L Fu
Journal Issue: 
Volume 41: Issue 3: 2011


Modern medicine in China owes its origins to Anglo-American medical missionaries who introduced Western medicine into China in the early nineteenth century. In 1835 the first medical missionary to China, the Reverend Dr Peter Parker, founded the Canton Ophthalmic Hospital where he pioneered lithotomy and other surgical operations for Chinese patients. This paper chronicles the subsequent development of surgery for bladder stones at that institution by Dr Parker, Dr John Kerr and their successors. Modifications of technique and improvisations by these dedicated practitioners under less-than-optimal conditions and in an unfamiliar population, provide a unique and interesting insight into medicine of the time as practiced in China.