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The Establishment of the Medical Education System After Liberation — Focusing on the Lives and Opinions of Lee Yong-sul and Choi Myung-hak

  • Journal of Humanities, Seoul National University
  • 2017, 74(1), pp.215-245
  • DOI : 10.17326/jhsnu.74.1.201702.215
  • Publisher : Institute of Humanities, Seoul National University
  • Research Area : Humanities > Other Humanities
  • Received : December 12, 2016
  • Accepted : February 2, 2017
  • Published : February 28, 2017

SIHN KYUHWAN 1

1연세대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Lee Yong-sul and Choi Myung-hak were born in Pyeongyang and Hamheung respectively, both of which were key starting points for the Presbyterian missionary movement in North Korea. They studied at a mission school, converted to Christianity, and were strongly influenced by missionary medicine. They were then both accepted at the Severance Union Medical College (SUMC) with medical missionary’s acquaintance. The activities of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) at SUMC had a profound influence on their daily lives and careers. The main objective of the YMCA was Christian mission through social enlightenment and the creation of voluntary activities for rural communities. Although it was not political organization, the YMCA did form a relationship with the March 1st Independence Movement. Consequently, as members of the YMCA, Lee Yong-sul and Choi Myung-hak participated in the March 1st Independence Movement in 1919. The Independence Movement was a turning point in their lives. Whereas Lee Yong-sul graduated from SUMC and went to Peking University Medical College to escape from being arrested, Choi Myung-hak studied at SUMC and Kyoto University after imprisonment. They became professors of SUMC in the 1930s, and took part in the mass education campaign for the health care of YMCA students at SUMC. They opened their clinic in Seoul and Hamheung respectively after resigning professors in the 1940s. However, after the liberation, they each took a different path in life. Lee Yong-sul became the president of the Korean Medical Association and a minister in the Department of Health and Welfare under the U.S. military government. He was a representative of right-wing groups and had adopted a leading role in health administration. After he resigned as minister, he took up the position of president of SUMC. As a director of health administration in Hamgyeong Namdo of North Korea, Choi Myung-hak made every effort to reconstruct health administration. He became the president of Hamheung Medical College and concentrated on the issue of medical education in North Korea. In this role, he had to deal with a serious shortage of talented professors and accept the control and censorship exerted by the North Korean government. They shared a similar view of medical commercialization and nationalization of the medical system, in very different circumstances. They disagreed with medical commercialization and were strongly committed to the nationalization of the medical system. However, their approach was different to that of the left wing’ nationalization of the medical system, which they adapted through progressive ways and means.

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