My first blog entry for 2020: busy times

This post is my first blog entry for 2020, and it is not really about science. I have been away on a holiday trip during Dec 2019 and Jan 2020. Actually it was a working holiday. I also celebrated Lunar New Year with my family in southern Vietnam. The plan was to have a great time in Cambodia and Vietnam, but as the saying goes ‘man proposes, God disposes’, I ended up being busy throughout the trip.

After attending my nephew’s wedding in Rach Gia (my hometown), I returned to Saigon to conduct a 3-day workshop for more than 70 people at Banking University. I introduced the R language to students and researchers there. I was so happy to see many new friends in economics research.

Workshop at Banking Academy @ Hanoi.

Then, I attended the award conferring ceremony at Ton Duc Thang University (27/12/2019). I chair the University’s Awards and Prizes Committee. This year, the Committee selected 3 outstanding researchers for 3 awards: Lifetime Achievement, Rising Star, and Women in Science. The winners were Professor Timon Rabczuk of Bauhaus Weimar University (Germany), Professor Anderson Ho Cheung Shum of the University of Hong Kong, and Professir Sibel Aysil Ozkan of Ankara University (Tukey).

I went to Hanoi to attend the doctoral defence ceremony at Hanoi University of Pharmacy (31/12/2019). One of my students, Van Pham, defended her thesis on the cost-effectiveness analysis of osteoporosis treatment. This work has been going on for almost 6 years, and I am so happy to see that she had been conferred the degree of PhD.

From left to right: me, my student Van Hanh N. Pham, and Professor Binh T. Nguyen.

While in Hanoi, I was invited to give a one-day lecture at the Military Hospital 108. The Hospital is a premier medical institution in Vietnam. The lecture was attended by more than 100 military doctors and healthcare professionals. I was amazed at the development of the hospital; it has totally been transformed from a rather ‘poor’ hospital into a world-class institution. The Hospital is a house to many brilliant scientists who have done great research.

Back to Saigon, I conducted a one-day workshop in evidence-based medicine at Nguyen Tri Phuong hospital. I was so pleased to see more than 150 doctors and professionals in the workshop. In this occasion, I introduced my recently republished book titled “Evidence-based Medicine” to colleagues. The book has a brandnew makeup. It covers basic ideas of EBM such as PICOT framework, identification and evaluation of published literature, and basic biostat concepts in medicine. To date, this is the only book in EBM in Vietnam. In the past, the book has been well received by the medical community in Vietnam, with more than 5000 copies sold.

Then, back to Ton Duc Thang University, I had been busy with the 6-day training program (5/1 to 10/1/2020) on multi-level modelling and time-series analysis. I was so pleased to see 100 participants in the training program. They have learned new and important methods for handling complex scientific data.

One of the things that made me happy during this trip was the success of two CME programs in osteoporosis. Last year, I oraganized a CME course in Saigon for more than 200 doctors. This year, I wanted to bring the program to regional cities. The first one was hosted by Kien Giang Hospital on 12/1 for more than 100 doctors in the Mekong Delta region. The second CME program was hosted by the University of Danang on 16/1 for ~100 doctors mainly from central Vietnam. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all lecturers: A/Professor Le Anh Thu, Dr. Tang Ha Nam Anh, Dr. Vo Xuan Son, Dr. Ho Pham Thuc Lan, Dr. Doan Cong Minh, and Dr. Mai Duy Linh for their excellent lectures.

Then, I went to Hanoi again! This time, I was invited to conduct a 3-day workshop on data analysis for about 70 researchers and postgraduate students of the Banking Academy of Vietnam. This program was not planned, but it turned out to be one of my best engagements in the trip. All (I mean ‘all’) participants in the workshop were sooo studious and enthusiastic in learning new things. They want me back, and I will surely be back. Thank a million to A/Prof Pham Hoang Anh and Banking Academy’s friends for your great hospitality during my stay in Hanoi.

After the Banking Academy workshop I went home in Kien Giang for celebrating the Lunar New Year. So, in total, I had spent 21 days in various seminars, workshops, CME courses, and training programs. Finally, I had had 5 days of free-from-work and enjoyed the New Year. (Well, not really free, because I still had to handle manuscripts for our JBMR). I was absolutely delightful to meet many members of my extended family of 4 generations during the Lunar New Year of the Rat.

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