Scalpel in the Sand is an autobiographical account of a young surgeon during his ten years (1979 89) working in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. His time in Arabia coincided with the expansion of medical and surgical care in the country. He worked within the environment of an ultra-modern hospital with state-of -the-art facilities, the Riyadh Military Hospital. He had to adapt to the very different epidemiology of surgical diseases of a Middle Eastern country. There were many opportunities to participate in innovative and challenging projects and activities: 1. The kidney transplant service achieved international renown; 2. The nutrition support service was the first comprehensive and hospital-wide service in the Middle East; 3. The seminal research of the Riyadh Intensive Care Program on futility in intensive care caught the medical world s attention; 4. Treating the injured from the Mecca Seige of 1979; 5. Setting up the Major Disaster Response Plan for the King Khaled International Airport, Riyadh which was put to use in the First Gulf War; 6. The book is a time capsule of a period, twenty years ago, when great changes were taking place in Saudi Arabia. The stories of his close and daily encounters among, and interaction with, the local people, colleagues, students, patients, and members of the Saudi royal family provides observations of a way of life and a culture very different from what is familiar in the West. 7. He presents a view that is often contrary to the conventional wisdom of the West and in so doing he hopes to adjust perceptions that will bridge the gap between the West and the Muslim Arab peoples 8. The author had the privilege of teaching the first group of women doctors to graduate providing a rare opportunity to make observations of the issues confronting Saudi women in their struggle for emancipation, their green shoots of success and their continuing problems. 9. Back to Beginnings is a stand-alone chapter at the end of the book which puts the author in context: his family background, growing up in the mixed cultures of colonial Malaya, relocation to the UK for his medical and surgical training. What is the Chang sign in kidney transplant? What has kidney transplantation to do with motorway design? Can you imagine the author as a Saudi Arabian prince? What converted the author to holistic medicine? What ethical issues were encountered as a surgeon in Arabia? How does one survive ten years in a Saudi Arabian hospital? What happened at the Mecca Siege? How do Saudi Arabians behave in formal and informal occasions? How does a surgeon become a marketing guru? How to capture the Middle Eastern market in enteral nutrition? Why is the prediction of death more useful than the prediction of survival? What is Saudi champagne? What is Sidiki? What are the ingredients of a hospital's Major Disaster Response Plan.
René Chang is the author of two books - Scalpel in the Sand about his time as aurgeon in Saudi Arabia and Watergate - The Political assassination, the result of over twenty years of thinking about Nixon, Watergate and the inconsistencies in the official account.
His other projects include the new Board Game - LifeStyles The Health Education Game. The game uses the associations between LifeStyles (Healthy Lifestyles and Health Hazards) and Medical conditions. Players become knowledgeable after playing for 30 minutes. There are three categories of Game Cards: Substance Abuse, Exercise and Diets and finally Sex Education.
Since retiring in December 2009, he now has the time to do the things he never had time to do in the past. Please go to his company websites http://uftpress.com and http://uftstore.co.uk to discover his other projects.
Excerpts from his Biographical details:
Name: René Wen Suen Chang
Address: 7 College Gardens
London SE21 7BE
Degrees and Qualifications:
BSc (Special) Physiology, King's College, University of London
MB BS, Westminster Medical School, University of London
F.R.C.S. (England), Royal College of Surgeons (England)
Master of Surgery, University of London
Awards: Entrance Scholarship to Westminster Medical School
Federal Scholarship (Malaysian Government)
Bernard Sunley Research Fellowship, RCS (England)
Author/Director, Useful and Fun Things Limited
1. Founding Director of Transplantation, St George's Hospital, London
2. Lecturer/Senior Registrar, Academic Surgical Unit, St Mary's Hospital, London
3. Consultant Surgeon, Riyadh Military Hospital, Saudi Arabia
4. Clinical Tutor (Postgraduate/undergraduate), King Faisal University, Damman, King Saud University, College of Medicine, Riyadh
5. Consultant Transplant Surgeon, St Helier Hospital, Carshalton, Surrey
6. Scientific Advisor/Consultant to 2nd Consensus Conference of the European Society of Intensive Care, Fujisawa GmbH, Eli Lilly, Hoffman La Roche, Glaxo-Wellcome, Qinetiq, Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre, UK,
7. Chairman, South Thames Transplant Group - 1992-1994
8. Visiting Professor, George Washington University, Washington DC
Teaching Experience (Undergraduate and Postgraduate):
King's College, Strand, University of London
St Bartholomew's, Westminster, St Mary's Hospitals Medical Schools, London, UK
King Saud University Medical School, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
King Faisal University Colleges of Medicine, Al Khobar, Damman, Saudi Arabia
Conferences and Workshops (Organised):
Monthly Nutrition Support Service Workshop 1980-89
International Symposium on Intensive Care. Riyadh 1982
2nd International Middle East Symposium on Organ Transplantation Riyadh, 1984
Nutritional Care of the Critically Ill Patient. International Symposium at Riyadh 1987
Symposium on End-stage Renal Disease and Renal Transplantation at Riyadh 1988
Symposium - Practical Problems in Transplantation, St George's Hospital, London, 1996
Societies: British Transplantation Society
British Medical Association
Intensive Care Society (U.K.)
European Society of Intensive Care
Society of Critical Care Medicine
American Federation for Clinical Research
Publications and presentations:
Peer reviewed articles and chapters in books on tumour immunology, renal transplantation, surgical nutrition, surgical audit, intensive care, and disaster response planning.
Interviewed by international (Germany, Austria, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, USA, Canada), national (UK) and local radio (London, Scotland),and television stations (BBC Today, GMTV, BBC News 24, Cologne TV) and newspapers (Times, Independent, Guardian, Telegraph, Evening Standard, Daily and Sunday Express, Daily Mail, Sun, Stern, Frankfurt Zeitung, Straits Times, Sydney Morning Herald).
I scripted, directed, and produced the following educational videos:
"A day in the life of a Nutrition Support Service".
"Renal transplantation in Saudi Arabia".
"Carry On Feeding".
I designed and wrote the following computer software programs:-
Editorial Office Manager Version 1.0. 1984.
Nutrition Support Service Manager Version 2.0. 1986.
Riyadh ICU Program Version 2.30 2004
Renal Data Manager Version 3.0 2009
Read about my time in Saudi Arabia in a Kindle ebook: Scalpel in the Sand
I have published my 2nd book a docufiction about Nixon and Watergate a subject that had intrigued me for years. It is called Watergate - The Political Assassination. It is also available at Amazon in both the paperback and the ebook versions.