Peter Parker (physician)

Peter Parker (Physician)

Peter Parker (physician)

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Peter Parker (1804–1888) was an American physician and a missionary who introduced Western medical techniques into Qing Dynasty China. It was said that Parker "opened China to the gospel at the point of a lancet."

Early life

Parker was born in Framingham, Massachusetts in 1804 to an orthodox Congregational family. His parents were farmers. Parker received a B.A. degree from Yale University in 1831, and his M.D. degree from the Yale Medical School, then called Medical Institution of Yale College, in 1834. In January 1834, he completed his theological studies at Yale and was ordained as a Presbyterian minister. Christopher Gundman, Biographical Dictionary of Christianity in China

China

In February 1834, Parker traveled to Canton, where he had the distinction of being the first full-time Protestant medical missionary to China. In 1835, he opened in that city the Ophthalmic Hospital, which later became the Guangzhou Boji Hospital (the Canton Hospital). Parker specialized in diseases of the eye, including cataracts, and also resected tumors. Parker also introduced Western anesthesia in the form of sulphuric ether. He served as president of the Medical Missionary Society of China after his mentor Thomas Richardson Colledge.

In 1844, Parker worked as Caleb Cushing's main interpreter during the negotiations of the Treaty of Wanghia with the Qing Empire. The treaty stipulated that it could be renegotiated after 12 years and in...
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