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Moving PKU 2010 - Ma Qingjun

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Dr. Ma Qingjun of PKU Third Hospital devoted his life to the cause of saving lives with his expertise and love. When he passed away at the age of only 56, he moves the university, and the country.



Peking University, Dec. 27, 2010: Dr. Ma Qingjun left his patients, his fellows and students, and his mission to cure and to save on July 17, 2010 at the age of 56. At his own request, a white gown was put beside him.


He worked as a doctor for 33 years, having changed thousands of people's lives with his excellent medical skills and a loving heart.




Dr. Ma Qingjun (File photo)


File Video from PKUTV (in Chinese)



Lifesaver with Superb Medical Skills and a Loving Heart   

Dr. Ma Qingjun, China's famous orthopedics expert and Deputy Director of the Department of Orthopedics of Peking University Third Hospital, struggled for the development of the orthopedics of our country all his life.


The Department of Orthopedics of Peking University Third Hospital is prestigious in this field in China. As the director in charge of teaching and research in the Department of Orthopedics, he worked as a model of perfection. He presided over and participated in several research projects and won national rewards many times.


In his spare time, he loved reading books very much. When he came back from advanced studies in America in 1999, he took a large box full of professional books and printed materials.


At PKU Third Hospital, he is a well-known good man. He was extremely responsible for his job, with no details overlooked, without any malpractice and having saved thousands of lives.


In 1997, a patient suffering from cervical spondylosis asked Dr. Ma Qingjun for help. Ma decided to do an operation almost immediately. The patient offered bribes the night before the operation. Ma didn't say anything at that time. But after the successful operation, Dr. Ma returned the money back.


In Dr. Ma's eyes, for a good doctor, excellent medical skills are only the prerequisite, while good virtue is a more essential quality.


Loving Heart Receives Prestige   

Ma Qingjun got married in 1979. When his wife talked buying things for their new home, he became silent. He had been in debt because of paying the hospital bills for a poor patient. As a newly married husband, the first salary bill he gave to his bride was a debt note. His wife understood him very well and supported him for the next 30 years.


Dr. Ma never said no to people who came to him for help. Every time he went back to Shandong to visit his relatives, his house became a free hospital for neighbors. Once, he encountered a heavy snow when he went back to Shandong. However, the heavy snow couldn’t stop him seeing patients. When he was told that a patient was too sick to get up out of bed, he braved the weather and went a long way to the patient’s home.


In the Spring Festival of 2008 when his daughter was married, his whole family went to Shandong for the wedding. On the half way, he received a phone call asking him to do a difficult operation at the Binzhou Hospital he would stop by. He went ahead there without a second thought and left his family waiting on the road. 


Dr. Ma always said: "The highest trust of the patients toward us is to have us cure their diseases."


Cherishing Patients’ Lives More than His Own

The book Essential Recipes for Emergent Use Worth a Thousand Gold tells doctors to regard patients “as their families and not to worry about the safety of themselves.” Dr. Ma Qingjun interpreted it with his own conduct.


The alumni meeting for 30 years after university graduation was held on Oct.1, 2008. The day before the meeting, Dr. Ma Qingjun received a phone call from Linyi asking him to see a severely-injured construction worker, as soon as he came back to Shandong with his families. He arrived at Linyi the next morning, but unfortunately wrenched his waist when doing the operation.


With a plaster on his waist, he still attended the alumni meeting. But besides the alumni meeting waiting for him, there were also dozens of patients waiting for his help. At the lobby of the hotel, one of them said to him that he didn’t have enough money to have operations in Beijing and Dr. Ma immediately arranged a operation at the local hospital for him. The date of the operation was Oct. 5, and Dr. Ma passed out beside the operation table on Oct. 9.


"Doctor Ma got ill because of exhaustion!"

Dr. Ma Qingjun looked just a little disappointed after he was informed that he was in the later period of liver cancer. When his families and friends came to visit him in hospital, he recalled with a smile the emergent situation of the day he passed out beside the operation table. As a doctor, he knew he had little time left, but he couldn’t leave his work and his patients behind.


He had no time for rest, because he spent his time searching for materials to write a professional book on orthopedic biomechanics. He used to be too busy to write a book, but now he got a chance because of the disease. Therefore, he kept writing in the gaps between chemotherapy regardless of his sickness and vomiting.


Three months after his operation, he actively took part in making the rounds of the wards. Soon he went back to his beloved operation table.


From May 27 to 30, 2010, Dr. Ma was invited to lecture at the training courses for medical workers of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang. When he heard it was a program aimed at supporting the west, he accepted the invitation gladly. At that time he had have ascites for almost one month and severe lower limb dropsy. In Xinjiang, the doctor, with one hand holding on the table, was standing all through the lecture.


Dr. Ma's Funeral at Babaoshan (File photo)


Selfless Love Enlightens Everyone

Dr. Ma Qingjun always cared for his patients, students, and family, but not for himself.


After Dr. Ma got ill, every time a nurse came to change his intravenous drip or a young doctor came to change dressings, he always explained to everyone present the medicine’s effects, side effects and matters that called for attention in use. He even explained seriously the basic operation of changing dressings. Though lying in bed, he seemed to be standing on a teaching platform gracefully.


Dr. Ma Qingjun spent every minute and every second in revising his students’ theses, checking and approving magazine contributions, and writing his professional book. After the Spring Festival of 2010, the translation work of the book Spine Surgery started, and Dr. Ma in illness undertook the tough task of proofreading. In May, 2010, Dr. Ma's five postgraduates were going to take the oral defense for graduation. Every morning, Dr. Ma got up to revise their theses at about 4:00 am. He deliberated every professional word and every research description and even paid attention to punctuation, notes, and capitalization.


A few days before the oral defense, when the four students came to visit Dr. Ma Qingjun, he was on a drip. He got up and signed sign on each student’s document with great pains. In the process of the oral defense, Dr. Ma who should have been in the hospital insisted on attending, and at that time, he already had an obvious abdominal distention when standing. Finally, all of his students passed the oral defense successfully, but he moved into the hospital and never came out again.


Dr. Ma Qingjun wrote his will in bed a few days before he passed away. It was all about his unfinished work. On his deathbed, the doctor told his families to put a white gown beside him in memory of his beloved career.



Reported by: Wang Bei

Translated by: Chen Wei and Xu Xinyi

Edited by: Zhang Chunlan

Copyright 2010 Peking University News | BeidaNews@pku.edu.cn