Ki-rye Jang, a practitioner of love and compassion overcoming the suffering due to the division of Korea

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Born in 1911 to a wealthy Christian family in Korea, Ki-rye Jang graduated from Kyungsung Medical School and married Bong-sook Kim in 1932. Serving as an assistant of surgery under Dr. In-je Paik from 1932-1938, Dr. Jang also worked as a lecturer in surgery. In 1940 he obtained his Ph.D. from Nagoya University, Japan. After the Liberation of Korea, Dr. Jang was appointed as the General Director of Pyongyang District Hospital in 1946 and as a professor at Kim Il-sung Medical School in 1947, and became the first Ph.D. awardee in North Korea in 1948. In December 1950, during the Korean War, Dr. Jang fled with his second son, Ka-yong, and arrived in Busan. In 1951, he established Gospel Hospital. In 1958, Dr. Jang founded the Busan Local Surgical Association, and in 1959, he successfully performed the first liver lobectomy in Korea and received the Academic Award (presidential award) from the Korea Academy of Medical Sciences. In 1968 he founded Gospel Professional Nursing School and the Busan Blue Cross Insurance Union and was elected as the first head of the union. In 1974, he founded the Korea Liver Research Association and was inaugurated as the first president. In 1976, he was awarded the Order of National Service Merit - Dongbaekjang, and in 1987 the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service. On December 25, 1995, at the age of 84, he passed away. Throughout his life, he missed his wife and children from whom he was separated due to the division of Korea. Beyond his suffering due to the division of Korea, Dr. Jang was a practitioner of love and compassion. Love of Christianity, compassion for the poor, living together in solidarity, excellence in creativity, commitment to peace and non-violence, generosity and non-possession, and freedom in truth were the key concepts that ran throughout Dr. Jang's life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)780-782
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of the Korean Medical Association
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2015


  • Division of Korea
  • Ethics
  • Love
  • Practice
  • Service

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