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  • 1) Please introduce yourself. I am Cristopher Varela, 30 years old. My mother is a Medical Nutrologist, and my father is an Engineer in Agronomy. My sister is a Medical student in Venezuela. 2) Where is your working place back in your country and what is your specialty? I work in Domingo Luciani’s Hospital, the main hospital of the Venezuelan Institute of Social Security, Caracas city Level 1 Trauma Center, and teaching hospital to the Universidad Central de Venezuela. I have been a part of Domingo Luciani’s surgical team since I started my surgical residency in 2014. During my residency, I became an instructor of the Integral Management of Polytraumatized Patients course (certified by the Pan-American Society of Trauma) and worked with the team of the Colorectal Unit. After completing my surgical residence in 2017, I was accepted into the Postgraduate training program of Colorectal Surgery, graduating in 2019 as Colorectal Surgeon. For the last two years, I have been working as an attending in the same General Surgery Department and Colorectal Surgery Unit. After 8 years working in Domingo Luciani’s Hospital, I consider it my home. 3) How did you get to know Severance? Why did you choose Severance as your training hospital? I was invited by the International Society of University Colorectal Surgeons (ISUCRS) to apply for the Avison’s Scholarship coordinated by the Medical Mission Center of Yonsei Severance Hospital. Yonsei’s Fellowship in Minimally Invasive Surgery for Colorectal Cancer is well known and admired in the ISUCRS, thanks to an excellent staff of Professors and the teaching work of Prof. Nam Kyu Kim with many international fellows. During 2020 and the pandemic situation, I stayed in communication with the International Office of Yonsei Institute for Global Health and the Medical Mission Center, who kindly helped me organize a safe trave to Korea in January 2021. I am the second Latin American colorectal surgeon to come to Severance Hospital and the first Venezuelan. 4) How long is your training period in Korea? Initially, my training period was a 3-month observership, but Prof. Nam Kyu Kim and the Avison Scholarship through the Medical Mission Center’s team helped me get a full-year scholarship to apply for hands-on training. 5) Which area did you focus on during your fellowship at Severance? Minimally Invasive Surgery for Colorectal Cancer. 6) What is the most impressive feature of Severance Hospital? The organization is the most impressive feature. All details are carefully taken care of: starting from the access to facilities, personalized patient care, and the staff daily working routine. With discipline and dedication, everyone in Severance works to get the best outcomes every day. 7) What are the specific contents of your fellowship program at Severance? Surgical treatment and management of Colorectal Cancer through Laparoscopic and Robotic approach. My activities include surgical simulation training at the Avison Biomedical Research Centre (ABMRC), observing and assisting in the operation room, and academic meetings and rounds with Professors, residents, and co-fellows. 8) What was your first impression of Korea? Korea can be a challenging social environment for Latinos. The respectful and formal social behavior, adding the social distancing rules at the start of 2021, it’s a total contrast with our relaxed and extrovert manners in Caribbean countries. Nevertheless, I have happily managed to understand, adapt, and enjoy Korean culture and social etiquette rules. I’m sure I will keep many of it when I go back to Venezuela. 9) What is the best memory so far during your stay here? I feel deeply grateful to have the opportunity to work with International Fellows from many different countries. The cultural exchange is the treasure I will keep from this year abroad. All the friendships forged in one year of being ex-pats in a foreign land, traveling, studying, and sharing achievements, success, and not-so-good situations as a newly formed family in Korea. 10) Who are you most thankful for at Severance (who helped you the most) & why? I have to mention Prof. Nam Kyu Kim, who has become a medical role model to me, being a dedicated colorectal surgeon, fully committed to improving surgical techniques to guarantee optimal outcomes and keeping individualized patient care as the top priority. Also, the Medical Mission Center and the YIGH International Office team have accompanied me during all my stay in Korea, kindly helping and orienting me in all my activities. 11) If you were to get the chance to come back, which field of clinical study would you like to focus on? Surgical teaching and training. I feel there is an open field and big chances of developing surgical training programs with the help of ABMRC and the Department of Surgery that can improve the surgical performance of surgical trainees (residents and fellows) in Korea and the rest of the world. Yonsei University counts with one of the most advanced surgical simulation centers for dry-lab, animal, and cadaveric lab training. A world-known staff of professors with standardized surgical techniques and constant innovations to improve the management of colorectal cancer.

    Jan 4, 2022

  • 1) Please introduce yourself. My name is Junjira Sawasdipong, a 38-year-old from Thailand. I have my parents and one older brother. 2) Where is your working place back in your country and what is your specialty? The workplace in my home country is the Institute of Dermatology, Thailand. I am a dermatologist in a specific field of the dermatosurgery subunit of the hospital. 3) How did you get to know Severance? Why did you choose Severance as your training hospital? I knew Severance Hospital because of professor Kee-Yang Chung. He is a well-known international dermato-surgeon fluent speaker in many seminars. He is famous in dermato-surgery fields, especially in skin cancer surgery. Furthermore, He is my inspiration and made me choose to study with him at Severance Hospital. 4) How long is your training period in Korea? My training period is 10 months, start from the 1st of March to the 31st of December 2021. 5) Which area did you focus on during your fellowship at Severance? My fellowship at Severance Hospital focuses on dermatosurgery fields, especially Mohs surgery for skin cancer. My training supervisor is professor Kee-Yang Chung. 6) What is the most impressive feature of Severance Hospital? Severance Hospital is one of the largest and most famous hospitals in Korea. There is an extremely long history. In my opinion, the most impressive feature is the good teaching and learning system with many academic specialists. There are modern and high technologies for patient care and standard treatments like robotic surgery. The hospital is also trying to create a good and beautiful environment for the patients, such as Woori Lounge Gallery. Furthermore, the hospital is placed in an area of communities and near many universities. These typically makes travelling comfortable. The hospital is also located nearby beautiful nature. This is an excellent place for both learning and relaxing. 7) What are the specific contents of your fellowship program at Severance? The specific contents of my fellowship program involve the dermato-surgery fields. These fields are important for the diagnosis and management of both benign and malignant skin neoplasms. The topics including how to do the Mohs micrographic surgery and skin defect reconstruction. These are important parts of malignant skin tumor treatments. The effectiveness of the therapy affects the success and the patient’s quality of life in the future. Furthermore, this program additionally involved various procedures and aesthetic fields such as laser treatments, autologous fat transfer, thread lifting for aging skin, botulinum toxin injection, blepharoplasty, microdermal grafting for scars, and other keloid and scar surgeries, etc. 8) What was your first impression of Korea? In my opinion, Korea is an impressively developed country in East Asia because this country tries to combine preserving arts and local culture with modern technology. Koreans coexist their life with pleasant nature. Korea's convenient and rapid transportation is another remarkable thing that favorably impresses me. This makes long-term living here much easier. Having an opportunity to live in Korea for more than six months, providing me to gain knowledge skills, learning more about various unique arts, cultures, and people's lifestyles. These produce more distinct experiences that I apply and adapt to my routine life. 9) What is the best memory so far during your stay here? Before I arrived in Korea, I worried about feeling lonely in an unfamiliar foreign country with a different language and ineffective communication. Since I have been in Korea, I found everything easier than I thought. Coming here has produced me to make friends with people from many countries, learned to adapt to new environments, and made me practice more languages. I am supported by many people like my supervisor, Korean dermatology residents, Miss Kyung-ae Nam, and all of dermatosurgery team. Everyone is very cooperative, understanding, caring, teaching, and helping me. When there were any potential problems with communication, they also helped me to solve those problems. They make my studies go through well and efficiently. Therefore, my surrounding people have remained as my best memory so far during my stay here. 10) Who are you most thankful for at Severance (who helped you the most) & why? The most thankful person at Severance Hospital is my supervisor, Professor Kee-Yang Chung. I wholeheartedly appreciate everything he performed for me. He is one of my role models in realistically being a good doctor and an effective teacher. He is patient, kind, works hard, and helps me a lot to improve my necessary knowledge and skill of dermatological surgery. Furthermore, he provides me with a great working environment, support, guidance, and encouragement. Therefore, this is my most fantastic experience in Korea by learning from him. The others who I would like to thank are Miss Kyung-ae Nam, all of the dermatosurgery team, and the International Office for their good support and helping me. 11) If you were to get the chance to come back, which field of clinical study would you like to focus on? As I am interested in various topics of dermatological surgeries, I believe my skill will be better if I learn and practice more. If I were to get the chance to come back, I would like to receive an opportunity to study and practice more in other specific skin surgeries. These topics include surgeries in the treatment of vitiligo and other abnormal pigment diseases, surgeries of hair and nails, liposuction, fat grafting and stem cell therapy, etc. The purpose of these studies is to develop myself, keep the treatment safe and more efficient.

    Dec 2, 2021

  • Yonsei University Health System and Tashkent Medical Academy(TMA) in Uzbekistan held an MOU signing ceremony in the YUHS President & CEO Conference Room at November 29, 2021. The MOU signed was an extension of the MOU between YUHS and TMA, which has been firstly executed in November 2015. The main contents of the MOU includes personnel and academic exchange, joint host of academic symposium and conference, cooperation in research and international patient treatment, etc. The MOU will be valid for 5 years from the signing date. Yonsei Institute for Global Health is planning to conduct various global ODA projects in Uzbekistan in the near future, including the Specialist Course for Prevention of Epidemics, TMA construction project, and Tashkent Pediatric Medical Institute empowerment project. The MOU ceremony will be a stepping stone for fostering further collaboration and cooperation with TMA, Uzbekistan.

    Nov 30, 2021

  • Medical Mission Center launched the Severance One Family program in 2021. Medical Mission Center presents an award to medical personnel from a Medically Underserved Country. The candidates have trained at Severance Hospital, YUHS, through the medical mission program for medical education and are currently sharing their knowledge and love in their community. The winner of the year 2021 is Levis Mwanza Nguku from Kenya, who trained in the Department of Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery, Severance Hospital, in 2012. He is currently working in Machakos Orthopedic Clinic.

    Nov 29, 2021

  • The 7th Severance Unification Night was held on November 22 by the Center for Health & Unification of Korea, Yonsei Institute for Global Health. This year in particular, many faculty members and students submitted excellent productions to the video contest, and on the day of the event, the winners were announced and an awards ceremony was held. The Center for Health & Unification of Korea is an institution that plans and conducts activities and research to specifically prepare for the duties of Yonsei University Health System in the future unification of Korea through the activities of the medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, and public health planning groups. The Severance Unification Night first started in 2015 to raise interest and awareness in the field of unification of South and North Korea and health care. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, this year's event was held in a noncontact form, just like the previous year. The event started with a greeting from Yong-beom Park, director of the Center for Health & Unification of Korea, then led on with congratulatory remarks from Dong-sup Yoon, President & CEO of Yonsei University Health System, a keynote lecture by Professor Myung-gyu Park of Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, showing finalists’ video productions, comments from the judges, quizzes, announcement of the contest winners and awards ceremony, followed by a prize draw and then closing. In the congratulatory speech, President Dong-Seop Yoon said “Since 2014, the Center for Health & Unification of Korea has been conducting various activities such as seminars, research and education in preparation for the post-unification health and medical tasks. Our faculties and students are moving forward together toward this challenge. I look forward to your continued interest and participation in preparations for unification through this ‘Severance Unification Night’.” The video contest accepted entries until November 12, and the final winner was selected by adding up the average score excluding the highest and lowest scores among the judges, and additional points based on the number of YouTube likes. Seung-hyun Lee, 3rd year student of Yonsei University College of Nursing, who participated as the representative of the grand prize winning team, said, “Thank you for this unexpected award. I would like to thank the judges and everyone who watched our video and clicked the like button on Youtube. Thank you also to the team members who worked hard to make the video together. Also, thank you for giving me the opportunity to think and learn about ‘unification’ through this video contest, which is a topic I have never thought about before.”

    Nov 26, 2021

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  • SIF-Prime Course March 2022

    Severance International Fellowship - Prime Course(SIF-PC) March 2022 is held at March 7 ~ 31, 2022. For details, please see 'International Training → SIF-Prime Course' menu.

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