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YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — A Korean physician has donated more than 90 medical instruments and antiques used in traditional Eastern medicine to the 121st General Hospital.

Dr. Kim Choon-won, a pathologist and former South Korean army officer, was assigned to work with the 121st hospital staff in 1966. Since then, the staffers have relied on him as a consultant, said Col. Brian Allgood, 18th Medical commander and the top officer at the on-base hospital.

Kim is “a truly great person to have as a friend,” Allgood said Tuesday after a short ceremony to thank Kim for his donation. “It has truly added value to our facility.”

The instruments, measuring spoons, boiling pots, acupuncture devices and cabinets for storing herbs are displayed in cases in the hospital’s lobby and a waiting area opposite the outdoor courtyard.

Kim began collecting the items decades ago, and he said he still uses newer versions of the same equipment. The items in one case illustrate how a doctor would first boil, then press, strain and serve, a broth of cooked herbs for treatment. Items include “yoobal,” a porcelain mortar; “yaksoojeo,” measuring spoons; and “yaktangki,” the stone pot used for boiling.

A booth in the lobby contains dozens of needles, yellowing books and virtual maps of the human body as a guide to acupuncture. Kim has even given a lesson to some of the hospital staff, though acupuncture is not an available treatment at the Western-style Army hospital.

Kim said he plans to donate more items next year.


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