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Distinguished Scholars
Masters of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Chang Jiang Scholars
The National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars
Selected Candidates of National Hundred, Thousand and Ten Thousand Talent Project
National Distinguished Teachers
Member of Disciple Appraisal Group of the Academic Degrees Committee of the State Council
High-level Talents of NJUCM
TCM Master Gan Zuwang

As a famous senior TCM physician in China, Prof. Gan Zuwang is one of the first advisers in China in the inheritance of the academic experience of senior TCM experts nationwide, one of the first scientists entitled to special allowance of State Council, an excellent teacher in Jiangsu Province, and a famous expert in TCM ENT department. In the 75 years of his medical practice, he composed 9 books, compiled 26 books and published 326 theses (including medical notes). More than 100 articles have been written by his disciples and peers on his academic thoughts and experience. 

Times nourish congenital conditions  

It is difficult to understand, memorize, chew and digest classic works of TCM, and it would be more difficult for readers without classical Chinese foundation. The grandfather of Gan Zuwang is a scholar in the late Qing Dynasty. At the turn between Qing Dynasty and the Republic of China, he sent five-year-old Gan Zuwang to Yao Shizi Private School reputed as one of the “Four Most Famous Private Schools in Southern China”. Prof. Gan read Three Character Primer, One Thousand Character Classic, Four Books and Five Classics, Lisao, Records of the Grand Historian and Eight Masters of the Tang and Song Dynasties at the private school for 13 years, laying a solid classical Chinese foundation for him to study TCM theory. Exactly because of this, Prof. Gan understands classical works and gist more easily. For example, he can detect the errors of sounds, shapes and fonts in classical medicine at the first glance, and he has a good mastery of the polysemic property of ancient Chinese characters. In 1956, he was transferred to Nanjing TCM College (the predecessor of Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine) to compile the catalogue of books, which enabled him to read more books. Therefore, he enjoys congenital conditions in understanding classical medical book and studying, annotating and collating classical medical books.   

According to the five orbiculi theory of ophthalmology, he descried the physiological functions of throat as “Throat has five attributes: heart, lung, spleen and kidney are the master, gate, essence and root of sound respectively for intangible energy. In contrast, for tangible substances, vocal cords belong to liver, capable of shocking due to the lung energy; false vocal cords belong to spleen, capable of activating due to nourishment of energy and blood.” “Pitch belongs to Foot-jueyin, measuring the rigidity of liver; volume belongs to Taiyin, weighing the strength of lung; tone belongs to Foot-shaoyin, scaling the prosperity of kidney; register belongs to Foot-taiyin, examining the waxing of spleen. Rigid liver, thriving kidney and waxing spleen can bring about loud and sonorous voices.” This not only expounds the laryngic physiological theory of TCM, but also can guide clinical medicine. Moreover, this combination of ancient meaning and modern expertise is the development and promotion of TCM. 

Diligence boosts acquired conditions 

Diligence and self-support are two important preconditions for one’s success. Here, “diligence” means “persistence”. After attending the private school for 13 years, Prof. Gan learned medicine from Mr. Zhong Daosun, a famous doctor in Jiashan, Zhejiang Province at the age of 17. In the meantime, Mr. Zhong instructed him to spend more time reading, practicing skills and doing work. 

Prof. Gan was so engrossed in reading that he went to the bookstore once a week, reading books at the store without buying them, buying those which were regarded by him as good books. His wife said that they were poor because he often bought books. In 1990, he was appraised as one of the ten largest book collectors in Nanjing. In his study, there are books of 10 categories, including reference books, book series, medical history, medical notes, herb books, prescriptions, ENT books, medical books, records and cases of various genres and books on Western medicine. For dozens of years, he has been reading books here indefatigably, composing books, cutting newspapers and excerpting data. At the age of 96, he still composes books today. 

He had his unique and strict lesson notes for his teaching at Nanjing TCM College. In 1980, at the age of more than 70, he ran an ENT seminar under the assignment of Ministry of Public Health. He has run six sessions of the seminar in succession from Overview, Otology, Rhinology, Pharynx and Larynx, Stomatology to teaching. 

At the time of diagnosis, he often copies his medical records, having accumulated to several baskets in the past dozens of years. Without diligence, he cannot manage this. His diligence boosts his “acquired conditions”. 

Winning double honors by benevolent skill 

Prof. Gan has not only desirable and noble medical ethos and ethics, but also high medical skill of diagnosis and treatment. Without noble medical ethics, one cannot become a good physician, let alone a master. He often says, “A physician tends to fail in medical ethics rather than in medical skill”. He admires the academic thoughts of Sun Simiao very much, and often takes the benevolent skill of Sun Simiao as an example. A physician should dedicate himself/herself to patients’ heart and soul with a benevolent heart. 

He reads numerous books, seeks ancient doctrines, draws on experience from various parties, carries out practice continuously, expands his idea, applies drugs flexibly, and achieves a high curative effect. Once, an acute epiglottitis patient consulted him, and he diagnosed it as wind-heat phlegm fire for treatment after careful examination and prescribed a decoction and stopped using Western medicine. As acute epiglottitis is marked by rapid attack, quick changes and the possibility of throat swelling and intoxicated death, everyone at present worried about the patient very much. However, after taking Chinese medicine, the patient quickly felt not so painful any longer, with his inflammation vanishing gradually. Three days later, his illness was cured. 

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