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Korean J Med Hist > Volume 2(1); 1993 > Article
Korean Journal of Medical History 1993;2(1): 10-37.
국가에 의한 서양의학교육: 1895년부터 1945년까지
The Early History of National Education of Western Medicine in Korea
Chang Duck Kee
Dr. Kee's Dental Clinic, Korea.
On the record 1995 is the 100th anniversary of Western medical education in our country which began with the opening of the Vaccinators' Training Center, but the actual history of Korea's Western medical education is 97 years old. To become vaccinators the students underwent training for a month including the manufacturing of vaccine and the practicing of vaccination. These vaccinators were the first vaccination specialists trained in Western medicine in our country. Their service included vaccination as well as education. These professionals of Western medicine. in spite of a short period of their training, saved countless human lives, contributing greatly to the welfare of society. In the years 1897-1898, there were quite a number of foreign missionary medical doctors in Korea, who were providing Western medical education each according to their own need. Some of the examples were Wells and Follwell in Pyongyang, Johnson in Taegu, and Scranton, Avison, and Rosetta Hall in Seoul. They were all medical doctors who received regular medical education and were engaged in clinical medicine. Meanwhile, Japanese medical doctors, who were educated in Western medicine, were operating hospitals in Pusan, Wonsan, Inchun, and Seoul. They did not provide medical education, but they employed Koreans as their assistants. Under such circumstances. the Chosun Government-General belatedly inaugurated the Uihakkyo Medical School. This medical school had a three-year course of Western medicine, but there was only two instructor trained in Western medicine and the remaining teaching members were all doctors of Oriental medicine. By regulations the curriculum included such subjects of Western medicine as zoology, botany, chemistry, physics, anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, diagnosis, internal medicine, surgery, pediatrics, ophthalmology, etc. The fact that to teach these subjects, non-medical persons were nominated as professors simple because they were equipped with knowledge of medicine, law and medicaments, makes it easy for us to imagine what the contents of the lectures would have been. After 1905, the Western medical education in Korea was severely interfered in by the Japanese authorities, and the name of the medical school was changed several times -Taehan Hospital Educational Department, Medical Educational Department, Attached Medical School, etc. The entire faculty of this medical school consisted of Japanese. Accordingly, the control over Government medical education in Korea was placed in the power of the Japanese authorities. To learn Western medicine Korean students had to endure humiliation and disdain from Japanese professors who took pleasure in showing off their talent and knowledge and satisfying their sense of superiority. After 1910 when Korea was annexed to Japan, Koreans had to receive Japanese education unconditionally. The government Uihakkyo Medical School was transformed into the status of a medical training center and was attached to the Medical Educational Section of the Government-General Hospital, barely retaining the name of a medical school. Korean students received medical education submissively suffering the haughtiness, disdain and prejudice from Japanese professors and follow students. Even after their graduation, Korean students had to meet the same situation. Thus, some academically eager graduates, for the purpose of furthering their study and research under liberal circumstances, went to Germany, which at that time was known for its most advanced medical sciences in the world. However, since the Japanese authorities including the professors did not make much of the Koreans studying in Germany, some of the graduates who were eager for further study had to continue their study under the Japanese professors. Thus the achievements of the Korean medical pioneers were the product of their sacrificial efforts and hardships. In this connection the author has described the achievements of the Korean professors, though small in number (5 professors, 6 assistant professors, and 10 instructors), who did their study and research at their alma mater. Also given in this article are data on the dissertations by 104 of our medical pathfinders, including the titles, the dates when degrees were awarded and the names of colleges where their dissertations were defended etc.
Key Words: Government Medical Education, Training Center, for Vaccinators, Uihakkyo Medical School, Taehan Hospital Medical School, Choson Government-General Hospital Medical Training Institute, Kyongsong Medical College
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