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The Korean Journal of Pathology 1994;28(2): 109-117.
The Establishment of Hospital Pathology in Korea.
Je G Chi
Department of Pathology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
A brief historical review of the Pathology Service in the western hospital system in Korea is made. Only since the introduction of western medicine by Japanese officials and American missionaries in the late 1890 has Pathology been considered a major part of basic science in medical schools, and its role as a hospital "Service had previously long been ignored. A limited service of tissue diagnosis of surgical material and autopsy had been performed. Professor Inamato was the first Japanese pathologist to come to Korea and set up a Pathology Department at the Chosun Chongdogbu Hospital in 1913. And Dr Mills appears to be the first American hospital pathologist who worked at Severance Hospital in 1913 doing bacteriology and parasitology as well as lecturing on patology at the medical school. After the Korean war most university hospitals adopted the Central Laboratory system which is equivalent to Pathology Service in the American hospital system. The need for hospital pathologists, therefore increased greatly. To meet this need the Korean Society of Pathologists that was founded in 1946, established a pathology specialty system in 1963, and began to produce hospital pathologists in both anatomic and clinical pathology. Unfortunately in the midst of changing a hospital laboratory system the term Clinical Pathology was erroneously used by some pathologists to measn Hospital Pathology as a whole. They claimed and advocated that Surgical Pathology should also be a part of Clinical Pathology. They made no distinction between anatomic pathology and clinical pathology. Although their claims proved to be erroneous later, the discord between anatomic pathologists and clinical pathologists resulted in a complete separation of the anatomic pathology(AP) and clinical pathology(CP) programs in residency training and in the specialty board system. As of now there is no access to train combined AP and CP specialists who are greatly needed for a great majority of hospitals in Korea. Presently there are almost equal number of anatomic pathology and clinical pathology specialists. M.D. clinical pathologists in Korea have no knowledge of tissue pathology examination, and conversely anatomic pathologists have no access to a clinical laboratory during their training periods. Furthermore there are only a handful specialists in the clinical pathology field. There is an increased chance to have clinical microbiologists, clinical biochemists and other experts in clinical pathology fields, who are not M.D.s but Ph.D.s, in the near future, because M.D. microbiologists and biochemists working at Departments of Microbilogy or Biochemistry at medical schools are doing research of their own. Therefore general clinical pathologists with a con-temporary training background as in Korea would have difficulty in finding a ro as a physician and not as an administrator or supervisor of a clinical laboratory. It is hoped that a balanced system involving Pathology(anatomic pathology) and Laboratory Medicine(clinical pathology) in modern Korean hospitals will be established in the coming years.
Key Words: Pathology; Clinical Pathology; Laboratory medicine; History; Korea
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