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Paths to Asian Medical Knowledge$
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Charles Leslie and Allan Young

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780520073173

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520073173.001.0001

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

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

(p.62) Three Time and Text: Approaching Chinese Medical Practice Through Analysis of a Published Case
Paths to Asian Medical Knowledge

Charles Leslie

Allan Young

University of California Press

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

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