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[Special] Why did these med students become YouTubers?‘We want to provide channel where future doctors voice their opinions’
  • By Cho In-sung
  • Published 2019.02.05 07:27
  • Updated 2019.02.05 07:27
  • comments 0

People today are living in an era of YouTube. It exerts enormous influence on numerous areas, including politics, economy, science, game and entertainment. One can guess its power by the number. Up to 1.9 billion people use YouTube in the world a month, and they spend 1 billion hours watching YouTube a day.

Some medical students in Korea also jumped into the YouTube market, swiftly responding to the stream of times. They are Park Hyung-shik (assumed name), representative of Medical Student TV, and 10 students who help him run it.

From left, Kim Na-hyon, Chin Se-ryeong, Chang Ji-ho

Medical Student TV opened in October last year. A student who had run a Facebook account named “Medicine, Premedical Course and Bamboo Forest” (Bamboo Forest hereafter) launched it to challenge the new area of YouTube. Park, who operates Bamboo Forest and acts as the representative of Medical Student TV, said, “The trend of contents is shifting from text to image and from image to video. I have come to launch the YouTube channel, thinking we may lose the space where medical students voice their opinions in a few years.”

Eleven students from different schools and grades banded together for the same purpose. However, their motivations were diverse. Chin Sye-ryeong, who was in the second year of the premedical course at Chungnam National University College of Medicine when she applied for performing in it, said, “There was a wanted ad in the Bamboo Forest run by Medical Student TV. It was during the summer vacation in my second year of the premedical course, and I applied to devote myself to it for the rest of my premedical life.”

Some students had run a personal YouTube channel but found it somewhat beyond their ability and joined it. Kim Na-hyun, also a sophomore at Inha University School of Medicine, said, “I had run a private channel but became lazy and felt lacking in ability without knowing what to do. It was then I saw the wanted ad. The idea that students from various universities get together and producing videos drew my attention.”

Reactions from people near the students were equally diverse. Many were concerned about the video-making activities might interfere with their study.

“At first, my family members worried that YouTube activities would interrupt my study,” Chin said. “Now, they are saying wow and encouraging me.”

There were considerable voices of cheers, too. “My friends, seniors and juniors are showing much interest in our channel and sending words of encouragement,” said Chang Ji-ho, who is in the second year of the regular course at Hanyang University College of Medicine. “Some professors, too, said they liked our channel as it plays the role of a ‘window’ that speaks on behalf of medical students.”

Medical Student TV is currently so active that one can hardly believe it is a channel run by medical students. One might as well think regular course students who have to endure tight exam schedule must find it hard to study and make videos at the same time, but the students themselves that may not necessarily be the case.

“Medical Student TV has become another hobby of mine. Shooting interesting videos can help to ease my stress and fatigue, and made me forget the idea that it’s hard,” Chang said. “My colleagues also saw that I could film videos after finishing my exam.”

Primary contents of Medical Student TV include “entrance exam contents” that helps to satisfy curiosities of high schools concerning entry test for medical schools, “medical school life contents” that reveal the lives of medical students adding nothing and concealing nothing, and contents that can earn the sympathy of medical students throughout the country and solve the curiosities of other students.

The participants do not remain content with these and have plans to expand contents, however.

“We are planning to deal with medical issues,” Park said. “For example, we would like to put in our films how medical students view the case of the late Professor Lim Se-won, a psychiatrist killed by his schizophrenic patient on Dec. 31, 2018, or students exchanging talks on President Moon Jae-in’s policy to expand public healthcare drastically.”

Asked what contents they want to challenge in the future, Kim said, “I’d like to film videos that show medical students practice in the medical college what they had wanted to do, motivating high school students.”

Jin, who enters the regular course this year, said, “I want to shoot films that show the life of regular course. More specifically, I will show students in premedical course how they should take the exam in the regular course and what their typical daily schedule is, as was the case of a recent video that filmed a day of a regular course student during the exam period.”

They also expressed an ambition to make their channel as the one that represents all medical students.

“Our goal is to make Medical Student TV a channel that represents all medical students in the country,” Park said. “Then, medical students will be able to have the power to speak our opinions in the society.”

As a conclusion, he said, “We are always grateful to subscriber and viewers of the Medical Student TV. We promise to approach them with better contents in the future.”

Park said he plans to continue to operate Medical Student TV and Bamboo Forest even after he graduates the school.


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