JOURNAL ARTICLE

Research on history of medicine in China in the last five years

Jian-ping Zhu
Historia Scientiarum: International Journal of the History of Science Society of Japan 2004, 13 (3): 149-63
15212006
Since 1999, progress has been made, to varying degrees, in numerous areas of medical history research in China including history of TCM, history of western medicine, history of integrated Chinese and western medicine, history of traditional medicine of Chinese minorities, history of medicine of foreign countries, history of medical exchanges between China and other countries, and history of comparative medical history. Among others, the number of articles on history of diseases, history of specific medical disciplines, modern medical history, medical biographies, medical works, contemporary medical history, and history of medical culture has increased dramatically. In the field of history of diseases, the papers deal with diseases in gynecology and obstetrics, plague, lanhousha (scarlet fever), and nephritis; articles in the field of specific disciplines deal with history of acu-moxibustion, history of prescription-forms, and history of gynecology, endoscopic surgery, and evidence-based medicine. There are even distinguished papers appeared in these aspects. In the aspect of modern medical history, there are papers dealing with the developement of TCM, the introduction of western medicine into China, with some specific researches in these fields. Medical biographies include Tan Yun-xian, Quan Shao-qing, Du Chong-ming etc. Papers on medical works deal with the ancient unearthed literature lost yet spread and extant abroad, medical classics, canons on material medica, cold-pathogenic diseases, and formularies. While papers on history of medical culture discuss basically the influence of Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism and I-discipline on Chinese medicine. During these five years, 300 original articles have been published in The Chinese journal of Medical History, with another 200 papers published in other Chinese journals. Forty monographs have been published and important ones are A General History of Chinese Medicine, Modern history of TCM, The Historical Development of Acupuncture, A General History of Tiberan Medicine. For the coming years, the stress points should be laid on the research on history of diseases, history of specific medical disciplines, and some specific academic topics. In addition, the weak points in the research fields of theoretical problems in studies of medical history, history of traditional medicine of Chinese minorities, medical history of communication between China and foreign countries, comparative study on medical history, and the study on history of medical also be strengthened continually. In the five years since 1999, progress has been made, more or less, in the research works in medical history in China, including history of TCM, history of western medicine, history of integrated Chinese and western medicine, history of traditional medicine of Chinese minorities, history of medicine of foreign countries, history of medical exchanges between China and other countries, and history of comparative medical history. And the number of articles on history of diseases, history of specific medical disciplines, modern medical history, medical biographies, medical works, contemporary medical history and history of medical culture has increased dramatically. The research work in ancient medical history is still progressing forcefully.

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