WOMEN OF HISTORY | DAE JANG GEUM (fl. early 16th century) (Eun-Kyung Shin)

Jang Geum was the only female Royal Physician in Korean history.

Mentioned several times in official documents and personal journals from the time, very little detail was ever given about her and her life outside the court is completely unknown. It is known, however, that King Jungjong was impressed enough with her knowledge that he entrusted her with the care of himself and his family.

She was, at the time, the third highest ranking officer in the court and was allowed the title Dae (‘great’) before her name. To this day, no other woman in Korea has ever held the postion of Royal Physician.

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