I was born and grew up in Seoul, Korea. During my childhood and adolescence I was not different from others in every aspect. I had been thinking that I had to be a doctor not only to save many patients’ lives but also to make my parents happy who were urologist and gynecologist. After I graduated Seoul National University Medical College, I became a urologist. I decided to major my subspeciality in female urology and voiding dysfunction, because this field is very much proper task for the urologist and also patients’ quality of life is very important.
I spent 2 years as a fellow in the department of urology of Seoul National University Hospital and a year at Stanford University Veterans Hospital under professor Chris Constantinou. I have been working as a professor in urology of Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan for the last 20years and now I am a chairman of department. I served as a chairman of IRB of my hospital and vice dean in research of my medical college. As a urologist in Korea I have served several important positions and recently elected as a president elect of Korean Urological Association.
I presented and published many articles regarding this field in ICS meetings. In my country, the term urinary incontinence was not recognized by the public, and also nobody wanted to deal with this disease in the past. But my colleagues and I founded the Korean Continence Society and not only held scientific meetings, but also ran a patients’ awareness program. I served as a chairman of KCS for 2 years. In the Asian region I, with many Japanese, Taiwanese, Chinese and Korean colleagues, have collaborated for the development of our ability on basic and clinical research, improvement of clinical skills and knowledge, and have communicated with each other. Fortunately we are now running a journal, LUTS where I am working as an associate editor.
As ICS stated, my mission is to enhance the quality of life for people suffering from urinary, bowel and pelvic floor disorders. This could be achieved by the development of basic and clinical research. As Asia has a large population with aging problems, we need to focus more attention into managing these disorders. However, the basis of the Asian academic research and education facilities are lacking. Many people with these problems in Asia may not be able to be treated as they want, compared to those in developed countries. Moreover, many physicians, nurses, and physiotherapists in this region do not have a chance to increase their ability to manage these disorders. I might be a representative of Asian caregivers and give them more chance to improve their knowledge and skills, clinically and basically. This will result in achieving my goals of helping many people to overcome their annoying symptoms and living their lives comfortably. The medical system and concept of urinary, fecal incontinence and pelvic floor disorders in Asia is somewhat different from those of western countries. The roles of doctors, nurses and physiotherapists have to be redefined in Asia in this field. Actually, many countries cannot afford the budget for the treatment of these disorders. It is even more difficult for them to raise research funds for these disorders. I have been working with many societies dealing with pelvic floor disorders and voiding dysfunction in Asian societies, place to place, so I can help and work towards helping these countries to access and achieve their goals. My aim is not confined to helping Asian people, but also to communicate between Asian and western people.