"This long heritage" : Byun Sang-hun (변상훈) and the Transformation of Korean Traditional Medicine (hanŭihak / 한의학), under the USAMGIK (United States Army Military Government in Korea (mikǔnjǒng / 미군정), 1945~1948

  • DiMoia, John (National University of Singapore(NUS), Department of History & STS Research Cluster)
  • Received : 2009.12.09
  • Accepted : 2009.12.21
  • Published : 2009.12.30


This paper initiates an effort to look at "South Korean" medicine as perhaps distinct from "Korean" medicine, focusing specifically on the possibility of offering a post-colonial history of medicine. As such, the paper looks at the formation of the NMC (National Medical Center) in Seoul in 1958 (1958-1963, 1963-1968, 1968-1971) by a consortium of European actors--Denmark, Sweden, and Norway--invested in developing new forms of international assistance after the Korean War. Rather than take a firm stance, the paper ultimately suggests that the role of these actors in formative South Korean institutions was constitutive, and perhaps requires much more examination in the future.