How a black man became one of China’s traditional Chinese medicine practitioners

For the black doctor who hails from Mali, traditional Chinese medicine has always been his biggest interest.


Diarra Boubacar has a certain way of doing things. Taking the pulse of a Chinese patient, prescribing herbal medicine and practicing acupuncture, all while being a black man in China.

For the African doctor who hails from Mali, traditional Chinese medicine has always been his biggest interest. In fact, when Boubacar first came to China about three decades ago in 1984 as an exchange student for western medicine, he was so captivated by traditional Chinese principles on medicine and the human body that he started to learn this ancient medical practice and before he knew it, he became the first ever foreign Chinese medical post-doctoral fellow in China.

The 52-year-old African man who now works as a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner at a Chinese hospital in Chengdu, China is not your average person who gives up when things get rough.

There is always something more to learn about traditional Chinese medicinal properties and its relations to the human mind and body. The more he felt there was more to figure out, the more he sat himself up for greater challenges. After graduating from Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, he made a difficult decision to stay in China and hone his skills.

And if you think that was difficult, the start of his career of being a foreign doctor in Chengdu was not all guns and roses, despite his commendable credentials.

“I remember I had one patient came here. She came in. She opened the door. She saw me, then bang, she shut the door and ran away,” he recalled.

It was a difficult time for him but he got through it and is now a renowned traditional Chinese medicine expert.

Diarra Boubacar with his wife and kids. Credit: CCTV

For more, check out the video below.


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