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HOME > J Pathol Transl Med > Volume 31(10); 1997 > Article
Original Article Perspective of The Korean Society of Pathologists.
Je G Chi
Journal of Pathology and Translational Medicine 1997;31(10):902-908
DOI: https://doi.org/
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Department of Pathology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul 110-744, Korea.

Only since the introduction of western medicine by Japanese officials and American missionaries in the late 1890's, has the Pathology in its modern concept been considered a major part of basic science in medical schools in Korea, after its role as a hospital service had long been ignored. Limited service of tissue diagnosis on surgical material was the only service performed. Professor Inamoto was the first Japanese pathologist to come to Korea and set up a Pathology Department at the Chosun Chongdogbu Hospital in 1913, and Dr. Mills appears to be the first American hospital pathologist who worked at Severance Hospital in 1913 practicing bacteriology and parasitology as well as lecturing pathology at the medical school. Korea was annexed by Japan from 1910 to 1945. The Korean Society of Pathologists (The former Chosun Society of Pathology) was founded on October 1, 1946, during the turmoil after the end of the Second World War and liberation from Japanese occupation. Only a handful of pathologists gathered for the delivery of the Society. The purpose of the Society was to study, research and exchange information and knowledge in the field of Pathology among its members. Since 1947 the Society had held regular annual academic meetings. In 1950 the Korean War occurred and the Korean Society of Pathologists (KSP) had to restart after the war. The still existing Monthly Slide Conference started in 1959, and the Pathology specialist system was adopted in 1963. There had been a considerable confusion during the adoption period of the pathology specialist system in this country, mainly because of the confused concept of the term "clinical pathology". In its start three categories, i.e., anatomic pathology, clinical pathology, and combined anatomic and clinical pathology were opened. However, the combined training program was eliminated in 1975, which eventually resulted in the separation of clinical pathologists from the KSP to found a new society of Clinical Pathology in 1980 against the advice of the KSP. The first official Journal of the Society, The Korean Journal of Pathology was launched in 1967, marking the 20th anniversary of the Society. It started as a biannual Journal and became a quarterly in 1977. In 1991 the Journal became a bimonthly periodical, and since 1996 the Society issues 12 volumes a year. From 1976, academic activity of the Society was expanded by opening its Spring Meeting in addition to the conventional annual Fall Meeting. In 1992 the Society adopted board of trustee system, providing a fresh blood transfusion. In 1996, the Society commemorated its 50th Anniversary, and published a record book, "The First Fifty Years of The Korean Society of Pathologists". As of December 1996, the Society has a total membership of 500 and 7 special study groups The Society holds 2 annual meetings, monthly slide conferences, several long and short courses, and workshops every year. Approximately 400 papers have been presented each year at the annual meetings. Approximately 350 anatomic pathologists work at hospitals, and a additional 50 pathologists are engaged in full time research at the Department of Pathology in medical schools and other research institutes. As we turn the first half century of founding the Korean Society of Pathologists we realize that we have to be well prepared for various expected and unexpected situations in the future. Enforcement of research pathology at medical schools appears to be the most urgent and important issue. For this purpose, the concept of basic pathology, research pathology, and hospital pathology (surgical pathology) should be clearly established. We also have to clearly define the differnece between anatomic pathology and clinical pathology in this country. At present, the clinical pathology stands alone without any collaboration with the KSP in terms of training program, specialty qualification and hospital practice. Undergraduate pathology education is another issue that we have to pay special attention. The number of full time research pathologists should be increased, and their active and dominant participation in the Society are needed. As the demand for the knowledge and promotions of special field of pathology increases, establishment of additional study group should be encouraged. And if the requirements are met, founding a new Special Pathology Society could also be encouraged. However, the basic skeleton and executive power of the KSP in training residents, qualifying specialty or subspecialty, and in representing the entire pathology field should be maintained and strictly enforced. Hospital pathology has been a dominant drive of the KSP for the last 35 years since the adoption of specialty system. The term, "Diagnostic Pathology" appears to be a term that can replace "Anatomic Pathology", "Surgical Pathology", or "Tissue Pathology" in this country. In future the demand of diagnostic pathology particularly endoscopy biopsy diagnosis, cytological diagnosis and evaluation of surgical operation would be greatly increased. Therefore, we have to be ready for the requirements of professional diagnostician in various fields of pathology as well as overall general diagnostic pathologist. Subspecialty qualification could be expected around the year 2005, when the membership of the Society is expected to be 700. The Korean Journal of Pathology has yet to be improved. It should contain more basic research articles produced by full-time basic pathology researchers. Papers related to hospital pathology (diagnostic pathology) including cytopathology should pursure not only originality but also its practical importance in our situation in this country. The Korean Journal of Pathology should aim for its acception and inclusion in international indexing system in near future.

JPTM : Journal of Pathology and Translational Medicine