Please introduce yourself briefly.
Hello. My name is Dongmin Kim. I am 25 years old and currently studying in Korea as a medical student at Gachon University College of Medicine. I first became interested in global health a few years ago and was searching for a place to get some firsthand experience in this field. JW LEE CGM was the perfect institution to spend my medical school summer vacation to gain some experience and learn about global health so I applied for, and was luckily accepted for, an internship.
What have you done during your internship? Did you get a satisfactory result from your expectations?
During my internship, I participated in a variety of activities. These included participating in weekly meetings, weekly seminars and various jobs that professors and researchers needed help with at JW LEE CGM. The most important job that I was responsible for was preparing for the Capacity Building Project for Ultrasonography in Vietnam. I am very satisfied with the jobs and activities that I participated in as I had more responsibilities and did more than what I expected that I would do here at JW LEE CGM.
What is the most memorable event?
The most memorable event for me was going on the business trip to Vietnam for the Capacity Building Project for Ultrasonography. The trip was special for me as it was the first time that I visited a developing country, especially for medical purposes as an intern, rather than a tourist. Experiencing and learning about local hospitals and the medical reality in Vietnam became valuable experience and has helped me think about and shape my future goals as a doctor.
Is there any reason you became interested in global health?
The first time I perceived interest in global health was a few years ago after I attended a lecture about international healthcare by Professor Sang-Chul Yoon, a member of the National Medical Center and front-line leader in global health. During his lecture, he spoke about how he worked in developing countries and implemented innovative technology, such as mobile health systems, to help improve primary care and prevent blindness. I felt the passion that he had for his job which gave me the motivation to aspire to become someone like him who can help those in need of primary healthcare in developing countries.
Are there any issues that you are particularly interested in the field of global health?
I am particularly interested in the rise of noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart diseases around the world. These diseases are collectively responsible for over 70% of deaths worldwide and cause people to die prematurely. Most of these premature deaths occur in low- and middle- income countries and are caused by risk factors such as physical inactivity, the harmful use of alcohol, tobacco use, unhealthy diets, and air pollution. I would like to help treat, prevent, and reduce the number of deaths caused by non-communicable diseases and improve the quality of lives of those patients.
If you were planning your own health care project, what would you like to do?
As I said above, I would like to carry out projects related to the reduction of non-communicable diseases in low- and middle- income countries. Many developing countries are now undergoing demographic and epidemiologic transitions. If I get the chance, I would like to participate in integrated healthcare planning and program delivery to improve access and adherence for non-communicable disease prevention and treatment.
The internship is over this week. What are your plans after you've finished?
After the internship, I am going back to Gachon University to start my second semester of polyclinic training. I am excited to share the experiences that I gained here at JW LEE CGM with my classmates and apply the skills that I learned here back at university.
What will you look like in 20 years?
In 20 years, I would have finished my internship, residency and fellowship training and started working actively as a physician. I hope to become an Assistant or Associate Professor at a tertiary hospital in Korea. Regardless of my medical specialty, public and global health will always be at my interest. Hopefully the next time I go on a business trip to Vietnam with JW LEE CGM, I can go as a doctor/lecturer rather than an intern.
Could you give me any experienced advice as an intern for the JW LEE CGM?
JW LEE CGM is the best institution for students, of any major, who are interested in global health but do not know how to specifically approach the field. Be prepared to learn a lot from the best professors and researchers in Korea, never hesitate to express yourself and share your ideas, and always have fun during your time at JW LEE CGM!
Any comments to JW LEE CGM as a major player in future global health?
I would like to thank all the professors, researchers, and staff at JW LEE CGM for allowing me to work here as an intern. I will never forget all the valuable experience, skills, and knowledge that I gained during my internship here. I am sure that JW LEE CGM will soon become an institution that is recognized by more students, doctors, and the public in both Korea and the rest of the world as a prestigious leader in global health!