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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014, Article ID 740515, 6 pages
Review Article

Introduction to the History and Current Status of Evidence-Based Korean Medicine: A Unique Integrated System of Allopathic and Holistic Medicine

1Acupuncture and Meridian Science Research Center, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 130-701, Republic of Korea
2Department of Preventive Medicine, Center for Clinical Research and Drug Development, Institution for Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 130-701, Republic of Korea

Received 3 December 2013; Revised 9 January 2014; Accepted 10 January 2014; Published 14 April 2014

Academic Editor: Bo-Hyoung Jang

Copyright © 2014 Chang Shik Yin and Seong-Gyu Ko. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. Korean medicine, an integrated allopathic and traditional medicine, has developed unique characteristics and has been active in contributing to evidence-based medicine. Recent developments in Korean medicine have not been as well disseminated as traditional Chinese medicine. This introduction to recent developments in Korean medicine will draw attention to, and facilitate, the advancement of evidence-based complementary alternative medicine (CAM). Methods and Results. The history of and recent developments in Korean medicine as evidence-based medicine are explored through discussions on the development of a national standard classification of diseases and study reports, ranging from basic research to newly developed clinical therapies. A national standard classification of diseases has been developed and revised serially into an integrated classification of Western allopathic and traditional holistic medicine disease entities. Standard disease classifications offer a starting point for the reliable gathering of evidence and provide a representative example of the unique status of evidence-based Korean medicine as an integration of Western allopathic medicine and traditional holistic medicine. Conclusions. Recent developments in evidence-based Korean medicine show a unique development in evidence-based medicine, adopting both Western allopathic and holistic traditional medicine. It is expected that Korean medicine will continue to be an important contributor to evidence-based medicine, encompassing conventional and complementary approaches.