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Korean J Med Hist > Volume 6(1); 1997 > Article
Korean Journal of Medical History 1997;6(1): 1-48.
朝鮮時代末 開明期의 醫療(2)
Medicine during the Enlightenment Era of the Late Yi Dynasty
Chang Duk Kee
Department of the History of Medicine and Medical Humanities, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Korea.
Korean people in the late Yi Dynasty were always in danger of contagious diseases due to unhealthy residence, poor food and inconvenient clothing. Closing of the country represented by traditional life style and custom did not lead Koreans to civilization. Meanwhile, some pioneers inspired by flow of new culture had stimulated politicians. At that time, these pioneers made political situation fall into disorder. But in the medical community, this gave them an opportunity to understand and introduce Western medicine. As Western medicine was introduced, medical system was revolutionized and regulations for physicians were announced. In the Royal Palace, they started to invite a Western doctor as an attendance physician. By the department of hygiene the regulations for preventing contagious diseases were established and the institution for public health was operated by government. From 1899, the hospital attached to the department of internal affairs and Red Cross Hospital were established. Moreover military medical institution was reorganized to evolve the health of the army and local medical institution had progressed to the national one by establishing Hyemin-Won. In 1872, Takada Eisaku who had learned Western medicine opened a private clinic in Choryang-Jin for Japanese merchants residing there. This clinic was considered as the first clinic in Korea which practiced Western medicine. Since then, as in 1876, Kwangwha Island Treaty was concluded and Korea opened ports, Japanese opened some clinics in Pusan, Wonsan, Hansong(Seoul) and Inchon. At that time, Korean traditional medicine was responsible for public health inherited from Koryo Dynasty influenced by Chinese medicine. Japanese compared traditional Korean medicine to Kampo herbology which abolished in Meiji Restoration and they thought it as outdated. So they established clinics of Western style to protect their own people. When they established clinics, they justified their purpose with implications of exhibition and invasion saying to develop and lead to Korea to exert itself or to conciliate and enlighten. Koreans found themselves difficult to accept their intention and instead they had an antipathy to them. Chosun government allowed an American missionary doctor, HN Allen to serve at Jejung-Won(House of Universal Helpfulness) since he had treated Young-Ik Min with excellence and trust when Min was wounded in Gapsin coup d'etat and he himself volunteered to serve for civilian health. At the same time WB Scranton, a missionary doctor of Northern methodist church, opened a clinic to take care of Korean people as a part of missionary work. Their efforts made Koreans begin to accept Western medicine. In 1895, Oliver R Avison took over Jejung-Won and in fall of 1900 Avison returned with the fund for the foundation of new hospital from Louis H Severence and he began medical education to the assistant students in full scale. He had then translate medical textbooks and trained students to acquire medical theory and clinical experience. On June 3, 1908 seven students graduated as the first graduates after 8 years of training. Supervisor directly awarded diploma at the commencement. In 1909 government authorized it as civic Severence hospital medical school. Various religious group such as Northern Presbyterian Church, Northern Methodist Church, Southern Methodist Church, Protestant Episcopal Church, Presbyterian Church of Australia and Presbyterian Church of Canada sent to Korea were assigned to medical missionary hospitals by each region and began to establish hospitals in Hansong(Seoul), Pyongyang, Kaesong, Inchon, Jaeryong, Songchon, Wonsan, Hamhung, Sungjin, Kangge in the Northern region and Pusan, Taegu, Kimchon, Chinju, Kwangju, Mokpo, Kunsan, Chonju, Kongju, Chongju in the Southern region for the sake of Koreans. Although Japanese had started to build clinics of Western style, they were not considered as distributing Western medicine because it was aiming at invading Korea and protecting mainly their own people. Contrary, Koreans at that time began to evaluate the value of Western medicine from the activities of missionary doctors for Koreans. On December 22, 1895, government proclaimed the regulation to establish the Vaccinators Training Institute to teach the students the method of making smallpox vaccine and vaccination. The regulation stipulated one month of educational term but resume of graduate students indicated 5-7 months of training. The Institute was the first one that taught Western medicine by government assuming that there were both simple practice and theoretical subject. After proclaiming the establishment of the medical school(Euihak-Kyo) on March 24, 1899 the government began to gather students and opened the school in October with academic facility and faculty members. The curricula included both liberal arts and clinical medicine by following the regulation on the school. Vaccination taught in Vaccinators Training Institute was transferred as one subject. In the early period some physicians such as Ik-Nam Kim, the first Korean who learned the Western medicine in Japan and Takezi Kotake, a Japanese surgeon were in charge of teaching medicine there. Liberal arts was taught by competent instructors who were not doctors. 19 students graduated in July 1902 as the first graduates after 3 years of training and some of them remained as instructors in the school. Therefore, around 1900 Korea had two Westernized medical schools, one(Euihak-Kyo) was run by government and the other one(Jejung-Won Euihak-Kyo) by missionary society. Meanwhile, Chosun government sent the young students who had learned Japanese to study medicine abroad after they passed a certain test. Among them Ik-Nam Kim, Sang-Ho An and Chong-Won Park came back to Korea after they had become doctors in Japan. Jae-Pil Seo, being a citizen in USA, Esther Park, serving as a missionary doctor of Northern Methodist Church, Gung-Sun Oh, serving as a missionary doctor of Southern Presbyterian Church were among those who received MD degree in America. In 1905 Japanese established the Residency-General and consolidated Kwangje-Won which was the medical institution attached to the department of internal affairs, the hospital attached to Euihak-Kyo and Red Cross Hospital which was a relief agency to reorganize as Taehan Clinic mainly for Japanese residents in Korea. And soon Japanese replaced entire faculty to Japanese doctors and expelled Korean traditional doctors.
Key Words: Late Yi Dynasty, Enlightenment Era, Medicine, Medicine by Korean Government, Missionary Medicine, Exhibitive Medicine by Japanese Imperialists
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