In this article, I examined the medical policy of the early Joseon period. The most important issue in the medical field shortly after the founding of Joseon was who would be responsible for medical practice, such as the establishment and implementation of medical policy, medical learning, and patient treatment.
The founding forces of Joseon, who witnessed the problems of medical care at the end of Goryeo, educated the young people of the Yangin (良人) class and instated the current literary officials into medical affairs. Subsequently, under the reign of King Sejong (世宗), the medical learning officer program (醫書習讀官) was conducted. The program was a system for training medical professionals by intensively educating the young people of the ruling class. This position to train medical professionals at the national level can be called a well-informed Confucianist theory (通儒論). The position of this theory that Confucian scholars should be fluent in all fields is also seen in the Chilhak (七 學, seven schools) under the reign of King Sejo (世祖).
The well-informed Confucianist theory was strongly opposed by the Yangban(兩班) class, including current officials who promoted the discrimination theory (職分論). They argued that everyone has a fixed position, and that the medical bureau was the position that professional medical personnel were in charge of.
These two positions were challenged throughout the 15th century until a compromise was reached. The compromise was that the ruling class would be in charge of the supervision of the medical bureau and a part of the medical education, while professional medical personnel would be in charge of the practice of medical care such as patient treatment, medical book compilation, and medical profession.