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            2001 12 (10 2ȣ)


Korean J Med Hist.    2001 Dec; 10(2): 153-180



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The Medical System and its characteristics during the Koryo Dynasty period


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Kyung Lock Lee*, Dong Hwan Shin**




Dongeun Medical Museum Yonsei University College of Medicine*, Department of Pathology Yonsei University College of Medicine, Korea**.


This article explores the medical system of the Koryo Dynasty period and its social characteristics First the structure of medical system and roles of medical institutions during the Koryo Dynasty period will be summarized Then the characteristics of the medical system will be identified through exploring the principles of its formation in a view of social recognition of medical care and a view of public policy. During the Koryo Dynasty period medical experts were trained in national education institutions from the early days of Dynasty After trained they were appointed to the posts at government service with their medical profession In the mean time they sought ways to ascend their social position Physicians of Oriental medicine were appointed to the posts at each local government and troops to take charge of medical treatments of the common people Also the state tried to assume the reins of medical system by actively taking part in circulation (collection and distribution) of herb. Taeuigam and Sangyakguk represent central medical institutions of the Koryo taking charge of medical service for the aristocracy and the bureaucracy The Common people were treated at DongSeoDaeBiWOn JeWuiBo HyeMinGuk and YakJum in SeoKyung However activities of these institutions became less active around the days of military officials regime as officers became negligent and financial base went broken. The roles of medical institutions of the Koryo government were not restricted to the treatment of diseases Policies for the common people were constituted by two main policies the policy for encouraging agriculture and the policy for giving relief to people Medical institutions with other social systems had a social responsibility to support the governing system of the Koryo and maintain the stability of the society. In this aspect medical institutions such as DongSeoDaeBiWon and JeWuiBo and relief institutions such as UiChang were all related and connected organically and they were results of and bases of the relief policy However medical system for the common people was made up first for practical needs and then improved successively Allocation of medical experts and execution of relief work were carried out by each local government except the case of serious disaster which central government took part in As the Koryo Dynasty went into its latter period temporary institutions and onetime benefits replaced permanent institutions These four characteristics described above were systemic characteristics of medical system during the Koryo Dynasty period.


the Koryo Dynasty period Medical system Policy for giving relief to people Taeuigam() DongSeoDaeBiWOn()

The Korean Society for the History of Medicine

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