INMED Academic

Hope Medical Group

Macau, China


Macau is located just west of Hong Kong on the southern tip of China. Though a modern, industrialized city, many people of working class have little access to medical care. Hope Medical Group provides a full-service clinic staffed by American physicians. They are assisted by Chinese family medicine residents who are training at Hope Medical Group.

Visiting medical students and residents can function in English, with translation provided. Housing is available within the clinic complex. In addition to work at the clinic, students may also participate in mobile clinics that are held in the factories and casinos of Macau. The ministry was begun by Bill Swan, MD, in 1980 while Macau was still a Portuguese colony.


Macau is an island in southeast Asia, just west of Hong Kong. Home to one half million Chinese, Macau is a province of China but enjoys more independence than the mainland. Macau is industrialized and has a large tourism industry. Cantonese is the main language. Summertime, May through September, is hot and humid.

Become familiar with China’s culture, history and economy by reviewing the Wikipedia China Profile. Rich resources for China health information include the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation IHME China Country Profile and the World Health Organization Global Health Observatory China Data.

Those coming to Hope Medical Group are generally of lower economic status. Many suffer from chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. TB, hepatitis A and B are very common, as are nasopharyngeal carcinomas. The clinic also sees a large number of patients with dermatologic diseases related to air pollution. Cantonese is the main language.

Students and volunteers can function adequately in English, with translation provided by that staff at Hope. Fluency in Cantonese or Mandarin is useful but is not essential.

Hope Medical Group is a primary care, family medicine clinic that serves about forty outpatients daily, including a large number are children. Those patients who require inpatient or obstetrical care are referred to a national hospital. Hope was started in 1980 by an American physician, Bill Swan, while Macau was still a Portuguese colony.

The full-time medical staff of Hope Medical Group consists of two American family physicians. Two additional American physicians will be joining the staff in the near future. Hope Medical Group provides a family medicine training program for Chinese physicians who have recently graduated from Chinese medical school. The number of family medicine residents at Hope is usually five or six.

INMED invites all participants to consider raising extra funds to financially support this facility. While such efforts are not required, they provide opportunity for INMED personnel to become involved in this important aspect of international healthcare.

Travel and Logistics

International travelers should fly into the international airport on Macau. A representative from Hope Medical Group will provide transportation to the facility.

Prospective visitors should visit the China Embassy website appropriate for their nationality. United States citizens are normally granted a visa upon arrival in Macau. An advanced visa application is not necessary. For the most up to date information please check the Chinese Embassy in Washington, DC.

Given the high prevalence of hepatitis A and B, visitor should be certain their vaccination against these infections is up to date. One should consult with their personal physician before traveling, and refer to the CDC Travel Website for the most up-to-date health information.

Travelers are advised to refer to the United States State Department website for the most up-to-date general travel information, and to regularly view current travel advisories.

Many American healthcare students and residents have worked at Hope, and the medical staff is very interested in teaching. In addition to work at the clinic, students may also participate in mobile clinics that are held in the factories and casinos of Macau. Previous INMED Learners who served at this training site include these Graduates.

Visiting students and volunteers are housed in apartments owned by the clinic. The clinic has Internet access. One can purchase meals at local restaurants or can be prepared in the apartments. Transportation about Macau is via bus or taxi, which are very inexpensive. Give the small size of the island, most people simply prefer to walk.

Clothing for clinical work is similar to that worn in the United States. Slacks or shorts may be worn by women. Male physicians do not normally wear ties to work. Be sure to bring a white coat and your stethoscope.

Visitors should bring copies of all healthcare profession licenses, diplomas, or certifications. It is also recommended to pack a carry-on bag that has essentials items just in case one’s luggage becomes lost. Bring clothes appropriate for the weather. Traveler checks are not accepted in Macau and should not be brought. It is easier to exchange U.S. dollars, preferably $50 and $100 bills. Bills should be new, without marks or wrinkles, otherwise Macau banks may be reluctant to exchange them for national currency.

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