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Title: Coming from Afar: The Overseas Chinese and the Institutionalization of Western Medicine and Science in China, 1910-1970
Authors: Soon, Wayne Shi Lun
Advisors: Elman, Benjamin
Chen, Janet
Contributors: History Department
Keywords: Blood Bank
Chinese Red Cross
History of Medicine
Modern China
Robert Lim
World War II
Subjects: History
Asian history
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: My dissertation explores the history of modern China through the lens of a group of Overseas Chinese medical personnel who brought to China new ideas, practices, and knowledge of Western science and medicine. Drawing from fourteen archives on three continents, I present a comprehensive account of twentieth-century medicine in China by considering this understudied group of historical actors who created and led institutions of medicine across China from 1911-1970. In investigating the leaders of Western medicine in China, I found that many of them were ethnic Chinese born outside of China and received their medical and nursing degrees in America and Britain. Representatives of this community included doctors Lim Boon Keng, Wu Lien-teh, Robert Lim, and Khaw Oo-Keh. They led the ministry of health and universities, headed departments of physiology and parasitology, formed quarantine bureaus and anti-plague services, expanded the Chinese Red Cross, created new medical training centers, and started the first Chinese blood bank. The Overseas Chinese medical personnel came to work in China and leveraged their ethnic identities, as well as mobilized financial, technical, and medical resources from America, Britain, and Southeast Asia to create new centers of science and medicine. In turn, their endeavors provided critical platforms for the production, adaptation, and projection of Western science, medicine, and technology in China. My dissertation seeks to revise the narrative of the Second World War and the Chinese Civil War (1937 -1950), which was long thought by many scholars to be two consecutive periods where the Chinese government and civil society lacked the basic capacity and resources to aid the multitudes of sick and wounded. In contrast, my <italic>longue durée<italic> approach shows how these Overseas Chinese medical personnel, whose endeavors at instituting medicine in China began in the 1910s and 1920s, organized a comprehensive wartime medical system that treated more than three million Chinese soldiers and civilians, and trained more than twenty thousand medical personnel. These efforts resulted in a transformative experience for Chinese medicine and society, which in turn provided important institutional legacies for health care, public health, and medical education in post 1949 China and Taiwan.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:History

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