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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 66-69

Content features of medical journal Zhong Xi Yi Xue Bao (《中西医学报》 The International Medical Journal) during the Republican period and its impact on medicine

Shanghai Museum of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China

Date of Submission16-Sep-2020
Date of Acceptance16-Feb-2021
Date of Web Publication31-Mar-2021

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Li- Li Wang
Shanghai Museum of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/CMAC.CMAC_9_21

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As a medical journal during the republican period, Zhong Xi Yi Xue Bao (《中西医学报》 The International Medical Journal) was characterized by rich and popular content, wide range of knowledge, and better popularization. It had played an important role in spreading modern Western medicine and popularizing medical knowledge in China, promoted the development of modern Chinese medicine and its integration with Western medicine, thus provided essential research value and far-reaching influence for medical science.

Keywords: Integrated Chinese and Western medicine, medicine, the republican period, Zhong Xi Yi Xue Bao (《中西医学报》 The International Medical Journal)

How to cite this article:
Cao HF, Wang LL. Content features of medical journal Zhong Xi Yi Xue Bao (《中西医学报》 The International Medical Journal) during the Republican period and its impact on medicine. Chin Med Cult 2021;4:66-9

How to cite this URL:
Cao HF, Wang LL. Content features of medical journal Zhong Xi Yi Xue Bao (《中西医学报》 The International Medical Journal) during the Republican period and its impact on medicine. Chin Med Cult [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Jul 27];4:66-9. Available from: https://www.cmaconweb.org/text.asp?2021/4/1/66/312782

As an important medical journal during the late Qing Dynasty and the early Republic of China when Western learning introduced into China, Zhong Xi Yi Xue Bao (《中西医学报》 The International Medical Journal) was featured by rich and popular content, wide range of knowledge, and better popularization and guidance. It had played a prominent part in spreading modern Western medicine in China and contributed to its integration with Chinese medicine. Thus, it not only influenced and promoted the transformational development of modern traditional Chinese medicine but also provided enlightenment and reference for the development of medicine nowadays. This paper aims to explore the content features of this journal, elaborate its historical contribution, and influence to modern medicine, hoping to start a discussion on inheriting Chinese medicine culture and further study its academic value.

  Brief Introduction to The International Medical Journal Top

The International Medical Journal [Figure 1] was founded in April 1910 (April Emperor Shunzhi 2nd years) by a famous medical scientist Ding Fubao. Edited and published by Shanghai Chinese and Western Medicine Research Society, it was a monthly journal chief-edited by Ding Fubao. Its general distribution agency was located in No. 81 Changshouli Xinma Road Shanghai (it was changed to “No. 82 Changshouli Xinma Road in January 1911” and “No. 58 Changshouli Paike Road” in August 1912). This journal aimed to “study the Chinese and Western medical science, exchange knowledge and reinvigorate medicine.” It stopped publication in July 1918 when Ding Fubao was busy compiling the book Shuo Wen Jie Zi Gu Lin (《说文解字诂林》 Dictionary of Paraphrasing Texts and Words).[1] In January 1927, it resumed publication with an aim of “introduce medical knowledge, elaborate hygienic truth and develop healthy personality and good judgement”. In April 1928, it was renamed as De Hua Yi Xue Za Zhi (《德华医学杂志》 De Hua Medical Journal), and Dr. Ding Huikang, the second son of Ding Fubao, was the chief-editor. The periodical office was located in No. 121 Meibaige Road (now Xinchang Road), Shanghai. Distributed by Medical Book Company, the objective of this journal was changed to “promote the realization of public health by popularizing new medicine with attitude of academic freedom”. In 1929, this journal changed its name back to The International Medical Journal. By the time June 1930 when it finally stopped publication, there were total 11 published volumes, with 12 issues in each volume.
Figure 1: Contents page of the International Medical Journal, the 9th Issue, April 1918

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  Brief Introduction to the Journal Founder Top

Ding Fubao (1847–1952), with courtesy name Zhonghu, pseudonym Meixuan, and alias Taoyin Buddhist and Jiyang Pona, was born in Wuxi, Jiangsu province. He was a famous medical scientist, scholar, as well as translator in recent history. He became the vice-chairman of China Medical Association in 1904 and was sent to Japan for government-sponsored study in 1909. He created the Chinese and Western Medicine Research Society in Shanghai after returning home. He joined together successively with 513 colleagues from Chinese and Western medicine fields to advocate medical research and published The International Medical Journal by self-financing. What's more, he founded hospitals, convalescent homes, and medical book company in Shanghai; compiled flood of Western medical works; and published them on this journal, thus making tremendous efforts to improving Chinese medicine. He was one of the representatives in the field of integrated Chinese and Western medicine, promoted the development of modern medicine in Shanghai, and made progress in health protection and education. In addition, he also contributed much to the Buddhism, philology, ancient coins collections and study, and mathematics.[2]

  Content Features of The International Medical Journal and Its Impact Top

Rich and popular in contents, wide range in knowledge, and better popularization and guidance

The International Medical Journal introduced and spread many Western medical knowledges while learning from Western medicine to improve Chinese one and promoted medical knowledge exchanges and progress of medical and health services. The periodical columns of this journal covered comments, theories, contributions from society members, document assembly, roll of society members, medical news, medical history, special reports, Eastern and Western translations, biography, forum, medical cases, small forum, notes, appendix, etc. What's more, there were large amounts of information involving medical advertisements [Figure 2], newsletter, correspondence course, marked prices, conference service introduction, etc.Besides comments, theories, and document assembly, other periodical columns would be adjusted flexibly according to the content of each issue. As for the content of this journal, it covered different departments of Western medicine, including anatomy, physiology, pathology, diagnostics, lemology, immunology, internal medicine, surgery, hygiene, gynecology and obstetrics, pediatrics, dermatology, ophthalmology and otorhinolaryngology, and psychology. It also involved various aspects of Chinese medicine, medical history, translation, etc.[1] Information such as correspondence course, training institute, and conferences in this journal reflected the rise of emerging educational pattern of Chinese medicine at that time. This journal recorded numerous medical commonsense, effective therapeutic intervention for common diseases, and medical cases. Published or translated contents were both professional and easily to be understood, which was beneficial to the spread of Western medicine knowledge and health knowledge.
Figure 2: Medical advertising insert published in April 1918 on The International Medical Journal, introducing red tonifying pill by Dr. Williams for assisting to quit smoking (opium)

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Attaching importance to integrated Chinese and Western medicine and advocating improving Chinese medicine

Ding Fubao translated 68 kinds of Japanese medical books and compiled many other medical works from 1908 to 1933. 83 kinds of them were included in Ding Shi Yi Xue Cong Shu (《丁氏医学丛书》 Ding's Series Medical Books). To facilitate association members to exchange and study, he published most of them on this journal and correspondence course information.[3] These translation of Western medical books and new-style correspondence teaching reduced learning costs and became an important platform for Chinese doctors to study Western medicine. A galaxy of doctors was cultivated and influenced, and it brought a huge impact on knowing and learning Western medicine by Chinese medical circles. A large number of articles about theories and clinical experience of Chinese and Western medicine were published on this journal by society members from different provinces. They learned new knowledge and discussed how to improve Chinese medicine while pointing out problems and pushed forward medical system reform. They were opposed to the removal of traditional Chinese medicine. Most of them advocated for learning from strong points of Western medicine to offset its weakness and studying Chinese medicine with modern scientific approach. Ding Fubao was the first to propose “scientization of Chinese medicine” in this journal. Plenty of published medical cases and articles from experts (such as Ding Fubao, Chen Bangxian, Qian Bowen, Zhu Huyun, and Wu Tingfang) represented academic level at that time. This journal reflected the innovative ideas of modern doctors, and it became the theory position of Chinese medicine reformists then.

Laying emphasis on the prevention and treatment of the present diseases, especially infectious diseases, and stressing on popularizing hygienic knowledge

The International Medical Journal recorded numerous articles about the medical cases and discussions of daily diseases, especially provided theory and experience of Western medicine systemically for the diagnosis, treatment, and precautionary measures of infectious diseases. It also gave a full introduction to the spread of public health knowledge. During the late Qing Dynasty and the early Republic of China, there were outbreak of infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, plague, cholera, and bloody dysentery. This journal published over 40 papers about tuberculosis and discussed many aspects including pathogenesis, symptoms, process, bacteria feature, and suitable environment, as well as route of infection, therapy, and preventions.[4] For example, there were Rescue Regulation for Tuberculosis and Preventative Measures for Tuberculosis. During the outbreak of plague, the press gave special report. Doctors started to reflect and explore the source of plague spread. Thus, doctors discussed and focused more on how to enhance and spread public health knowledge and promote the health service. There were several relevant papers such as Theory of Plague and Discussion on China Implementing Diseases Prevention Sanitary Measure. This journal also gave systemic introduction to public epidemic prevention. It was, thus, clear that the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases had always been emphasized in the development of medical history. For example, in the prevention of tuberculosis, it talked about the importance of personal hygiene, diet, and keeping in a good mood. In the aspect of public health prevention, it suggested to set the spittoon and disinfect public places, emphasized that government prohibition was necessary to put an end to bad habits and infection source, and called for compliance from the public in the perspective of social morality. More suggestions included setting up quarantine office at trading ports, epidemic diseases should be treated at special department in hospital, and patients should be treated in isolation. Moreover, it suggested to have health education class in schools and inspected the food and beverage on the market. It called for the establishment of public health system featuring improving public environment and strengthening the prevention and control capacity of infectious diseases.

In addition, this journal also laid emphasis on psychotherapy and Chinese medicine ethics, and introduced the classification, features, and premise of psychotherapy.

  Conclusion Top

The International Medical Journal was a prominent journal on introducing Western medicine in the late Qing Dynasty and the early Republic of China. It was founded relatively early, distributed in a wide range, and published longer with rich contents, thus providing us precious historical materials for further exploration. It had promoted the spread of Western knowledge in China and boosted the improvement and transformation of Chinese medicine in modern times. Moreover, it bridged the gap between Chinese and Western medicine in mutual exchanges and facilitated the concept transformation of modern Chinese medicine. The theory and experience of disease prevention and treatment recorded are still providing high referential value in current medical field.

Translator Guo-Qi Shi (石国旗)



Conflicts of interest


  References Top

Xiao HY, Wang BF. Centennial journal of traditional Chinese and western medicine, medical memoir during the Republican period – In memory of the centenary founding of the International Medical Journal by Ding Fubao. Chin Med Cult 2010;5:51-3.  Back to cited text no. 1
Yi GQ. Outline of Ding Fubao's Life and his works. Knowl Anc Med Lit 2003; 20:14-5.  Back to cited text no. 2
Zhang S. Ding Fubao and modern eastward transmission of western medicine. J Jiangsu Inst Educ 2013; 29:89-94.  Back to cited text no. 3
Guo YJ. The International Medical Journal under perspective of modern knowledge transformation (1910-1930) [dissertation]. [Zhengzhou]: Zhengzhou Univ 2019. pp.17-18.  Back to cited text no. 4


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]


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