By ALAN TURNER
Mississippi cardiologist Dr. Zilin Wang is bringing an interesting new concept to the Mississippi health care field: the medical resort.
Just what is a medical resort?
Basically, it’s a process in which Dr. Wang provides cardiovascular treatment to patients who come to Mississippi from China, and some from Japan. These patients are generally affluent business people who are looking to improve their cardiovascular health.
Born in northeast China, Dr. Wang’s parents were both physicians, and it was a natural step for him to attend medical school. After working in Japan for a period of time, he ultimately came to the United States, where he was associated with the Stoneybrook University Hospital, served for a time as a professor at Duke University, and became involved in setting up cardiac imaging centers around the country. Ultimately, his career brought him to Mississippi, where he is now engaged in private practice as a cardiologist.
In recent years, he has gradually added Chinese and Japanese to his patient base, and he is very much a doctor who focuses on lifestyle as an essential component of good cardiac health.
“I’ve had outstanding success working with people, getting them on healthy diets, exercise programs, and working with them to reduce stress,” he said. “And I’ve lost very few patients who are willing to make these lifestyle changes.” He says that his work with patients has “really made a difference in their lives”, and indicated that among his regular patients, he’s only seen five heart attacks and two strokes.
In his concept of a medical resort, he sees the value of having the patient come from China or Japan, learn how to improve his or her lifestyle, and have an enjoyable time in the process. The focus is on working with “high risk” patients who can benefit most from making constructive changes in their lives. He begins, of course, with a thorough evaluation of the patient’s cardiac health, and then prescribes a regimen of treatment to improve the patient’s life and odds of living in a healthier manner.
“My goal is to let them enjoy themselves while they are being treated,” he said. “I want them to be able to play golf or tennis, take walks, learn how good a healthy lifestyle can be.”
Dr. Wang says that there are more than 660,000 Chinese who visit the United States each year for treatment. His goal is to get a goodly number of those folks to come to Mississippi.
“I’m not just focused on China,” he said. “We’re also working with patients from some European countries, and of course, anyone is welcome to be a part of this.”
Ultimately, he sees a well-rounded facility where patients can come and stay for a brief period, learn about healthy lifestyles, and enjoy themselves in the process. Thus, the concept of a “medical resort”.
Once they’ve been here, Dr. Wang continues to work with them via telehealth processes, coordinating with their home physicians.