Zhu Futang, born on November 28, 1899, in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, graduated from Peking Union Medical College (PUMC) in 1927 and obtained his MD from the Medical School of the State University of New York. He worked as teaching assistant, lecturer, and professor at the Pediatrics Department of PUMC. He went to Boston Children’s Hospital of Harvard University, USA, for training during 1931-1933 and served as director of the Pediatrics Department at PUMC after his return. After the Pacific War broke out, PUMC was forced to close and Professor Zhu Futang soon joined hands with professors Wu Ruiping and Deng Jinxian to found Beiping Private Children’s Hospital in 1942. He started working concurrently as professor of pediatrics at the School of Medicine, Peking University, in 1945. When Beiping was liberated in 1949, as was called upon by the Communist Party of China, he stayed in the city. In 1952, he, together with the other two founders of their hospital, turned in the hospital to the government at their own initiative, and the hospital was renamed Beijing Second Children's Hospital. After the People's Republic of China was founded, under the leadership of then mayors Peng Zhen and Liu Ren, and others, Zhu started to prepare for the building of the first large children's hospital of China and served as its first president till 1981 when he became honarory president.
Professor Zhu Futang joined the Communist Party of China in 1956, and was elected as deputy to the first through sixth National People's Congress, Beijing Municipal People's Congress, and member of the Executive Committee. During 1950-1981, he was director of Chinese Society of Pediatrics, and editor in chief of Chinese Journal of Pediatrics. He was appointed as academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1955. He also used to serve as Vice Chairman of the National Committee of Child Protection and Director of the Institute of Pediatrics, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences.
Professor Zhu Futang is a renowned expert in pediatrics and the founder of modern pedatrics in China. He was devoted to the research on globulinum placentae for the prevention of measles in children as early as in the 1930s when he was studying in the US and was hailed by Times as a blessing for children. He also conducted in-depth research on the clinical treatment of Vitamin C deficiency in children and published dozens of papers on this topic. In the 1960s, he led a team of professionals from seven institutions around the country to create attenuated live vaccine for measles and promoted it across the country, lowering the prevalence and fatality of the disease and putting this major infectious disease under effective control in China.
Zhu Futang made up his mind to compile a monograph on pediatrics in Chinese in 1937. For that purpose, he collected massive materials and read extensively in foreign languages despite of the heavy workload of medical service delivery and teaching. Finally, the first edition of Practical Pediatrics was published in 1943. For decades, Zhu and his colleagues revised this book of over a million words for five times and the book was highly valued at home and abroad, winning the first prize of the National Outstanding Books Award in 1993. Professor Zhu Futang donated the book royalties he accumulated over the years to set up a prize for organizations and individuals who have made great contribution to Beijing Children's Hospital.
Working as a pediatrician and an educator for over 60 years, Zhu always values the morality of a medical worker, cares for his patients, and has made extraordinary contribution to medical services, education, research, and healthcare. Zhu was the one who proposed the motto of “public-mindedness, compassion, diligence, harmony” for BCH. Throughout his life, he has been strict with himself and tolerant and kind to others, bringing up generations of pediatricians, many of whom have become renowned pediatric experts at home and abroad.
Professor Zhu Futang devoted all his life to the development of pediatrics in China. He is always a role model for us because of his seriousness about academic research, plain lifestyle, hard work, integrity, patriotism and loyalty to socialism.
He was always hardworking and persistent. He won the Wenhai Golden Key Award when studying at PUMC, the title of Model Worker of Beijing in 1953, Beijing Science and Technology Conference Award in 1977, model worker at the National Science and Technology Conference in 1978, national model worker for children in 1978, and Camphor Award for Women and Children Well-being of China Welfare Institute in 1990. To call on pediatric professionals around China to learn from Zhu Futang, the Ministry of Health of China and the Canada-China Children’s Health Foundation jointly launched the annual Zhu Futang Award for outstanding clinical pediatricians, pediatric researchers and children’s healthcare professionals in China.
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