Of the various undertakings in mission work which have given the University the foremost position among the colleges of this country in this field of endeavor, the Harvard Medical School of China is the most significant. Founded in Shanghai, China, precisely at the moment of the outbreak of the Revolution of 1911, at a time when the whole Chinese Empire was in a state of turmoil and strife, the School has grown steadily until it now occupies an excellent group of buildings supplied free of rent by the Chinese Red Cross Society. The unsettled condition of the country at the time of the founding proved to be a decided advantage instead of a hindrance as, along with the readjustment of government, there was a widespread awakening on the part of the Chinese to the necessity of hygienic regeneration, and it was this function that the school had come to fill.
The purposes for which the School was established are, in short, as follows: (1) to teach modern medicine and surgery to the Chinese students; (2) to co-operate with the Chinest government in hygienic reform; and (3) to study all the diseases peculiar to the Orient, such as bubonic plague, cholera, and leprosy. That the School is accomplishing the first of these aims is certain, for it now has 23 students engaged in active study and a faculty of ten instructors. As to the accomplishment of the last two it is as yet too early to say, except that there has been a gradual betterment of hygienic conditions throughout the Republic during the last few years, and also the authorities are increasing their hold upon the numerous contagious diseases which have ravaged the country. When considering how well the School is effecting these last two purposes it must be remembered that, among China's 400,000,000 people, there are now a few less than 650 trained physicians. One physician for the whole of Boston! Of hospitals, there are about 250, averaging 35 beds each which is about one hospital for every 1,650,000 people, and none of them are equipped as they should be.
Financial Support Needed.
The work has advanced to its present stage on annual budget of $25,000. It now faces the necessity for the erection of a new hospital, and the establishment of an out-patient department. Fortunately the money is already promised for the hospital building but $30,000 is still needed for the purchase of land and also $5,000 is required for the out-patient department.
The Chinese have especially shown their appreciation of the work by the placing at the School's disposal the excellent group of buildings which it now occupies, and it is expected that the work will ultimately be taken over entirely by the Chinese. The School has before it great opportunities for usefulness; and in the words of President Eliot, is one of undoubted worthiness and sure fruitfulness.