This is the story of a Chinese physician and the environment in which he lived and worked. The physician is Wang Ji , a sixteenth-century medical writer and practitioner from Anhui province in China who was born in 1463 and died in 1539. He was relatively well known and respected in his lifetime, leaving around a dozen extant texts in his name. All his life he lived and worked in the Huizhou prefecture of what is now Anhui province, building up a thriving medical practice which is described in one of his texts, the Shishan yi’an ! [Stone Mountain medical case histories], compiled by his disciples, and completed in 1531. This is his story, the story of what it was to be a physician at that time and in that place, as can be reconstructed from his text the Shishan yi’an and other contemporary sources.