Birthplace of pioneers in medicine

Jiading has always been rich in culture, literature and economy. In its long course of history, and Jiading is especially boastful of its talent in medicine.

Jiading has always been rich in culture, literature and economy. In its long course of history, professionals in all industries have emerged, and Jiading is especially boastful of its talent in medicine.

Jiading has never been short of famous doctors. Among them Lu Bingkui, first director of the traditional Chinese medicine department of the then National Health Commision; Zhang Changshao, founder of China’s pharmacology; Chen Bangdian, pioneer of China’s urology; Ge Chenghui, founder of Jiading District Central Hospital; Shen Liuji, a famous traditional Chinese medicine doctor; Gu Zuwei, founder of China’s genetic toxicology; and Chen Long, receiver of the Lifetime Contribution Award for Rural Health.

Many Jiading native doctors have pioneered new ways of treatment, such as acupuncturist Lu Shouyan, who laid the foundation for modern acupuncture by inventing naked skin acupuncture methods; Zhu Chunting, the sixth generation of a traditional Chinese medicine family, who invented one finger message to treat bodily ailments, with the method later awarded as national intangible cultural heritage; the Niu brothers, Niu Huilin,“the pillar of Chinese medicine” who treated Sir Reginald Stubbs, then British colonial governor of Hong Kong, and the red army general Chen Geng; and his brother Niu Huisheng, one of the earliest orthopedists, who founded China’s earliest orthopedic hospital; and Zhang Changshao, the leading figure in pharmacology who invented the morphine analgesia mechanism and chemical therapy for dysentery and tuberculosis.

Not only did the Jiading doctors treat patients, but also wrote books to cultivate the next generation of doctors and preserve traditional Chinese medicine, such as Yu Botao, one of the three most famous doctors in Shanghai; Wu Dahou, founder of Jiading traditional Chinese medicine Practitioner Association, and Zhang Shanlei, the medicine educator.

Jiading’s earliest Western medicine hospital, founded by Ge Chengxun, was located at the Westgate, and it laid the foundation for local residents’ faith in Western medicine. Jiading’s first female doctor, Ge Chenghui, raised money and founded Jiading Puji Hospital, the predecessor of Jiading District Central Hospital, and advanced the development of Western medicine in Jiading.

Many of the doctors made their contributions to break the boundaries between Chinese and Western medicine, such as Zhang Zhifang, Zheng Songwen, and Zheng Dinghua.

Both Zhengs were the sixth generation descendents of a traditional Chinese medicine family. They mainly treated their patients with traditional Chinese medicine surgeries combined with Western medicine. Along with many other Western medicine practitioner, such as Mao Dingbo, Ge Qinsheng and Zhang Zuyin, who advocated the combination of Chinese and Western medicine.

Another trait the doctors in Jiading were known for was their patriotism. In November 1937, Jiading fell in the War of Resistance against Japan Aggression (1931-45), Lu bought firearms for the resistance and formed guerrillas to defend his hometown; the twin founders of China’s urinary surgery, Chen Bangdian and Chen Bangxian, organized the rescue work in the same war and the Korean War (1950-53).

Zhang Shanlei (1873-1934), born in Jiading’s Shigang village, was studious as a young boy and was admitted to the government school to learn about Confucius’ teaching. Later he decided to learn medicine for his mother’s illness.

He learnt his skill from local traditional Chinese medicine practitioners such as Yu Defu, Hou Chunshuang, Huang Liquan and Zhu Langxian. When Zhang finished his apprenticeship, he practiced medicine with modesty and responsibility, with his attitude earning him a great reputation.

Despite Zhang’s slim figure, he had a sonorous voice. In his books, he always provided lots of lively examples and references to teach his students. During his 15 years of teaching at Lanxi Traditional Chinese Medicine School in Zhejiang Province, he cultivated more than 600 students and formed his own school of Chinese medicine.

His life’s work, “Zhang Shanlei Medicine Writings,” was published by People’s Medical Publishing House in two volumes with 2.8 million Chinese characters.

Ge Chenghui (1891-1970) was born in Jiading and entered the Shanghai Aiguo School for Girls in 1908.

When the 1911 Revolution broke out, she had to return home. Ge’s brother, Ge Chengxun, asked her to help in the Red Cross field hospital in Nanjing, where she served as assistant to a Japanese surgeon whose skillful surgery impressed Ge and made her want to learn Western medicine.

Ge was admitted to Shanghai Medical School for Women and graduated in 1915.

Then she went to Yale University School of Medicine in 1921 to further her medical skills and got her MD in 1926. Later she returned to Shanghai and was appointed as president of Jiading Cunren Hospital in October of 1928.

In 1946, Ge was practicing medicine in Jiading and taking care of her sick mother. With the help from Gu Jisheng, owner of a textile factory in Jiading, Ge built the first hospital in the town, consisting of six bungalows, to be named Puji Hospital, as it was built on the foundations of the Puji temple. Ge subsequently became president of the hospital and director of the department of gynaecology and obstetrics.

Later, Ge resigned from Puji hospital and opened her private clinic, soon gaining a reputation for her medical skills, her patience with patients, and reasonable prices. She didn’t charge destitute patients and gave them financial and material help. No matter how far away physically challenged patients lived, she would visit them at their homes.

Birthplace of pioneers in medicine
Ti Gong

Ge Chenghui stands in front of Puji Hospital, the predecessor of Jiading District Central Hospital, which Ge had raised money and founded.

Another famous doctor in Jiading’s history, Lu Shouyan (1909-69) learned acupuncture from his father Li Peiqing. When Lu finished his studies at 18, he opened his private clinic at Kunshan Road S. in Jiangsu’s Kunshan city and Nanshi District in Shanghai, soon gaining a lot of clientele for his skills and attitude with his patients.

Lu discarded the traditional acupuncture method of puncturing through patients’ clothes, and pioneered new ways to sterilize skin and acupuncture needles, which laid the foundation for modern acupuncture. He also started scientific research on acupuncture treatment for deaf-mutes and acupuncture anesthesia.

Lu invented the filiform needle, and acupuncture with warmed needles, which were well-received by the patients for the methods’ effectiveness.

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