This post is written by guest writer and 2nd year MPEN, Graham Wolfe
We had an opportunity to visit Dongukk University Ilsan Hospital which offered a unique collaboration of traditional Korean medicine and western medicine. At Ilsan Hospital we saw familiar treatments such as acupuncture and cupping and some practices that were less familiar including Sasang constitutional medicine and Chuna manual manipulation.
Sasang constitutional medicine categorizes patients into four types based on biopsychosocial traits. Korean medical doctors use the Sasang type to provide recommendations as each type has strengths and weakness physiologically. Chuna manual manipulation is a technique similar to chiropractic medicine but includes a broader range of manual manipulation like massage.
Dr. Sang-yeon Min, a Korean medicine physician specializing in pediatrics, explained Korean medicine is used primarily for prevention. Dr. Min also informed us western medicine physicians and Korean medicine physicians will often collaborate in the same consultation session to provide the most comprehensive care for a patient. This collaborative effort is so incredibly valuable and is something that can be lacking in the western medical system. As nurses and especially as clinical nurse leaders it is our responsibility to coordinate our patient’s care. It can be difficult to stimulate collaborative efforts between specialties and disciplines. Experiencing a hospital system designed to facilitate integration between two different forms of medicine was inspiring.
I believe we all walked away impressed with the complete and conscientious medical services offered by Dongukk University Ilsan Hospital