" (a Chinese honorific for good doctors) for those in need.
When music meets health
On a personal level, this project has allowed two of my greatest passions in life – health and music – to finally marry each other in the same piece of work. In fact, I started composing and producing professional music in 2006, the same year that I started my PhD study on the impact of socioeconomic development on population health under the supervision of Professor Gabriel Leung at the School of Public Health, HKU. I would work on my music as a hobby, at night time and during weekends, when I needed a break from cranking numbers out of the numerous epidemiological models and trying to make sense of the parameter estimates, the confidence intervals and the p-values. Still, after all these years, I never had a chance to pursue these two different passions of my life in a single project, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Professor Leung for realizing this dream of mine.
A sweet melody of life
As I am embarking on the next stage of my life journey, the seminal years I spent at the Medical Faculty learning the virtues of caring for the society and the needy will always ring as the sweetest melody of my life. I sincerely wish you can all join us in serenading this melody in pursuit of a healthier and better future for our society.
Dr Roger Chung
PhD 2011, School of Public Health, HKU
Assistant Professor, School of Public Health and Primary Care,
The Chinese University of Hong Kong