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The University Medical School of Canton

The University Medical School of Canton

To the Editor:—The University Medical School of Canton has been a name for six years, and now that it has become a reality it seems only right that our friends in the medical profession should know something about it. The school is under the management of the Board of Directors of the Christian Association of the University of Pennsylvania, and is affiliated with the Canton Christian College, being located on adjoining property. The purpose of the school is threefold:

  1. To transform and mold the character of Chinese youth by leading them to a knowledge of Jesus Christ.
  2. To give in the English or Chinese language a course in western medicine modeled after that of the best schools in America.
  3. To cooperate with the Christian Association of the University of Pennsylvania in its work with the undergraduate body in Philadelphia.

Until the present year the University Medical School has had no buildings of its own, but has rented from the Christian College. The permanent hospital is now, however, being built. It is of brick and reenforced concrete, and for good workmanship and solidity in construction it cannot be excelled by any building in all China. Only the first section is now being erected, at a cost of $16,000, to be finished Sept. 1, 1911. It is estimated that the entire building will be 500 feet in length and will cost not less than $100,000.

The hospital is to be equipped according to the latest ideas of modern hospital construction.

In February, 1910, several students of the Canton Christian College asked us to start a class in medicine. This we finally agreed to do, and at the present time there are five students who have completed one and one-half years' study. During this time they have covered osteology, histology, physical diagnosis and an elementary course in physics. They are still studying anatomy, physiology, therapeutics, etc.

There are now four physicians in charge of the medical school—three American and one Chinese—all graduates of the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to these, there is a secretary and a trained nurse and a number of Chinese helpers.

During the past winter plans have been made for widening the scope of the school by inviting the missions represented in Canton to contribute the services of at least four physicians, thus making it a union school. There has been hearty endorsement of this plan, and it is now hoped that by next March this union school will be started with instruction given in the Chinese language. The plan is to have classes admitted every year to be taught in Chinese, and to admit classes taught in English when sufficient students apply.

The opportunity for original research in a tropical city like Canton is unlimited. The school aims, also, to give opportunities in this direction. The first postgraduate course was held this year when Dr. H. S. Houghton of Wuhu, at the invitation of the school, gave a most instructive course in parasitology and examination of the blood. Thirteen physicians, representing nine different missions, were in attendance—some coming from a distance of 300 miles. The course was held daily for two weeks in February, during the Chinese New Year season, classes beginning at 9:30 a.m. and lasting until 4 p.m. with one and one-half hours' intermission at noon.

Next year it is planned to hold another course, taking up ophthalmology and some other subjects.

As we look back to the beginnings of our great medical schools in the United States, we recall that they owe their origin to physicians trained in Europe who devoted their lives to developing the art of medicine in the American colonies. Can we, who have reaped what they have sowed, do better than follow their example, and help the men in this great land of China to realize their ideals of establishing schools of medicine modeled after the institutions of Europe and America?

William W. Cadbury, Canton, China.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1924.


The author died in 1959, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 50 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.