Dr. Lin-Yi Tseng is currently an associate professor from the Center for General Education at Taipei Medical University. Her work on “the Development of Western Medicine in Dadaocheng(大稻埕) in Modern Taiwan” recently won the 8th Professor Shutsung Liao Research Award by North America Taiwanese Professors’ Association (NATPA).
According to Dr. Tseng, Dadaocheng played a very important role in the modernization of Taiwan’s medical care, and was the location of many firsts, such as Taiwan’s first general hospital, “Hongji Hospital”; Taiwan’s first female physician, A-Hsin Tsai (蔡阿信); Taiwan’s first dentist, Dr. Tseng-Chyuan Chen (陳增全) (Tseng-Chyuan Dentistry); and the first Indigenous Taiwanese physician (from the Puyuma tribe) to complete a Western-style medical education path, Dr. Tang-Shan Hsieh (謝唐山). In addition, from the Japanese Colonial Period to the early Post-War Period, Dadaocheng had a large number of western hospitals and pharmacies, such as Watsons Pharmacy and Taihetang Pharmacy, etc., which influenced the medical development of not just Taipei, but arguably even all of Taiwan. Unfortunately, Dadaocheng’s medical history and contributions are rarely covered in our history textbooks, and there is a dearth of complete and comprehensive professional research, which is a pity.
Dr. Tseng’s research depicts the evolvement of medical care over decades. The Japanese colonial period brought modern medical care to Taiwan. Through the establishment of new medical schools and hospitals, as well as various medical experiments, the medical foundation of modern Taiwan was laid. Among them, Dadaocheng is an important area for the attainment and practice of medical knowledge.
Dr. Tseng indicated that “humanities” are also of great significance to medical research. With the passage of time, many important medical materials in Taiwan may gradually disappear. As a historian, one has the responsibility of getting Taiwanese people understand the medical history of modern Taiwan through interviews, studies, writing and publications. Furthermore, as a lecturer at a medical university, it is one’s responsibility to get students to understand the medical development of modern Taiwan. The research results should also be published as a historical publication so that more people can understand the deep relationship between Dadaocheng and Western medicine.