Chang Kee-ryo

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Chang Kee-ryo
Revised RomanizationJang Gi-ryeo
McCune–ReischauerChang Ki-ryŏ
Pen name
Revised RomanizationSeongsan

Chang Kee-ryo (14 August 1911 – 25 December 1995) was a surgeon, educator, and philanthropist of South Korea.[2] He is the 1979 recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service and established Gospel hospital, in Busan, Korea, in 1951, during the Korean war.[3][4] In 1979, he won the Ramon Magsaysay Award "for his practical, personal Christian charity and in founding the Blue Cross Health Cooperative in Pusan."[5]


Early life and education[edit]

Chang Kee-ryo was born between father Jang Woon Seop and mother Choi Yeun Kyeong in 1911.8.14 at Pyeongyang. He was born as the second. He graduated from Uiseong primary school in February 1923. He went to Songdo Elementary school and graduated in 1928, March.[citation needed]

After graduating from Songdo Elementary School in Kaesong in 1928, he entered Kyungsung Medical School in 1928 and graduated in 1932. After graduation, he entered the school as an assistant to the former Surgery Department of Kyungsung and became a disciple of Professor Baek In-jae of the Korean Surgical Society. In 1932, he married Kim Bong-sook, the eldest daughter of Kim Ha-sik, an internal doctor, and had 3 males and 3 females.[citation needed]

In 1938, he worked as a lecturer in Kyungsung's entire surgery. In order to keep his promise to God that he would become a doctor who helped the poor who did not receive medical care due to lack of money at the time of Kyungsung's admission, In September 1940, he obtained his Ph.D in Kyoto University. in bacteriological studies on appendicitis and appendicitis.[citation needed]

As an adult[edit]

When he was seriously contemplating his future career in his youth, his father's failure in business made his family difficult, and he applied for Gyeongseong Medicine School because of its cheap tuition. At this time, he swore to be a doctor for poor patients if it was God's will that he become a doctor. He graduated from college at the top honor of his class. He married Kim Bong-sook, the eldest daughter of Kim Han-sik, a physician that year. And he had three sons and three daughters. After graduation, he entered Gyeongseong College Institute of Surgeons as an assistant and became a student of the Korean surgical authority, Baek In-je, a professor. In 1940, he received a doctoral degree in medicine in the journal The bacteriological study of appendicitis and peritonitis due to appendicitis, and served as a surgical professor at the University of Pyongyang and Kim Il Sung University in 1947. In December 1950, when U.N. and South Korean troops recaptured Pyongyang, he was treating wounded soldiers at a university hospital and field hospital. When the South Korean military withdrew from Pyongyang, he was taking a patient transport ambulance to the South. Then he found his wife and children in the refugee ranks, but he couldn't stop and ask for a ride to his family because the emergency patients were on board. Only his second son, who came to pick up his luggage, came to South Korea with him. He had regarded it as a lifelong regret. From the following year, he set up a tent in Yeongdo-gu, Busan, and established Gospel Hospital, which is a precursor of the current Gosin hospital, to provide free medical treatment for the poor people and to June 1976. Hospital doors were too high for poor people in the 1960s without healthcare insurance. Regrettably, he created the Blue Cross Medical Cooperatives, modeled after the Northern European Medicare System in 1968, and became the parent of the Korean healthcare insurance system. At that time when it was hard to live on, the nation's first medical insurance union succeeded with one belief that it could not overburden the poor despite the lack of understanding and financial difficulties surrounding it. He was the first in Korea to successfully remove a lump of liver cancer from the liver in 1943, and in 1959, he succeeded in mass decontamination of liver cancer patients. His work on liver blood vessels and microstructure has helped relieve the pain of many patients with liver diseases and contributed greatly to the development of liver disease and medical talent in Korea's overseas sciences. For his services, he was awarded the Order of National Merit (Dongbaeg medal) in 1976, the Magsaysay Award (community service sector) in 1979, and the humanitarian award for practice In 1995. He has praised as a saint of Korea for his belief of philanthropy and his services to the poor and alienated to the last life, in spite of his suffering from diabetes in his old age, His grave is within the Moran park in Maseok, Gyeonggi-do. He was awarded the Order of the National Merit (Mugunghwa medal) in 1996. He was inducted into the Korea Scientists and Engineers Hall of Fame in 2006.


Research about the liver[edit]

Dr.Chang has dissected a dead body of a patient who has cellulitis and sepsis. Through this experience, he researched about 7 more sepsis cases and published his paper Rereoperitoneum Cellulitis at The Journal of the Japanese Surgical Society. He got the degree of the doctor of medicine at Japan Nagoya Empire University for publishing Bacteriological Research on Appendictius and Peritonitis due to Appendicitis on September 20, 1940.

After he got the degree of the doctor of medicine, he worked as the chief of the surgical section at Pyeongyang United Christian Hospital. He published his paper titled <A Histo-Clinical Study of Myositis> at The Journal of the Japanese Surgical Society on April 1942. On 1943, he succeeded on “the resection of liver from a liver cancer patient."

After the independence of Korea, he worked as the principal and the chief of the surgical section at the Provincial Hospital of Pyeongyang. On 1947, he received the Model Worker Prize from the North Korean government.

On December 4, 1950, he defected to South Korea with Chang Ka-Yong (Chang Kee-ryo's second son). Next year, he found the Clinic of Gospel with two other pastors. On 1952, he worked as the professor at Seoul National University College of Medicine. On 1961, he was elected as the president of the Korean Surgical Society.

On 1968, he founded the Busan Gospel specialized School of Nursing Care, and served as the first president. On 1969, he wrote a Korean textbook <Surgery> with professor Kim Hee-Kyu and Hong Pil-Hoon. On 1974, he served as the first president of the Korean Research Society of Liver. This society researched about liver and hepatobiliary surgery. This society changed its name to Busan Research Society of Liver on 1982.

The most important research achievements of Dr.Chang is study about the liver. Dr.Chang's surgical team succeeded to resect a large amount of liver from a liver cancer patient for the first time in Korea. They succeeded eight more liver resection surgeries, and they proved that liver resection is not a surgery that is dangerous. Due to their work, Hepatobiliary Surgery has developed in large measure. They presented about this surgery on June at the Academic Conference of the Korean Medical Society, and received the Korean Academic Award on 1961. Dr.Chang presented <A morphological research on intrahepatic blood vessels and biliary tract of Koreans> at the Academic Conference of the Medical Society of Korea on October 1960. This presentation was medically important since it provided the basis of Hepatobiliary surgery.

Foundation of the health cooperative[edit]

Another major achievements of Dr.Chang is the foundation of the Blue Cross Health Cooperative. This act came from his volunteering spirit to poor people. The foundation of the Blue Cross Health Cooperative provided the main basis of medical insurance of Korea.

Dr.Chang got the recognition of those achievements written above, so he won the Ramon Magsaysay Award for “his practical, personal Christian charity and in founding the Blue Cross Health Cooperative” on 1979.

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • got an achievement award at Health Care Day from the mayor of Busan
  • got Korean Medical Association scholarship award from the president
  • got the 4th Health day camellia medal from the president
  • got gold award from Korea Red Cross
  • got “Ramon Magsaysay” social service award
  • got the 23rd Busan municipal cultural prize
  • got “proud person of seoul national university” prize
  • got national medal “mugunghwa medal” from the president
  • entered the hall of fame of top scientist

Publications and related books[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cho Hyung-Kyoon (조형균). "Seong San Dr. Chang Kee Ryo - Searching for the Secret of Life" (in Korean). Hanshin University, Theology Research (한신대학교 한신신학연구소).
  2. ^ 장기려 그사람, 지강유철 저(The book about Chang Kee-ryo, written by Jigang Youcheol)
  3. ^ "CITATION for Chang Kee-Ryo". Manila, Philippines: Ramon Magsaysay Foundation. 31 August 1979.
  4. ^ 장기려 張起呂 (1911 ~ 1995.12.25) (in Korean). Doosan Encyclopedia.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ The Ramon Magsaysay Awards. Published under the auspices of the Board of Trustees of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation, 1979. pp. 18, 44