Time and Text: Approaching Chinese Medical Practice Through Analysis of a Published Case

Charles Leslie and Allan Young

in Paths to Asian Medical Knowledge

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 1992 | ISBN: 9780520073173
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520910935 | DOI:
Time and Text: Approaching Chinese Medical Practice Through Analysis of a Published Case

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This chapter presents a case history of Chinese medical practice. Case histories occupy a much more prominent place in Chinese medical publishing than they do in Western biomedical journals and textbooks. Cases occupy a much more central place in medical discourse, and they are difficult to understand apart from their emergence as texts in a unique social world of scholarly practice. Science and technology bookstores in the People's Republic include numerous collections of case histories among the teaching and research texts of Chinese medicine. A rapid review of the professional periodical literature of Chinese medicine reveals many short chapters devoted to discussion of a case or of a few cases. A great deal of theoretical work revolves around the interpretation of specific illnesses; and the biographies and autobiographies of senior Chinese doctors focus at length on their famous cases. However, a published case history in Chinese medicine must be considered in quite a different light from that of Western medicine.

Keywords: case history; Chinese medical practice; People's Republic; scholarly practice; texts

Chapter.  5513 words. 

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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