J Korean Surg Soc.  1999 Aug;57(2):157-162.

The Root of Korean Modern Surgery, Paik Inje and the Growth of Paik Inje Tree


The President of Inje University Paik Inje was born in Chungju, Korea in 1899. He graduated Kyungsung Junior Medical College with the best degree. He became a chairman of the Department of Surgery of it. He studied abroad two times in Germany and upgraded the levels of surgery in Korea. He resigned the position in his school and opened his private clinic, Paik Surgical Clinic in 1941. His clinic was flourished due to his excellent surgical skill and modern medical knowledge. After the liberation from Japanese Annexation in 1945, he dedicated much to the establishment of Korean medical societies. He served as a first and second president of Seoul Branch of Korea Medical Association, and also did as a first, second, and third president of The Korean Surgical Society. He donated his whole property to 'the Foundation of Paik Hospital', which was the first nonprofit foundation in Korea. Even though he was kidnapped by the army of North Korea during Korean War in 1950, Paik Surgical Clinic's growth was remarkable due to the contributions of his juniors. The Foundation of Paik Hospital became the Inje Medical College in 1979, and later became Inje University in 1989. The foundation have three hospitals now, Seoul Paik Hospital, Pusan Paik Hospital, and Sangye Hospital. The total number of beds of those is two thousands, and will be 2,600 when Ilsan Paik Hospital will be opened this year. Paik Inje and his juniors made contributions in the development of surgery in Korea. Paik Inje introduced the decompression method for the patients of mechanical intestinal obstruction in 1937 for the first time in the world three years before Wangensteen's report of decompression. The private blood bank was introduced in Paik Hospital in 1954 for the first time in Korea. Pelvic exenteration, intramedullary nail fixation, choledocho-duodenostomy, esophagoplasty were first introduced in Paik Hospital for the first time in Korea by me and collegues. I reported 328 intussusception cases, the most cases at that time. The Swenson operation for the Hirshsprung's disease was first done by me about 1960. Paik Inje was a forerunner of modern medicine and surgery of Korea. He and his juniors, we may call it the Paik Inje Tree, contributed much to the development of surgery of Korea.


Korean modern surgery; Paik hospital; Paik inje tree Inje university

MeSH Terms

Asian Continental Ancestry Group
Blood Banks
Democratic People's Republic of Korea
History, Modern 1601-
Intestinal Obstruction
Korean War
Pelvic Exenteration
Societies, Medical
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