Korean J Med Hist.  1998 Dec;7(2):223-238.

The Early Medical Textbooks in Korea: Medical Textbooks published at Je Joong Won-Severance Hospital Medical School

  • 1Department of Medical History and Anatomy, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Korea.


Kwang Hye Won(Je Joong Won), the first western hospital in Korea, was founded in 1885. The first Medical School in Korea was open in 1886 under the hospital management. Dr. O. R. Avison, who came to Korea in 1893, resumed the medical education there, which was interrupted for some time before his arrival in Korea. He inaugurated translating and publishing medical textbooks with the help of Kim Pil Soon who later became one of the first seven graduates in Severance Hospital Medical school. The first medical textbook translated into Korean was Henry Gray's {Anatomy}. However, this twice-translated manuscripts were never to be published on account of being lost and burnt down. The existing early anatomy textbooks, the editions of 1906 and 1909, are not the translation of Gray's {Anatomy}, but that of Japanese anatomy textbook of Gonda. The remaining oldest medical textbook in Korean is {Inorganic Materia Medica} published in 1905. This book is unique among its kinds that O. R. Avison is the only translator of the book and it contains the prefaces of O. R. Avison and Kim Pil Soon. The publication of medical textbook was animated by the participation of other medical students, such as Hong Suk Hoo and Hong Jong Eun. The list of medical textbooks published includes almost all the field of medicine. The medical textbooks in actual existence are as follows. {Inorganic Materia Medica (1905)}, {Inorganic Chemistry(1906)}, {Anatomy I(1906)}, {Physiology(1906)}, {Diagnostics I(1906)}, {Diagnostics II(1907)}, {Obstetrics(1908)}, {Organic Chemistry (1909)}, {Anatomy(1909)}, {Surgery(1910)}.


medical textbook; Je Joong Won; Severance Hospital Medical School; Dr. Avison; Kim Pil Soon

MeSH Terms

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