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HKBU Alumnus Mr. Dennis Au Cheuk-wing (Chinese Medicine)

The BUddy Post has interviewed alumnus Dennis Au Cheuk-wing of the School of Chinese Medicine who has been awarded a runner-up award in the Global Entrepreneur of the Year in 2012. He will share with us his journey in Chinese medicine and voluntary work.

Reporter: When did you decide to study Chinese Medicine at HKBU?

Dennis: When I was young, I lived in the temporary housing area where the hygiene condition was poor. That time, my family didn’t have much money and when we got sick, we usually bought some traditional Chinese patent medicines which were readily available at the drug store. . The medicine worked well for us. At the time when I was in Form 6, the Government started promoting the Chinese medicine industry and I decided to study Chinese Medicine at HKBU. At the very beginning, my family did not support my decision, thinking that my future career would be bounded by the herbal shop. Yet, I have assured them that I would be fully responsible for my decision and would have no regret.

Reporter: Is it difficult to study Chinese Medicine?

Dennis: The theories of Chinese Medicine are based on the concepts of Yin and Yang and the “five elements” which are very different from the training I received at secondary school. I recalled that ten days after the commencement of class in Year 1, we already had a quiz on the bones of our body. I think it is not an easy discipline, but I like it.

Reporter: Apart from studying, what other activities did you join during your studies at HKBU?

Dennis: When I was in Year 3, I lived in Cai Hall where I made a lot of friends. I used to share with them the things I learnt in Chinese Medicine. When they got sick, they would come to me and asked what kind of Chinese medicine they should take. My hall life was rich and interesting. After my graduation, I still engaged myself in different alumni activities. I had been the President of HKBU Chinese Medicine (Full time) Alumni Association and HKBU Y P Cai Hall Alumni Association.

Reporter: When did you set up your own Chinese medicine clinic?

Dennis: I graduated in 2005 when the economy was stagnant and there were only a few Chinese medicine clinics for fresh graduates like us to seek employment opportunities. Therefore, my salary was relatively low in the first three years of work. What’s more, some of the experienced Chinese medicine practitioners were rather suspicious of our training. Under these circumstances, my classmate and partner, alumnus Peter Pang, started to think about setting up our own clinic. He and I share a common goal of making the “New Generation” professional Chinese medicine practitioners known to the public. We started looking around for information, and ultimately joined the Youth Business Hong Kong Programme offered by the Hong Kong Federation of the Youth Groups. This was how we set up our clinic.

Reporter: What are the pain and gain of running your own business?

Dennis: I enjoyed the process of setting up and managing my own business. When I was a staff of other clinics, I could not do what I wanted to do. There was no such flexibility. However, when I run my own business, I can turn my ideas into action. For example, it has been my wish to help cure the teenaged drug addicts with Chinese medicine. In 2010, I constantly collaborated with Neo Horizon of Hong Kong Sheng KungHui Welfare Council to offer such service for those who needed it. I also need to think of long term strategies and have good planning because if wedon’t manage our clinics well, it will affect a lot of people including our patients and our staff. As for pain, I would say, I now have less time to spend with my family.

Reporter: Can you share with us your business plan?

Dennis: We now have 5 clinics in Wanchai, Tsuen Wan, Yau Ma Tei, as well as Sham Shui Po and Po Lam respectively. We will continue to expand our chain clinics with the aim of raising our market penetration rate and the public awareness of the professional service offered by us, the “New Generation” Chinese medicine practitioners.

Reporter: How did you win the runner-up award in Global Entrepreneur of the Year?

Dennis: I have participated in this Award for 3 years. For the first 2 years, we were not even shortlisted for the list of the 8 finalists. Yet, in the 2012, we have successfully beaten our counterparts from different countries and regions and were selected as one of the 3 finalists. Eventually, we won the runner-up award. During this competition, we met a lot of young entrepreneurs from around the globe and were able to share our experiences with them. All in all, we have broadened our horizons and made a lot of new friends.

Reporter: Can you share with us your experience in voluntary service?

Dennis: My classmates and I appreciated very much the work done by Medecins Sans Frontieres and always thought about whether we could offer similar service on Chinese medicine. In 2008, we got the opportunity for cooperating with a welfare organisation in the Philippines to offer voluntary Chinese medical service to the needy. At the very beginning, our servicing period lasted for only about two weeks due to shortage in manpower. Subsequently, more Chinese medicine practitioners were able to join us and we could extend our servicing period. Now, we can offer voluntary medical service in the Philippines for up to nine months. Last Christmas, we visited some poor villages in Myanmar, teaching some basic Chinese medicine techniques, such as acupuncture to the young people there. We hope that we can help people to help themselves. The visit was very successful and fruitful. We plan to explore more detailed curriculum to train up a group of acupuncturists in these villages in 2013.

Reporter: What are the prerequisites to become a good Chinese medicine practitioner?

Dennis: Having a heart and the determination to cure patients are the most important prerequisites. We should not just focus on monetary reward. In Chinese medicine, we should “live by the virtue of a great physician” and treat every patients equally and wholeheartedly.

Reporter: What advice will you give to HKBU students?

Dennis: I think everyone should have dreams that can help change our society and boldly attempt to realise them. We should also plan our life and set goals for ourselves. Also, we need to give and share with others.

Interviewee’s Biography:
Graduated from the School of Chinese Medicine, alumnus Dennis Au Cheuk-wing set up his own clinic with his classmate and close friend, alumnus Peter Pang in 2008. In 2012, he won the runner-up award in the Global Entrepreneur of the Year presented by the Youth Business International.



Dennis wins the runner-up award in the Global Entrepreneur of the Year

Dennis sets up his own clinic with his buddy and partner alumnus Peter Pang (right) in 2008

Dennis says a good Chinese medicine practitioner should have a heart for patients

Dennis is committed to providing voluntary service to the needy in villages

Back to The BUddy Post January 2013
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