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Hanyang University Medical Center goes research-centeredHospital head vows to utilize university’s strength in engineering to nurture doctor scientists
  • By Kim Yun-mi
  • Published 2019.11.01 16:09
  • Updated 2019.11.01 17:42
  • comments 0

“If a hospital focuses only on patient care, it has little chance to grow. Now is the time to concentrate on research to develop various patents and technologies. Hanyang University Medical Center (HYUMC)’s M.D. /Ph. D. program will be the start, and based on this, the hospital will transform into a research-centered one.”

Yoon Ho-joo, president of Hanyang University Medical Center, speaks during a news conference in Seoul on Thursday.

HYUMC President Yoon Ho-joo emphasized this and other points, in a news conference to celebrate the hospital’s winning the government’s “Leading Innovative Doctor Scientist Joint Research Project” on Thursday.

The hospital was recently designated as the lead research institution for the innovative doctor scientist joint research program run by the Ministry of Science and ICT and the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

HYUMC will get 5.25 billion won ($4.49 million) fund for the project for four years to bring up doctor-scientists (M.D. / Ph. D.).

“The government’s funding for the M.D./Ph.D. program covers only expenses for human service,” Yoon said. “HYUMC set up MEB (Medicine‧Engineering‧Bio) Center to raise sustainable doctor scientists.”

Yoon said the hospital would maximize the use of the university’s competitiveness in medicine, engineering, and natural science to build an education and research platform for doctor scientists. He added that he would make the system sustainable by attracting outside funding and conducting joint businesses.

“Unlike in the U.S. where the M.D./Ph.D. program is settled in the college of medicine, we don’t have an environment where students can receive medical education and conduct research simultaneously,” Yoon said. “When the government made a four-year medical graduate school for non-medical students, it intended to nurture doctor scientists. However, they started it without preparing an environment for research.”

As Hanyang University has excellent capabilities in engineering and natural science, HYUMC will utilize such strength to offer an opportunity for young doctors aged 40 or less to enhance their research powers, Yoon went on to say.

“This way, we will nurture talented doctor scientists and become a research-centered hospital,” he said.

As HYUMC won the government project, it should produce 10 doctor scientists, sign four licensing-out deals, and register 42 patents.

“These goals are the minimum as we receive the government’s financial support. HYUMC plans to nurture about 10 doctor scientists at the first or second year of the project, and 30 doctor scientists in total for four years,” Yoon said.

Although the hospital wants to produce doctor scientists at the initial stage, he hoped that the effort could lead to paper publications, patent registrations, licensing deals, product development, and even establishment of a company.

From the viewpoint of the hospital operator, it is never easy to set aside patient care for 30 professor-level doctors under 40 to help them focus on research, Yoon noted.

However, nurturing doctor scientists was an irreversible trend and an opportunity for HYUMC to turn research-centered, he added. “We won the government’s project at the right timing, so we’ve made a big decision.”

The hospital selected seven young clinical doctors to push for the project. They are emergency medicine professor, Koh Byeok-seong, infectious disease professor, Kim Bong-young, psychiatry professor, Kim In-hyang, urology professor, Yoon Young-eun, ophthalmology professor, Lee Won-joon, urology professor, Cho Jeong-ki, and neurosurgery professor, Choi Kyu-seon.

In each area, they will work together with science and engineering professors of Hanyang University to study prospective fields in the Fourth Industrial Revolution era, such as wearable devices, AI-using treatment, precision medicine, big data, motion recognition, AI-based diagnosis, and 3-D printing.


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