AOA CEO Adrienne White-Faines, MPA, FACHE (upper left), and AOA Past President Boyd R. Buser, DO (lower right), meet with Joon Shik Shin, KMD (upper right), president of Jaseng Hospital in South Korea.
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Steps taken toward practice rights for DOs in South Korea

New partnership with South Korea promotes practice rights for DOs, collaborative research and global awareness of manipulative medicine.

When AOA CEO Adrienne White-Faines, MPA, FACHE, visits a college of osteopathic medicine and asks medical students how many have studied abroad, typically over 75 percent raise their hands. When asked how many are interested in practicing abroad at some time during their career, close to 100 percent raise their hands. For this reason, attaining practice rights for DOs abroad is an essential component of AOA’s vision for the future.

Earlier this month, members of the AOA executive team traveled to Seoul, South Korea, to present at the Jaseng International Conference, and meet with officials of the Jaseng Medical Foundation and the Korean Society of Chuna Manual Medicine, with whom the AOA has forged a strategic partnership. The conference celebrated the  30th anniversary of the Jaseng Hosptial of Korean Medicine and was hosted by Dr. Joon Shik Shin, KMD, president of Jaseng Hospital.

The collaboration is an outgrowth of a 2017 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the AOA, the Jaseng Medical Foundation and the Korean Society of Chuna Manual Medicine. The goals of the MOU include:

  • An exchange of materials in education and research, publications, and academic information;
  • An exchange of clinical fellows;
  • Joint research and meetings for education and research;
  • Collaboration for establishing the DO and KMD practice rights in each country.

“Our visit certainly helped to advance the AOA’s strategic initiative to advance practice rights for US-trained DOs in South Korea, as well as helped to advance our commitment to collaborative research in manual medicine,” said White-Faines. “The visit to Jaseng Institute also provided an opportunity to share insight on how the AOA and the osteopathic profession has advanced in the U.S., and informed their efforts to heighten integration of Korean traditional medicine and the Korean Society of Chuna Manual Medicine within the established medical systems of South Korea.”

Dr. Joon Shik Shin, PhD

Attaining practice rights for DOs within South Korea is a multi-step process that includes: 1) approval of the applicant’s medical school by the Ministry of Public Health and Welfare, 2) successful completion of a qualifying exam which includes a clinical skills test and written test, and 3) successful completion of the Korean Medical Licensing Exam (KMLE).

AOA Past President Boyd R. Buser, DO, speaks at the Jaseng International Conference.

Jaseng Hospital of Korean Medicine is the largest traditional Korean medicine hospital in South Korea, specializing in non-surgical treatment of spine and joint disorders and Chuna manipulative therapy, a form of Korean spinal manipulation in which gentle pressure is applied to the spine for the purpose of restoring function to its surrounding tissues.

Dr. Shin stated that he expects Chuna manipulative therapy to be covered by Korean health insurance this year. “The Jaseng International Conference was a meaningful place not only to look back on the history of Korean manual therapy, but also it was a great opportunity to promote and introduce osteopathic medicine in earnest successfully to the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare and Korean media as well,” he said.

Dr. Shin is tentatively scheduled to present at the 2018 OMED conference in San Diego where he will share his approach to treating pain with Korean manual medicine and acupuncture.

Members of the AOA team who attended the conference include White-Faines; past president Boyd Buser, DO; senior vice president and general counsel Josh Prober, JD; and vice president of accreditation Brian Kim, JD.

2 comments

  1. This is still a lost battle. Their requirement that DOs must take a series of examination for practice rights in Korea implies that we are yet to be acknowledged as physicians in their eyes. And this partnership would certainly be useful for the advancement of their specialty but the identity of Osteopathy will not shine since this Chuna Medicine will take all the credit and claim for our heritage. I sincerely request a revision of this partnership so that the brand Osteopathy will be ingrained in the identity of their practices. I am a Korean American DO who is fluent in Korean and will be board eligible for Osteopathic Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine in 3 months. I will gladly offer my service for further advancement of Osteopathy in Korea. Please feel free to contact me.

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