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This is the second blog post in a three part series about Dr. Jay M. Arena. (To see the previous post, click here.)
In 1974, Duke Professor of Pediatrics, Jay M. Arena, traveled to the People’s Republic of China as part of the American Medical Association (AMA) delegation. As a pediatrician, Arena’s interest lay in the health and nutritional status of children in China.
During the trip, Arena met with local Chinese medical delegations and toured hospitals, medical schools, and clinics, paying special attention to children’s wards and pediatric care. The photograph above shows Arena (second row,
second from right) with AMA delegates and hospital staff at the Capital Hospital in Peking. Arena took numerous photographs throughout these tours and documented his observations in a daily travel diary located in the Jay M. Arena Papers. For example, on July 13, 1974, Arena recorded, “the highlight of my morning was the visit to the hospital library where they had my book POISONING (2nd edition) and asked that I autograph it.”
Arena also had the opportunity to sightsee with the Chinese and American delegations. Throughout the course of his trip, Arena visited the Great Wall, toured the Summer Palace, dined at a famous Peking Duck Restaurant (menu is to the right), watched a Chinese acrobatic troupe perform, viewed pandas at the zoo, and attended the Shanghai Industrial Exhibit, depicted by the pamphlet shown (bottom). To document these experiences, Arena took photographs, wrote in his travel diary, and collected brochures, postcards, and other memorabilia.
Upon returning to the United States, Arena published articles based on his observations, especially those related to the healthcare of Chinese children. These articles appeared in medical journals, such as Pediatrics and Nutrition Today, as well as newspaper features.
Manuscript materials, correspondence, photographs, slides, and memorabilia related to Arena’s trip can be found in the Jay M. Arena Papers. To learn more about these materials, visit the finding aid or contact the archives staff.
This blog post was contributed by Archives Intern Alexandra Dowrey.