NUHS recently partnered with Pusan National University in South Korea to allow students additional learning opportunities in Korean medicine.
Since plans for students to participate in a 2-week hospital observation in South Korea were canceled due to COVID-19, Pusan University offered a Korean Medical Doctor (KMD) certification at no cost to students as part of the partnership.
Comprised of four different online courses, the certification taught students treatment methods for multiple patient populations.
“By learning Korean medicine it allows us to have a broader view of Oriental Medicine and to have more varieties of practice in the future,” said Ming Yi, a student in the NUHS Oriental Medicine program. “I enjoyed learning the sports medicine lessons about treating acute and chronic injuries with very effective results.”
The course also provided lessons in mental health treatments along with cosmetic treatments that help lift skin and de-wrinkle with needles.
Compared to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), Korean medicine is less well known in the field of complementary and alternative medicine. However, the field offers effective treatment methods that can be useful to students in future practice. While both TCM and Korean medicine have similar roots, Korean medicine is based on a slightly different 5 elements theory. There are also differences regarding the use of herbs, some of which are native to Korea, along with acupuncture techniques. For example, in Korean acupuncture only 1-4 needles are used at a time.
In addition to students in the Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AOM) program, the course was available to students in other programs as well. Brian Emrys, a student in the Chiropractic Medicine program, said the certification helped provide him a more advanced understanding of Korean medicine.
“Korean training seems to be more a hybrid of western and eastern medicine,” he said. “There seems to be much more integration while still maintaining tradition.”
One of the most interesting lessons Emrys learned is that Oriental Medicine has the potential to fully function as primary care, which was evident from the Korean training.
Hee Jae Jeong, a student in the Oriental Medicine program, who also participated in the certification, intends to use Korean medicine alongside TCM while in practice.
“I can mix the methods properly since most of the contents–cosmetic, psychology, sports medicine–quite overlap with what I learned in the AOM program. Also I can use 4 needle technique depending on cases,” Jeong said.
The online certification course was temporarily offered from November to January. However, Pusan University hopes to offer NUHS students in-person training on-campus in South Korea later this year, depending on travel restrictions.