The 102nd Peking University Medical Humanities Forum: Endocrine Development in China

   On the morning of September 19, 2022, Li Naishi, chief physician of the Department of Endocrinology of Peking Union Medical College Hospital and visiting professor of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences of Peking Union Medical College, was invited to give a special lecture entitled "Endocrine Development in China". This lecture was hosted by Chen Qi, associate professor of the School of Health Humanities of Peking University, and Zhang Daqing, a Boya distinguished professor at Peking University, served as the commentator. The lecture was held online and offline simultaneously. Nearly 40 teachers and students participated in the lecture and held a heated discussion.


   The lecture mainly includes four aspects: the description of endocrine diseases in ancient China, the tracing of modern endocrinology, examples of achievements in modern endocrinology in China, and a glimpse of achievements in contemporary endocrinology in China. In the nearly two-hour lecture, Professor Li not only combed the development process and important time nodes in the development of endocrinology in China in detail, but also introduced the people who have made outstanding contributions to the development of endocrinology in a multi-dimensional way.


   In the section of "Description of Endocrine Diseases in Ancient China", Professor Li started from such ancient books as Chuangtse, Synopsis of the Golden Chamber, Annals of the Three Kingdoms, and Various Pathogenic Designate Theory to vividly describe the ancient Chinese's description and understanding of thyroid diseases, diabetes, pituitary diseases and other endocrine diseases.


   In "tracing the origin of modern endocrinology", Professor Li pointed out that the successful separation of insulin and its immediate clinical effect had a huge impact on the society at that time. This achievement, on the one hand, marks the significant improvement of various technologies in basic medical fields such as biochemistry, on the other hand, it also greatly promotes the progress of endocrinology. Then he introduced the important role of McLean, Van Slyke and Wu Xian in the early development of endocrinology in China.


   In the "Examples of Endocrinology in Modern China" section, Professor Li combed the rise and development of endocrinology in China based on the clinical practice of Peking Union Medical College Hospital, introduced the first successful hyperthyroidism surgery in China, the first use of insulin and the establishment of the first metabolic ward and other important events. The peak work of endocrinology research during this period was Liu Shihao and Zhu Xianyi's disease name of "renal osteodystrophy", which was published in the famous international journal Science in 1942.


   In the "A Survey of the Achievements of Contemporary Endocrinology in China", Professor Li introduced in detail the academic achievements of famous professors such as Liu Shihao, Chi Chisheng, Shi Yifan, Meng Xunwu in the Department of Endocrinology of Peking Union Medical College Hospital. Their hard work made China's endocrinology achieve a number of achievements. Finally, Professor Li briefly described the role of public health in the prevention of endemic goiter and endemic cretinism by taking the iodine nutrition survey in China for more than 50 years in the last century as an example.


   After the lecture, Professor Li and the teachers and students had a heated discussion on the future research of endocrinology and the diagnosis and treatment of endocrine diseases during the Republic of China. Commentator Professor Zhang Daqing said that Professor Li 's explanation of the history of endocrine development in China is very scientific and rigorous, and students should also write the medical history systematically and scientifically. The participating teachers and students benefited a lot from this lecture.