Oriental medicine is a Korean traditional medical practice and is still being used by many people. However, people are constantly suspicious of oriental medicine. Is oriental medicine a non-scientific subject? In order to find out exactly what oriental medicine is and to solve the question of negative issues about oriental medicine, I wanted to hear directly from an expert. I could find out about oriental medicine through an interview with Professor Song Ho-seop of Oriental Medicine College, Gachon University.
1. What made you choose oriental medicine?
I had a dream just like you did when you entered school. My dream was to think of a way to help people in need. I think I decided to study oriental medicine based on my vague dreams such as a helpful role in the lives of people, as well as communication with the world. It is very hard to survive in the medical field if you don't like studying, but I guess I didn't like studying.
2. What are the better points of oriental medicine in comparison with western medicine?
In oriental medicine, each patient is provided with he or her own appropriate treatment. Sometimes, you may make drugs for only one person, not using pre-manufactured drugs for unspecified individuals. In the era of future-oriented quadratic industry, the concepts of personalization and customization are valued, which I think are well suited to this advantage of oriental medicine. This advantage will have a distinct feature for Korean medicine in the global medical market. It can be called another Korean wave which will be attractive in the global market and produce outstanding results.
3. Describe the principles and effects of oriental medicine treatments such as acupuncture.
In oriental medicine, the human body is basically capable of overcoming diseases. It's called ‘animal spirits’, which is known as ‘immunity’. In oriental medicine, the loss of immunity means that our body’s balance is unstable. Therefore, it is important to correct the state of imbalance. Acupuncture is very effective in correcting tangible and intangible imbalances. The tangible imbalance is the visible problem of anatomical structures, such as when the pelvis is crooked. And an example of intangible imbalance is headache whose problem is invisible. Acupuncture has a good effect of recovering the damage if placed correctly in the damaged area. If you apply acupuncture on damaged tissue correctly, it will promote metabolism for damaged tissue. The damaged tissue would be replaced by new tissue. Also, the effect of acupuncture is immediate and convenient. For this reason, the army trained soldiers how to practice acupuncture in preparation for war in which it was difficult to get supplies quickly.
4. What do you think of the cooperation of oriental medicine and western medicine?
Oriental medicine and western medicine have been already going hand in hand. For example, in Oriental Medicine hospitals, family medicine service is currently given. Thus, oriental and western medicine can be cross-supported and the doctors of oriental and western medicine treat people in the same place. However, people don’t seem to notice the cooperation of oriental and western medicine. In fact, if such collaboration is done in hospitals where people go often, they will be able to be more aware of it. It is expected that this cross-support will be much more active, and that if doctors of western medicine and oriental medicine work together, there will be a great example. Convenience also will be improved through one-stop service which can provide effective service to people by providing all cares in one place. I hope the government will provide active support in policy to provide people an efficient system.
5. What was your most rewarding experience as a doctor of oriental medicine?
I am not only an oriental medical doctor, but I am teaching students. So, it is the most rewarding moment to see my juniors grow up. And health care providers always think of people and looking for ways to help them. I feel rewarded a lot in that I can contribute even a little to the situation that requires me in such a process.
6. What would you like to say to people who think oriental medicine is unreliable?
These days, we live in an environment where information is easily accessible to us, which we call a flood of information. However, some information makes a lot of false news or slanders. Some disparage oriental medicine as groundless and outdated. This is too one-sided. If oriental medicine which has been conducted for thousands of years are close to shamanism, have our people been able to survive so far without being extinct? To denigrate oriental medicine that it is shamanistic or groundless can be an excessive distortion. In many respects oriental medicine is actually used to help patients, which is being verified through research. Oriental medicine has also produced more than 31 Clinical Practice Guideline (CPG). CPG refers to the results that have been verified on the standard treatment methods by using oriental medicine for any disease through research papers so far. At the research stage, the report results of the highest level are released. Of course, there are still many areas to be verified. If government supports this verification process by policy, I think the controversy regarding oriental medicine will be reduced.
7. As the dean of Gachon University's Oriental Medicine College, please tell students what you want to say.
Always keep in mind that students are the members of Gachon University and as a member of the same group, it is necessary to work for the co-development of Gachon University. As the current dean, the most important thing is to give students a good education. Being an oriental medicine practitioner has social responsibility. This is because they need to be able to provide better medical services and be trusted by people. I hope that students will study hard to become oriental medical doctors who are solid, responsible, and trusted. I hope that students will be able to be helpful for oriental medicine college, oriental medicine academia, and even Korean people in the future. I hope you can grow to be a doctor of oriental medicine who feels rewarded about your job.
I could learn a lot about oriental medicine through an interview with Professor Song Ho-seop. For those with negative thoughts and misunderstandings about oriental medicine, I hope it will be an opportunity to look at oriental medicine with a new perspective. As the professor wants, I hope oriental medicine will continue to develop in a way that can help people’s lives. I look forward to the day when the value of oriental medicine can be greatly appreciated in the global market.< Copyright © The Gachon Herald All rights reserved >