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Boji Building of Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital
中山大学附属第二医院 / 孙逸仙纪念医院 博济楼

107 Yanjiang Road West, Yuexiu District
Guangzhou GD China

Construction Dates
Building Uses
 - hospital
Structural Types
 - lowrise

China's first modern hospital. Its name was changed several times and the original building destroyed, but the hospital still has surgical instruments from the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
Now called the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital or the Second Affiliated Hospital of the Sun Yat-sen University, it was first an ophthalmic hospital opened by American Peter Park in 1835. It was renamed Canton Hospital in the 1860s and began to take in medical students.
Parker, an American Presbyterian minister and physician, used his hospital and Western surgical techniques as a charity to facilitate religious conversion. Although treatment was free there were no patients on the first day the hospital opened as Guangzhou residents then had no knowledge or confidence in a Western doctor.
A poor woman who had no means to pay for traditional Chinese herbs was Parker's first patient.
As camera was yet to be invented, Parker invited Lam Qua, a commercial painter, to draw human organs for teaching purposes.
Among the yellowed pages of the files, there was a record of Lin Zexu, a famous Qing governor who fought to destroy the opium trade, seeking treatment for an intestinal problem. Lin also asked Parker about medical treatment for opium addicts.
Dr. Sun Yat-sen studied at the Canton Hospital after returning from Honolulu in 1883. During his year at the hospital, Sun proposed male and female students sit in the same classroom and male doctors be allowed to treat gynecological cases.
His suggestions, accepted by Parker, were seen as revolutionary in a feudal society.
Canton Hospital also trained China's first "Florence Nightingale" Zhang Zhujun. Zhang, born to a wealthy family in Guangzhou, decided to become a doctor after her paralyzed leg was cured at the hospital. She organized China's first Red Cross aid group after a democratic revolution broke out in 1911.

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