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5 minutes with Cheng-Pei

09 November 2021

Dr Cheng-Pei Lin is a postdoctoral researcher at the Cicely Saunders Institute of Palliative Care, Policy & Rehabilitation. We spent 5 minutes with Chengi-Pei to find out about his unique experiences as an international student from Taiwan and why he chose to move into palliative care.

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What drew you to palliative care?

Two decades ago, my grandfather suffered from pancreatic cancer and died with painful side effects. At that time, we knew little about palliative care. After my grandfather passed away, I realised that there was an urgent need for me to grow professionally and personally so I set my goal to be a medical professional in order to help people like my grandfather. I gained experiences in clinical practice and research while completely my Masters in Nursing, however, I felt that I was not able to provide the best patient care and conduct high-quality research. So, I applied for the PhD programme with Cicely Saunders Institute of Palliative Care, Policy & Rehabilitation (CSI) at King’s to advance my research capacity and improve my clinical practice. 

What are you currently working on now?

After I completed my PhD, I started working as an assistant professor in nursing at the Institute of Community Health Care, College of Nursing, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, Taiwan. I spend my time teaching undergraduate and postgraduate nursing students in community healthcare and palliative care.

I am also working on several projects that aim to improve the understanding of advance care planning in Taiwan, where the cultural background and healthcare system are different from the Western culture. By doing so, better promotion of the concept of “advance care planning” and “palliative care” could be achieved and also devising cultural appropriate training programs for staff, medical students, and the public to improve the healthcare services.

What advice would you give to someone considering studying at the Cicely Saunders Institute?

During my three and half years at CSI, I enjoyed working with multidiscipline colleagues around the world. I have broadened my horizons by exchanging our learning from clinical and research experiences across cultures. The welcoming and friendly working environment and atmosphere are absolutely fantastic and really helpful for my study. At the CSI, we work very closely together and this creates really good relationships as colleagues and friends. If you are interested in advancing palliative care research or clinical practice, join us and you will find that it's definitely worth it.

Best advice you have received?

Dream BIGGER, no fear

What challenges have you overcome during your studies?

English is not my mother tongue. Using English to communicate and writing essays and thesis has been especially challenging. Studying and living abroad alone are other challenges. However, I received a lot of help and assistance from my supervisors and also colleagues in CSI. Thanks to all my CSI colleagues’ support and friendship. All the joy and challenges along the PhD journey are definitely life-changing for me. I am proud to be part of the CSI and will always be a champion of CSI.

What is a typical day like for you?

I used to work and discuss face-to-face with colleagues and I enjoyed the interaction and inspiration during the conversation. Since the pandemic, this becomes very tricky and I did feel upset. However, the Institute provides great support to overcome the challenges. I think the way people communicate has changed but the way we support each other with our true hearts will never change.

What do you think people should know about palliative care?

Receiving palliative care to relieve patients suffering is a basic human right that not everyone has. Palliative care is person-focused and family-centric care, which should be embedded into routine care to relieve their suffering.

In this story

Cheng-Pei Lin

Cheng-Pei Lin

Research Associate

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