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Korean J Med Hist > Volume 15(2); 2006 > Article
Korean Journal of Medical History 2006;15(2): 211-225.
김창세 생애와 공중위생 활동
Chang Sei Kim's Activities on Public Health in Colonial Korea
Yunjae Park
Department of History, Yonsei University, Korea.
After graduating from Severance Medical College in 1916, Chang Sei Kim went to Shanghai to work as a missionary in a adventist hospital. The establishment of the Korean Provisional Government led him to participate in the independence movement. Educating nurses to assist the forthcoming war for independence, he seemed to realize the fact that the health of Koreans would be a key factor for achieving independence. He left for the U.S. to conduct comprehensive research on medicine. Chang Sei Kim was the first Korean to receive a Ph. D. degree of Public Health, graduating from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health in 1925. He then gained an opportunity to work for Korea as a professor at Severance Medical College. His objective was the 'Reconstruction of the Korean People In Terms of Physical Constitution.' He pointed out that Koreans' weak state of health was a major reason for Korea's colonization. To gain independence, he emphasized that the Korean people should receive education on public health in order to improve the primitive conditions of sanitation. There is little doubt that Chang Sei Kim's ideas developed Heungsadan's views on medicine in terms of its stress on cultivation of ability, especially considering the fact that he was a member of the organization. As a member of the colonized who could not participate in the developing official policy, Chang Sei Kim was not able to implement his ideas fully, because an individual or a private organization could not carry out policy on public health as large a scale as the government did. Never giving up his hopes for Korean independence, he rejected requests to assume official posts in the Government-General. That was why he was particularly interested in the Self-Governing Movement in 1920s Korea. If the movement had attained its goal, he might have worked for the enhancement of sanitary environment as a director of Sanitary Department. His application for funding to establish a hygiene laboratory in Korea was rejected by Rockefeller Foundation, as the policy of foundation was to finance only government institutes, not private ones. Resigning his position at Severance Medical College in 1927, Chang Sei Kim went to Shanghai to work as a Field Director in the Council on Health Education. The council was affiliated with the Rockefeller Foundation and was founded to ameliorate the hygienic situation in China. He was well fitted to the job, because China, like Korea, shared the aim to achieve independence by promoting better health for its people and because he could be appointed as a public officer which could not happen in colonial Korea. To solve the ever-serious problems with tuberculosis in China, he went again to the U. S. to conduct research and raise money for the establishment of a sanitarium. Chang Sei Kim passed away there in 1934 at the age of 42.
Key Words: Chang Sei Kim, Public Health, Independence Movement, Heungsadan, Self-Governing Movement, Rockefeller Foundation
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