Chapter 73 Chinese Medicine Level!
Upon hearing the information, Fang Qiu's eyes brightened. He asked hastily, "When is their next meeting? And where?"
"I don't know where."
Xu Miaolin shook his head. "It will be in one and a half years on 28 of the fourth month in Chinese lunar calendar, the lord of medicine's birthday. The location will only be announced then and no one will share it with any outsider. One before a certain level is not qualified to attend this."
I'll get qualified!
Fang Qiu whispered to himself.
This is the last hope. He must grab it!
Another year. He can wait!
Before he could ask about the qualification, Xu Miaolin continued.
"Actually, the outside force is hard to predict."
It seemed that he had seen through Fang Qiu's mind. He went on, "You have been on the right path. Your biggest chance is not anyone else but yourself. Become a master of all fields on your own!"
"But how long will it take on your own?"
Fang Qiu shook his head.
On my own?
It was a choice. It was a path. It was a chance. But the time would be too long. And there was no certainty in it at all.
Fang Qiu had no idea how much longer he would have to study to reach Xu Miaolin's level.
Or how much longer he would have to study to become able to cure the old master's illness.
Not just study.
He must become specialized in all fields to be able to cure the old master.
It was already very difficult to study all fields. How much harder it would be to become specialized in all fields?
Even Xu Miaolin, long acknowledged by the Chinese medicine circle, dared not consider himself specialized in all fields but only have knowledge in them. He would have to become way greater than Xu Miaolin to be specialized in all fields.
How old was Xu Miaolin? Around 40!
He reached this level at the age of 40. How could he achieve this in a short time?
Was he going to study for two decades?
It would be too long. He could wait but the old master couldn't!
At that moment.
He suddenly came to realize that he had simplified this whole thing in his mind.
Learning medicine well couldn't guaranteed him to be able to save the old master.
"There isn't an exact time but this is the most reliable way. But what if those old guys were also at their wit's end? You would have to start from beginning after wasting a whole year."
Xu Miaolin added.
Fang Qiu inhaled deeply and nodded heavily.
He couldn't agree more with Xu Miaolin.
Working along both lines, he would make his best effort in his study and wait for the get-together in one year.
He'll bring them over even by force!
But what if these experts couldn't treat the old master's illness?
Teaching himself to become a master might be his only choice.
Fang Qiu had already begun learning. He had grasped quite a lot within such a short time. Becoming specialized in all fields sounded scary if possible at all but he couldn't quit.
For the old master.
For curing the old master's illness.
However hard this journey would be, he must carry on. However much time and effort it would take, he must complete it.
"Teaching yourself is only the beginning."
A teasing smirk sneaked out of Xu Miaolin's lips as he looked at the determination in Fang Qiu's face. He continued, "Simply relying on teaching yourself won't work. To treat your illness, you must earn approval and acknowledgement from the Chinese medicine circle constantly."
Fang Qiu was confused.
Studying medicine was his own choice and treating the old master's illness was his own business. Why did he need approval or acknowledgement from the Chinese medicine circle.
Xu Miaolin nodded and replied solemnly, "You have just begun your study in medicine. You don't know much about Chinese medicine yet."
"As we are already here, let me tell you a few secrets about the Chinese medicine circe."
"Do you know how many levels are there in Chinese medicine?"
Asked Fang Qiu, much shocked.
He had no idea there were levels in Chinese medicine.
Xu Miaolin went on with a gentle smile, "Chinese medicine is a very deep and difficult science. It's easy to learn but hard to master. Knowing a few herbs or memorizing several prescriptions doesn't make them Chinese medicine doctors."
Fang Qiu nodded gently.
As a Chinese, he knew very well how mysterious and great Chinese medicine was. He was aware that Chinese medicine was as simple as it appeared to be.
"In the Inner Canon, Chinese medicine is divided into three levels, the superior, the medium, and the coarse."
"According to the Physician chapter of the Rites of Zhou, their skill level and performance in exams will determine whether they are doctors or apprentices as well as their position and promotion."
"Today, Chinese medicine doctors seem all the same. Only the elderly are called old Chinese medicine doctors out of respect. But if you pay close attention to it, you can see that Chinese medicine now has four levels."
Xu Miaolin took a pause before giving further explanation, "These four levels are Doctors of Ingenuity, Doctors of Brightness, Doctors of Greatness, and Doctors of Divinity."
"What's the difference?"
The names each gave off a very different feeling but Fang Qiu at the very beginning of his study didn't get it.
"The differences are huge."
Xu Miaolin laughed before continuing, "Doctors of Ingenuity can tell a patient's illness and fill a prescription or they know one of many techniques. About Chinese medicine, they know what it is but they don't know why it is it."
"These doctors are called medication doctors in the Chinese medicine circle. They know songs and proses. They've learned about the basics of Chinese medicine but can't put it in good use. They are able to treat common diseases but they become helpless once the illness is complex."
"Their learning is at the surface so their understanding is not clear. They rely on themselves to apply medicine according to indications."
Fang Qiu nodded, not fully understanding.
He took Xu Miaolin's words as that doctors of ingenuity could tell an illness and fill a prescription and they knew some Chinese medicine techniques but they had no idea about the theories of the curing. They only remembered which herb could treat which disease and which technique could be used to address which condition.
"What about doctors of brightness?"
Asked Fang Qiu.
"Doctors of brightness are much better than doctors of ingenuity."
Xu Miaolin answered casually, "Doctors of brightness understand yin and yang. They know the difference between the monarch and minister, and assistant and guide. They are experts in one field at least."
"Doctors of brightness have learned about the basics of Chinese medicine and they are properly trained by real masters. They have inherited their teachers' knowledge. They understand pathogenesis and they have worked hard in Chinese medicine to become rather expert. They can diagnose comprehensively and dialectically with outstanding understanding and capability in some field."
Upon hearing this.
Fang Qiu frowned.
According to Xu Miaolin, this would be the difference between a junior doctor and a professor.
Junior doctors don't know much about pathogenesis while professors understand it thoroughly. That's why they have completely different prescriptions and treatment approaches which will result in very different results.
"So regular doctors in a hospital are doctors of ingenuity and experts are doctors of brightness?"
Thinking about hospitals, Fang Qiu asked at once.
Xu Miaolin nodded.
"What about doctors of greatness and doctors of divinity?"
Fang Qiu asked again.
Experts were only at the doctors of brightness level. How brilliant would the superior doctors of greatness and doctors of divinity be?
"Ordinary men can't quite reache the doctors of greatness level."
Xu Miaolin answered, "Doctors of brightness are skilled in one aspect whereas doctors of greatness are specialized in at least three fields. Moreover, they must gain a thorough understanding through mastery of the three fields to be considered doctors of greatness."
"For doctors of greatness, contradictory theories have their unique thoughts and answers. They are able to put these contradictions together and achieve mastery through a thorough understanding."
"These doctors are rich in knowledge and experience. More preciously, they are well versed in theories of Chinese medicine in practical use and able to analyze and solve problems independently. If faced by a complicated condition, they usually can bring the sick back with their miraculous hands no matter how comlex and severe it is."
"Doctors of divinity..."
Xu Miaolin pondered for a moment before continuing, "They have only appeared in myths and legends. Allegedly there is no illness they can't treat."
Fang Qiu was startled.
No illness they can't treat?
How brilliant they must be!
If there were really doctors of divinity in this world, there would be no medical problems unsolved or diseases incurable.
As Xu Miaolin just said, doctors of divinity only existed in myths and legends.
Despite the shock, Fang Qiu ignored it natually.
"How to find out which level one is at?"
Fang Qiu changed the subject.
"To become a doctor of ingenuity, one must first get the Chinese Medicine Professional Certificate and then pass the exam of the City Chinese Medicine Association."
Xu Miaolin replied.
"There's a test?"
Asked Fang Qiu.
"It's like the exams in the middle of a school term and at the end of it. The purpose of this test is to find out if your medical skill has reached the doctor of ingenuity level."
Xu Miaolin explained.
"Do they see a patient in the test?"
Fang Qiu asked another question.
"To become a doctor of ingenuity, one must pass the test of the 25 most common diseases."
Xu Miaolin nodded and added, "No matter what method you use, if you can cure these 25 common diseases, you will pass the test and become a qualified doctor of ingenuity."
Fang Qiu frowned.
Treating 25 patients in one test and all of them must be cured. How strict this Chinese medicine test is!
"This is the simplest."
Xu Miaolin remarked with a grin, "It's more difficult for the higher levels."
Asked Fang Qiu out of curiosity.
"For a doctor of ingenuity to become a doctor of brightness, he must memorize at lease three classics of one field and pass the test drafted by five doctors of brightness in the same field from the provincial Chinese medicine association with no error."
Fang Qiu nodded his head.
Of course, to ascend to the next level, one's capability must increase the same amount.
Xu Miaolin just mentioned that a doctor of brightness must be specialized in one field.
Now the prerequisite for this doctor of brightness promotion test was to memorize at least three classics of one field.
"So for a doctor of brightness to become a doctor of greatness, he must memorize nine classics of three fields?"
Fang Qiu muttered.
Xu Miaolin chuckled as he shook his head. "For a doctor of brightness to become a doctor of greatness, he must take a test at the natioanl Chinese medicine association. Before the test, he must memorize 21 classics in any three fields, seven each."
Fang Qiu's eyes widened suddenly.
He thought it would be three classics of each field. To his surprise, seven classics must be memorized in each field.
"On top of that, the test will be hosted by three fields other than the three you have specialized in. The three clans involved in the test will have contradictory theories with the three you have chosen to master. Each of them will send two members to test your theoretical level in a debate or by some other similer means. Then there is a practical test. You must pass them both to upgrade to a doctor of greatness."
At this point.
Xu Miaolin hesitated for a moment. Then he added, "After doctors of greatness, there are the holy hands, which are separated from the four levels. They are better than the doctors of greatness but not yet at the level of the doctors of divinity. They are known as the holy hands. I won't say too much about them. All you need to remember is that there are only three Holy Hands in this world at the moment."
Fang Qiu was startled.
Before today, he had no idea about this strict hierarchical system in Chinese medicine.
He certainly didn't know the existence of such powerful Chinese medicine doctors in this world.
Can these holy hands cure the old master?