Severance International Fellowship (SIF) is open to foreign physicians, dentists, nurses, medical technicians, or hospital administrators who wish to experience clinical care, operative procedures, and participate in research activities at Severance Hospital(Sinchon) Seoul, Korea. This program builds on the hospital’s long legacy and mission to educate future clinical leaders in healthcare and ultimately reducing health inequalities in the global society.
1. The History and Role of Pulmonary Rehabilitation Center
The pulmonary rehabilitation in Korea was initiated by the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine of Gangnam Severance Hospital and it continues to play a leading role in pulmonary rehabilitation. In 1985, Professor Moon Jae-ho, who opened the first myopathy clinic in Korea, started pulmonary rehabilitation treatment for patients with muscle disease and gave lectures on pulmonary rehabilitation at the Society of Pulmonary Rehabilitation. It dramatically improved patients’ quality of life despite the need to use a ventilator, and was implemented at Gangnam Severance Hospital in 2000. Pulmonary rehabilitation treatment started in the form of a clinic in that year, but for a considerable period of time, it suffered many difficulties due to the lack of essential equipment or systems. However, the system gradually built up despite the difficulties, and as remarkable treatment results were announced, a new path was opened for patients with severe respiratory failure to receive treatment with a hope of recovery.
Although the medical system was established in a relatively short period of time, there was another problem for patients with severe respiratory failure who had to use a ventilator in a quadriplegic state. Because it was impossible for patients to deal with everyday life on their own, part or all of the family dedicated themselves to taking care of them, so most patients were under poor economic conditions. They desperately needed an organization with a system that could provide not only systematic treatment but also socio-economic support. In other words, a center-level operating system capable of comprehensive socio-economic management was needed. The Life Insurance Social Responsibility Foundation, which was launched with the purpose of social contribution, happened to agree with this purpose and thus with their support, in 2009, the first respiratory rehabilitation center in Korea was established at Gangnam Severance Hospital.
In general, clinical treatment centers are established for the convenience of treatment. However, the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Center not only provides excellent treatment, but also medical social contribution such as treatment expense support, counseling and visiting services, and is putting a lot of effort into education to revitalize the weak pulmonary rehabilitation field. Since the center was launched, the training program that has been implemented so far was strengthened to build the pulmonary rehabilitation infrastructure. Since the opening of the pulmonary rehabilitation clinic, not only was the education program carried out, which was continuously implemented to expand the respiratory rehabilitation base, but also regular visits to local medical institutions were made to provide education, and educational programs for patients and their guardians were activated.
Gangnam Severance Hospital’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation Center is not a simple treatment center, but an institution that practices its calling. As an institution that faithfully fulfills the mission of Yonsei Medical Center, “With the love of God, free humankind from disease and suffering,” it is the first and eternal resting place for patients with severe respiratory failure, and is the hub of global pulmonary rehabilitation.
2. Major Projects
- Operation of dedicated ward for pulmonary rehabilitation
- Operation of pulmonary rehabilitation regular health checkup program for rare disease patients
- Pulmonary rehabilitation treatment expense support project
- Psychological evaluation and counseling treatment
- Counseling and home visit service
- Provision of education programs
3. Global Education
Many patients around the world suffer from severe respiratory failure. However, few countries have systems that can adequately treat severe respiratory failure. Respiratory failure does not end with a single treatment like surgery, and requires continuous management, so a pulmonary rehabilitation system must be equipped. The center started international pulmonary rehabilitation training in 2010, and in addition, free education program for trainees, on-site guidance training, and intensive pulmonary rehabilitation training course programs are being implemented. We started with 2 people a year, but the number of applicants continued to grow, and now we are training 6 people every year. Since 2014, Philips, a medical device company, has become our partner, who empathized with our center’s project for international infrastructure construction of pulmonary rehabilitation, thereby further revitalizing the business.
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All participants of our SIF program will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the training. The certificate will be issued by the President & CEO of Yonsei University Health System.
Severance Academy operates various SNS or online communities, where you can communicate freely with other international trainees who were in Severance before or will be training soon. You can get help from other physicians or medical staffs before you come to Korea and get some useful tips including their training experience, accommodations, good restaurants near the hospital etc. We will also update the newest news of Severance regularly at this homepage. Severance Academy will also host offline gatherings exclusive for international trainees, or invite you to official events hosted by Severance Hospital or governement institutions.