Dr. William Parson (Left), Dr. Po-Young Lee (Center), and Dr. Oscar A. Thorup, Jr. (Right)
Online; Still Image
UVa Medical Alumni News Letter
This image accompanied an article in the UVa Medical Alumni News Letter, October 1954. The caption under the image reads: "Dr. Po-Young Lee (center) confers with Dr. William Parson (left), Chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine, and Dr. Oscar A. Thorup, Jr., Assistant to the Dean and Instructor in Internal Medicine. Dr. Lee, Chairman of the Department of Medicine of the Severance Union Medical College, Seoul, Korea, began a two-year study program here in September." The accompanying article is entitled "Korean Medical College Chairman Here for Postgraduate Study." The article reads: "Dr. Po-Young Lee, Chairman of the Department of Medicine, Servance Union Medical College, Seoul, Korea, arrived in Charlottesville on September 17 to begin two years of postgraduate study at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. Arrangements for Dr. Lee's two-year program were made by Dr. Myung Sun Kim, President of the Serverance Union Medical College, who visited here in 1951, through correspondence with Dr. William Parson, Chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine and Dr. Thomas H. Hunter, Dean of the School of Medicine and Professor of Internal Medicine. Most of Dr. Lee's expenses are being paid by the mission board of a group of U.S. and Canadian protestant churches, with the University allowing him board and room in the house staff quarters of the University of Virginia Hospital. According to Dr. Kim, there is an urgent need for better medical education in Korea, and the purpose of Dr. Lee's study here is to learn as much as possible about new developments in medicine so that he can return to Korea and pass this knowledge on to other Korean physicians and medical students. Severely damaged during the Korean war, the Severance Union Medical College and its associated hospital were only recently reopened. Facilities for clinical study are still inadequate. While here Dr. Lee will take part in teaching and clinical procedures, and will audit basic science courses in the medical school, as well as the clinical courses. In addition he will be given such clinical responsibility as seems indicated. Wartime conditions, poor food, and poor sanitation have left Koreans in 'bad shape,' Dr. Lee says. He estimates that there are at least one million active cases of pulmonary tuberculosis in Korea, with only 400 beds in which to treat them. Peptic ulcers and other gastro-intestinal ailments are also common, he asserts, and he hopes to learn more in this field during his study here. Born in 1910, Dr. Lee received his M.D. degree from Severance Union Medical College in 1937, and a Doctor of Medical Science degree from the Kyoto University Medical School in Japan in 1946. Following internship and graduate study in physiology and medicine, he was appointed to the faculty of the Severance Union Medical College. When the medical college and hospital at Seoul were bombed out during the war, Dr Lee escaped capture by fleeing southward with the army and acting as a civilion [sic] medical officer during the heavy fighting. Married and the father of three children, Dr. Lee accepts the long separation from his family with stoicism. The rehabilitation of Korea cannot be accomplished 'only by the materials,' he says. Highly trained leaders in every field, especially in the field of medicine, are urgently required -- and he is grateful for the opportunity to add to his medical knowledge, so that he can go back to Korea and 'train young doctors properly.'" This picture is reprinted, along with an appreciation of Dr. Parsons (d. 2002), in Link, December 2002.