Korean J Med Hist.  1994 Jun;3(1):49-56.

Textbooks of Western Medicine in the Early Modernization Period

  • 1Department of Family Medicine, Seoul Paik Hospital, College of Medicine, Inje University, Korea.


The first modern hospital, royal Kwang-Hye-Won (House of Extended Grace) was established in April of 1885, whose name was changed into royal Che-Jung-Won (House of Helpfulness) in several days. Private(not royal) Je-Jung-Won opened its Medical School in 1899. And the teachers composed of western missionaries taught some Korean student-assistants the Western medicine with English textbooks in English. With very low effectiveness of teaching due to language barrier, Dr. Avison, the principal of that school decided to write medical textbooks in Korean. At first he tried to translate Henry Gray's Anatomy of 1859. In the effort he referred some Chinese and Japanese medical books. With that reason, we can find many Japanese style medical terms in some medical books of his. On the other hand, Eui-Hak-Kyo(The Medical School) was established by the Government of Dae-Han Empire in 1899. The teaching staff of the school published medical textbooks in Korean, some of which were written by Japanese doctors. After the Japanese annexation of Korea in 1910, Japanese government forced teachers of the school to teach with Japanese medical books and to speak Japanese in teaching. In 1915 the Act of Private Education was declared, which forced Japanese spoken in teaching even in the private medical school, Severance Medical School(later self of private Che-Jung-Won). In these ways, Japanese medical terms of Chinese letter were introduced without prudent consolidation, which evoke not a few problems in medical terms and education still now.


Medical Textbooks; Medical Education; Medical Terms; Medical Terms of Japanese Style

MeSH Terms

Education, Medical/*history
English Abstract
History of Medicine, 19th Cent.
History of Medicine, 20th Cent.
Western World
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