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Korean J Med Hist > Volume 5(1); 1996 > Article
Korean Journal of Medical History 1996;5(1): 33-52.
서울대학교 의과대학 병리학교실 50년사
First 50 Years of Department of Pathology Seoul National University College of Medicine
Je Geun Chi
Department of Pathology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Korea.
The Department of Pathology of Seoul National University College of Medicine was launched in 1946, one year after the Korea was liberated from Japanese occupation. The Seoul National University College of Medicine, although newly started in 1946, was actually the assembly of two pre-existed national medical institutes in Korea, namely Keizo Imperial University Faculty of Medicine and Keizo Medical Academy. Accordingly the Department of Pathology of newly assembled Seoul National University College of Medicine had to depend on two pre-existed medical schools : place from the former and faculty from both. In addition, staff from other pre-existed medical schools also joined the Department to become the largest Department in Korea. Before 1946, the Department of two pre-existed medical schools was largely of Japanese style in every aspect. The Pathology Department then devoted almost entirely to basic research particularly on animal experiment. There was minimal hospitl service except for autopsy service, the number of which had also been limited to charity cases. The first 4 years of Seoul National University Pathology Department until the start of the Korean war in 1950 was the period of extreme social instability with almost no research activity. The Korean war provided opportunities for the staff to go abroad, mainly U.S.A. and get in touch with the American medicine through military personnels, health system and facilities, etc. The Pathology Department had a real start after the Korean war ceased. From around 1955 formal teaching and research became available. Therefore the first 50 years of the Department was arbitrarily divided into Early Period(1946-1950), War Period(1950-1954), Reconstruction Period(1954-1960), Stabilization Period(1961-1972), Promotion Period Phase 1(1972-1978), Promotion Period Phase 2(1979-1990), and Promotion Period Phase 3(1991-1996). Each period had its own characteristics. There was a vast expansion of space and personnel in 1979, when the Seoul National University Hospital moved into a new building and reorganized the system. It was the momentum of promoting Hospital Pathology in the University. In 1990 the basic medicine building was renovated and provided the faculty the long-cherished central air-conditioned laboratories, facilities and full time graduate students and other research assistants. This gave another momentum for the promotion of basic research for the Department staffs. In summary, through the hard works of faculty during the last 50 years the Department has improved consistently and is now producing over 100 scientific papers in a year, approximately one-third of those being published in international journals. Yearly the Department handles over 20,000 surgical specimens, over 25,000 cytology specimens and 150 autopsies at the University Hospitals including Children's Hospital. There are now 12 full time professors, 3 fellows, 12 residents, 7 full time graduate students and 8 research assistants. It seems now that the Department is ready to launch into Phase 4 of Promotion Period.
Key Words: Pathology, History, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, History of Department
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