A Medical Educator in Nationalist China: Dr. Chung-Un Lee

Sep 01, 2019 | by
  • Description

One of the great narratives of the last century is the rise of China on the world stage.  This achievement would not have been possible, if it weren't for the vastly improved health of China's people.  The key players in this process are the first-generation Chinese medical educators. They brought back Western medicine to their homeland in the early 1900s, soon began investigating the diseases that affect the health of Chinese people, and ultimately started educating young Chinese medical doctors. Before World War II started, many of these medical educators worked at the Peking Union Medical College (PUMC), which was founded by the Rockefeller Foundation in 1917.  PUMC remains the best medical school in China to this day.  These dedicated professionals, including Dr. Chung-Un Lee, PUMC's first Chinese president, laid a solid foundation upon which China's current health care system and medical research are based.  Without their extraordinary efforts, the development of Western medicine in China would not have survived the mid-century periods of war, the tumultuous establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949, or the political movements that defined the following years.