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Get to Know Dr. Wennie Balawis - General Pediatrician

    Dr. Wennie Balawis has been a part of the OASIS Pediatric Team for almost a year now, but we haven’t really gotten to know her as well as we should. She’s a dedicated, enthusiastic and down to earth person who loves her profession. Get to know her and see why?

Why did you choose to be a Doctor?

    Many moons ago, my mother and I would often gaze out at night at the stars singing “twinkle, twinkle little star” and she would whisper to me, “one day, you’ll be a doctor when you grow up”.

    My mother, though a teacher, had many siblings and relatives in the medical profession. Two of my aunts were an OB/GYN and a Veterinarian, so for me, I believed I was fated to join the medical profession and continue caring for others as they had, but with one difference…. I would be a cool, calm and collected physician. I would be a part of the drama, involved with late night beeper rings and take stress in my stride.

Why choose Pediatrics?

    Pediatrics wasn’t my first passion. During my medical internship, I was drawn to the neurosciences and given the chance, I would always follow consultants and residents of the Neurosurgery Dept. That was until I had witnessed too many families and their children heartbroken over a parent’s fatal head injury. It was quite heartbreaking for me as well.

    After my internship, I had planned to still pursue my passion in neuroscience, but with a slight change in focus – Pediatrics, but soon after graduation from pediatric residency training, I was invited by my mentors to work in the largest pediatric training center in the Philippines as an ER hospitalist. Although unplanned for, I began to embrace the work of the Emergency Room.

    The first entry point for the most urgent pediatric patients is the ER. For me, the level of care first delivered to these children would determine their survival and course of care at the ICU or Recovery ward. This notion drove me on to stick with Emergency Care. At the same time, I also worked in other Tertiary Hospitals supervising and working alongside Pediatric Residents in Newborn, Neonatal and Pediatric ICU wards.

    You can imagine how my days would have been stretched across three hospitals. That was my life for the past 8 years before making the move to China.

Why did you choose to work in China?

    I am a person who always likes to challenge my own curiosity. I was intrigued by a colleague who came to China and suggested the idea to me. I wanted to see what it would be like to live and work in a place with different cultural and political backgrounds. A place which I knew nothing about, other than what I had learnt from books in school.

    My first job opportunity was in Dalian. I worked for an International Clinic catering to expats and locals, a work that was completely different from home. Before coming to Dalian, I had no idea what to expect and that’s how I wanted it to be, to be able to just “walk the road” when I got there.

    It was a challenge undoubtedly. On the cultural side, there was the language barrier and on the professional side, there was the switch from demanding hospital work, to the more relaxed clinic work. The most frustrating of course being the language difference. I had expected the universal language for all to be English, but outside of the clinic, no one could understand me or I them. As I got to see more and more patients and meet parents, we came to share in this same conundrum.

    Communication is vital for proper healthcare to be delivered and carried out well. Working here in China, I came to understand the vital role I’ve come to play in their healthcare system. In this foreign environment, the ability to communicate with patients and parents in a language they understand, to educate and most of all, reassure them is very important. Building a rapport with patients and parents is also key in Pediatrics and of course the healthcare profession. Being a doctor is more than just treating the illness. Being someone who’s approachable and trusting is also important, so parents feel they can air their concerns about their children’s healthcare needs.

    That is the culture I have come to cultivate here and that is why I don’t mind taking late night calls at 3am and doing house calls especially for level 1 emergencies. I feel rejuvenated still carrying out the work I used to do back home…. the euphoria of acute care! But moreover, is the rewarding feeling of delivering comfort and re-assurance when it is most needed by an agonizing parent.

The OASIS Pediatric team is comprised of national and international physicians as well as out-sourced specialists from hospitals such as, Peking University Third Hospital, Capital Institute of Pediatrics, Beijing Children’s Hospital, Beijing Friendship Hospital and many more. Our doctors, nurses and administration team are highly experienced and offer each patient international standards of care. The OASIS Pediatric team is dedicated to providing, comprehensive and continuous care for newborns, infants, children and adolescents with a focus on preventative healthcare.

    Dr. Wennie Balawis is a graduate of the University of the Philippines College of Medicine. She has experience working in tertiary hospitals such as VITUP Renminlu Clinic, Dalian, Philippine Children's Medical Center and more. Dr. Balawis is an experienced general pediatrician, having worked has an ER hospitalist and supervised residents over Newborn, Neonatal and Pediatric ICU wards. She has undergone training in Pediatric Advanced Life Support, Basic Advanced Life Support and Neonatal Resuscitation.

    As a physician here at OASIS, Dr. Balawis balances work between inpatient and outpatient care. As a general pediatrician, her scope of work includes attending to newborn deliveries, newborn inpatient rounds, newborn follow-ups in outpatient care, as well as caring for sick newborns with the availability of an NICU. Her work at the well-baby and sick-child clinics also allows her to follow children’s growth and development throughout the year’s.

Specialized Areas:

    Dr. Wennie P.Balawis has almost 10 years’ experience as a Pediatrician. She is adept at performing emergency room procedures such as, endo-tracheal intubation, intra-osseous access for difficult IV insertion, as well as umbilical catheterization.