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Korean J Med Hist > Volume 5(2); 1996 > Article
Korean Journal of Medical History 1996;5(2): 147-154.
海觀 吳兢善과 연세대학교 의과대학 피부과학교실
Dr. Kung Sun Oh and the Department of Dermatology of Yonsei University College of Medicine
Chang Duk Kee
History of Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Korea.
The Department of Dermatology of Severance Hospital was founded on May 14, 1917. However, dermatology patients were treated at Che Jung Won in 1886 according to HN Allen's report. Accordingly, it is presumable that OR Avison also saw dermatology patients and gave lectures but these are not the records of the Department of Dermatology. When Doctor Kung Sun Oh was sent to Severance Hospital on May 12, 1913, he gave lectures on anatomy, pathology and bacteriology. He became interested in dermatology and, in 1916, went to Tokyo Imperial University to study for a year. After his return, the Skin and Genitourinary Department, named western style, was opened on May 14, 1917. Despite Japanese system of running the department as Dermatology-Urology, Professor Kung Sun Oh managed the department with dermatology as the main concern. Student education and clinical practices were very strict and based on diseases but there were only a few original research articles. In 1921, Professor Kung Sun Oh was appointed the superintendent according to the amendment of the school system. On April 30, 1931, he was appointed the deputy principal and on February 16, 1934, he became the second principal of Severance Medical School and was inaugurated on Apil 17, 1934. Thus, Professor Oh rendered distinguished services in the management of the school despite his position as a professor and brought up the Severance Medical School as a formal medical school approved by the Japanese medical system. Principal Kung Sun Oh was a Christian missionary as evidenced by his many titles such as the President and Director of Seoul Orphanage, a member of Korean Social Services, Vice-president of Seoul Mission Association, director of Central Christian Youth Association and contributed a lot to the public. His deeds were acknowledged by the Korean Medical Association and, in 1934, nominated him to a senatorial post. In 1935, he was nominated as a senator to the Japanese Dermatology Association and Japanese Urology Association. In 1942, the name of 'Severance' was changed to 'Asahi', but the management of the school was kept until liberation in 1945. In summary, Professor Kung Sun Oh was a dedicated Dermatology professor, a principal who gave his best effort for the development of the medical school and a missionary who spent all his life in purifying society.
Key Words: Dr. Kung Sun Oh, Department of Dermatology of Yonsei University College of Medicine, Medical Missionary
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