In this program, I visited some facilities and institutions related to public health. I mainly learned how public health system is managed in Korea and Seoul. Especially, Medicine Dispute Mediation and Arbitration Agency visit was very significant for me because Japan don’t have this system.
Also I have been conducting researches about cancer and cell signaling in Japan and I was interesting in basic medicine in Korea, so I spent much time in Professor Kang-Yell Choi’s Lab (Department of Biochemistry, College of Life Science and Biotechnology), who is a very eminent molecular biology researcher in Korea. In this lab, I underwent some experiments, and I read many papers in my spare time. I was able to learn the ways of some experiments I have never done, and get deeper knowledge about cancer (especially colon cancer) and cell signaling. I was surprised that a variety of cell signaling pathways and cells are working cooperatively in order to sustain the homeostasis of small intestine and large intestine and I thought this was very interesting. Everyday I went lunch with my mentor and sometimes with the lab members, and they were very friendly. I appreciate the professor, mentor and lab members for welcoming me to the lab although the department of the lab (Life Science and Biotechnology) was different from this program (Medicine).
Furthermore, I had Korean Language class in this program. In this class, I could spend enjoyable time and this class was very helpful to stay in Korea for example when ordering something in restaurant. An absolute beginner like me could understand because this began with Hangul alphabets and explanation of the teacher was very easy to understand.
I had some visiting during this program and spare time on weekend, so I could visit many tourist spots including Seoul and Busan. I think this helped me to feel and understand Korea. Especially in DMZ, I felt severe atmosphere and the intensity of Korean War. Including visiting Busan with students from China, I talked various themes with students from China and mentors and professors of Yonsei University and made efforts to understand each other. I think this experience is irreplaceable.
Whatever medical specialty field I will choose in the future, I think the way of thinking of public health is inevitable because physician is a occupation of curing patients’ illnesses and improving the human health, and public health is a academic discipline of researching this from comprehensive views. Our health depends on the population that we belong to to a great degree. To see how public health is controlled in Korea is important to see the Japanese public health critically, and I think this gave me an essential viewpoint for me to be a physician.
The experience in lab was, however, also very significant. This experience motivated me to research and I could confirm the profoundness of research. The themes of some articles my mentor gave me were very close to my research theme (WNT signal and crosstalk of signal pathway), and that was very useful information for me. I try to push on toward new outcomes also from now on.