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Medical Progress in China

Nature volume 149, page 522 (09 May 1942) | Download Citation



IN a recent lecture published in the Asiatic Review of April, Dr. W. H. Woo gives an interesting survey of medical progress in China from the earliest times. The origin of native medicine can be traced back to the earliest Chinese emperors, who flourished three or four thousand years ago. So early as the Chou dynasty, about 700 B.C., medicine had reached a high degree of development, and four kinds of medical man-physician, surgeon, dietician and veterinary surgeon-were distinguished. Afterwards, one of the most notable events in the history of Chinese medicine was the publication by Li Shee Chin about A.D. 1578 of a materia medica consisting of fifty-two volumes and containing not only herbs but also drugs of animal and mineral origin as well. A new medicine was introduced in 1835, being due chiefly to Dr. Parker, who founded the first hospital in China, but it was not until three quarters of a century later that Sun Yat Sen, the founder of the Chinese Republic and himself a medical man, placed medical services on a proper footing.

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