Tian Xiaoli PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Hong Kong

Michelle Renshaw’s meticulously researched Accommodating the Chinese looks at an important puzzle. When Western medicine was introduced into China by Protestant missionaries, which aspects of the missionary hospitals were adopted from their Western counterparts, and which owed their character to indigenous Chinese institutions, and to what extent? The author gives us a detailed discussion with enormous historical evidence.

Accommodating the Chinese addresses a topic generally ignored in the history of Western medicine in China. The book studies the physical and practical aspects of the hospital in that country, giving us an idea of how Western medicine was practised from the late nineteenth to the early twentieth century. Although much research has been done on the history of western medicine in China, there are few studies that focus on hospitals. This book, therefore, fills a gap. (Med Hist. 2009 April; 53(2): 323–324) Full Text