Dr. SUH Succ-Jo was born as the third son of seven children of father SUH Kyeong-Sun and mother PARK Rae-Seon on April 2, 1921 at Doriwon, Hwajeon-ri, Bongyang-myeon, Uiseong-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do, Korea. The doctor was the third son but he served as the pillar of support of his family with all of the expectations of his parents from his childhood instead of his eldest brother and elder brother who died when they were young.
He had extraordinary memory and showed special talents in literature and art in his school days. He was also an all-rounder. His sister said, “My brother had been smart, and intelligent since childhood. As he sang well, he was popular among his friends. As he was handsome and gentle, he did not argue with friends. With excellent dexterity, he used to make toys well. My father always complimented him as a good child.”
His father SUH Kyeong-Sun was a devout Christian who tried to awaken ethnic souls under Japanese Imperialism and found four churches as an elder of the church. He was willing to accept new learning and the cultures and he was delighted to be a ‘goose father’ to grow his children as talents by sending his family to Japan realizing the trend of the times.
Maybe because he witnessed the death of his elder brothers, he dreamed of being a doctor. After graduating Kyongbuk Middle School and High School in Daegu with honors, he went to Japan and entered the School of Medicine, Kyoto Prefectural University.
As Japan was likely to collapse, his family returned to Korea and he left there alone and completed his studies even though his position was unstable as an International student. Even though he had to earn his tuition fees and he had hardship while studying abroad, he successfully completed the courses with excellent results.
In the year following the year of liberation, he returned from Japan and he worked as a teaching assistant at the Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Seoul National University. He was eager to study the American Medicine as the latest empirical medicine. Finally, he gave up his smooth and easy life and went to the U.S. for studying.
Even though he was a working student while studying in the U.S., he successfully finished internship and he taught in College of Medicine there as an Asian in the 1950s when white supremacism was rampant and this was an exceptional significant legacy. It is possible to guess how much he had worked to become recognized his ability.
Starting his internship at St. Barnabas Hospital in New Jersey in summer of 1949, he took the internships at Dept. of Chest Medicine, Sanatorium Hospital in Lockport, Niagara, New York, at Dept. of Medicine, New Jersey Medical Center, at Dept. of Neurological Medicine at the Bellevue Hospital in New York and other then-famous hospitals. During internship, he made his name as a promising doctor by presenting groundbreaking therapies with brilliant ideas all the times.
Hearing about the outbreak of the Korean War while struggling to have training, he intended to stop training and return to Korea. However, he unpacked again under the belief that what was the most needed in impoverished countries like Japan would be the presence of doctors who had systematically learned advanced medicine. Because he made the uneasy decision, he did the best for his training. Recognized his abilities, he was appointed as an instructor of Neurological Medicine in College of Medicine, Cornell University, one of the well-known universities in the eastern area of the U.S. in July 1954.
Without his foresight and extraordinary beliefs as a doctor while holding missing his family and sadness about his country, the Korean medical world would have had significant losses. In particular, the development of neuroscience would have been far behind.
When he came back after more than seven years of studying abroad, Korea was ravaged by war. Most of the infrastructure was destroyed and even basic hygiene management was difficult. Therefore, the national health care was a very urgent issue. Nevertheless, there was a boom in studying abroad by young medical students who came to meet advanced medicine through US military doctors who were sent during the war, and it was very difficult for medical institutions to supply human resources, and even Yonsei University College of Medicine lacked the faculty. The presence of Dr. SUH Succ-Jo was brilliant. He was invited as an assistant professor of internal medicine and began working.
KIM Myung-seon, Dean of College of Medicine, Yonsei University, said that he wondered at the mysterious and wonderful medical treatment after scouting him. Just three months after he was appointed, he was unprecedentedly promoted as chief professor and the head of the department of internal medicine at Severance Hospital. He was 34 years old.
His fellow doctors acclaimed him as the most excellent doctor of neurological medicine’ and his medical care using advanced medicine was a good model for all fellows and seniors and juniors and accelerator of producing better outcomes. Because neuroscience was on the verge of being established properly, he shone the brightest in neurology. He had always been respected by his students and still he is revered as a master by young students.
Dr. Suh, a legendary instructor and master, was a living notebook. At that time, most professors brought in lecture notebooks and wrote them on the board. Students were busy copying them. But he was famous for teaching without any notebook. In particular, it was easy for students to understand and remember the lectures because he applied the cases of clinical practice together with the theories. For example, when teaching neural reflexes, he brought students to the front to demonstrate neural tests and made them experience by using their five senses and this made the lectures remain in their memories.
In addition to his unusual teaching methods, his students said that he made drawings well. His drawings reminded them of what they had learned even they once forgot it. During the lectures, he drew the outline of human anatomy with a chalk. He explained the neurological functions connecting with anatomical structure by drawing the cross-sectional views of brain, spine and nerves. It was the result of his repeatedly drawing anatomical drawings and making brain models spending staying up all night with bodies when he was studying in the U.S.
At the time that it was really difficult to buy a medical book in English, he printed out new medical books and distributed them to students, making efforts to share all of his experiences with them. Each of his actions showed his passion for dream and ideals. Who would not have been into him that had great affection for his students?
There was an obstacle that Dr. Suh who had received respect and love for all could not overcome: Fraction that is endemic in the Korean society.
Due to the boom in studying abroad, doctors who returned after studying began to form factions and build up their powers.
Dr. SUH Succ-Jo who had studied in Japan and the United States scolded the fractions and responded to the invitation of the College of Medicine, Catholic University, for his more developed path.
At the time, medical students at Yonsei University boycotted lectures and held protests. Perhaps it was natural for them to hold a good teacher.
Dr. Suh was great in challenge and foresight. He chose neuroscience that was a barren field when studying in the U.S. because he thought a large number of neurologists would be needed in the future and most of all, it would be helpful to his country. After studying abroad, he became the recognized No. 1 neurologist. He was able to accurately diagnose diseases that even advanced medical equipment could not find and he was a master of drug prescription. As a luminary in neurology, he accomplished several firm feats.
An article titled “Clinical Observation of 100 Stroke Patients” published in 1961 became the turning point of stroke diagnosis and treatment. Publishing a critical research result about stroke through ‘Homework Assignment Report’ selected by the Korean Medical Association in the following year, he made another progress. Only one person a year is selected for ‘Homework Assignment Report’ and it is authoritative to be evaluated as ‘Nobel Prize in the Korean medical world.’ At the time, the term ‘Stoke’ was used for the first time by him and he arranged the accurate terms on the names of diseases. In addition, he also made great achievements in developing new treatments for brain diseases.
He also became famous for treating paralyzed patients who visited hospital being unconscious by using sleeping pills. The therapy was called ‘Barbiturate Coma Therapy' later and became the official coma therapy. Dr. Suh always motivated fellow doctors with fresh and dramatic ideas and led the great medical development.
He first argued to separation of the department of neurology which had been included in the department of internal medicine and continuously demanded the establishment of the Korean Neurological Association confirming the appropriateness and possibility of development of the society. Thanks to his efforts, neuroscience finally became independent.
On February 25, 1971, he founded the Korean Association of Neurology and Internal Medicine, the former organization of the Korean Neurological Association and he was inaugurated as the first president. It was the outcome of his efforts to lay the independent foundation of the Korean Neurological Association. As such, he saw ahead rather than seeking immediate gains.
As he made the great achievements in medical care, research and education, he became more and more famous. Not only President Park Chung-Hee but also Vice President, first lady, prime minister and other prominent figures invited him as their personal doctor. In particular, he was in special relationships with former prime minister Kim Jong-Pill.
During his time at St. Mary’s Hospital, he brought King Yeong-Chin, the Last Crown Prince, to Korea and took care of him. King Yeong-Chin who had hardship even in Japan suffered from paralysis due to thrombosis and he also had dysphasia. Even Japan prevented him from bringing King Yeong-Chin to Korea for the reason of lack of medical specialists in the cerebrovascular system but Dr. Suh proved his skills and brought King Yeong-Chin to Korea. He communicated with King Yeong-Chin with facial expressions and had took care of him for 6 years until he passed away. According to then-residents, he sometimes used to weep sitting on dark stairs. This shows a glimpse of his true appearance. He treated patients through cool-hearted judgment and shared sadness of patients with his warm-heartedness.
He started to actively combine advanced medical knowledge that he had learned under hardship with advantages of the advanced medical culture.
By activating the American style training for residents, and academic activities in classes and also introducing advanced medical culture, such as multidisciplinary courses through joint academic conferences with different medical departments which has been common, he tried to make development.
He always pursued rationality and efficiency and patients-centeredness.
Even though specific school degrees or names should be put forward to become successful at that time, he did not adhere to formalities or justifications such as qualification of specialists or doctor’s degree.
He thought such things were empty formalities and vanity in instructing students and caring for patients.
This is why he did not adhere to the doctor’s degree or specialist’s qualification and he took only internships and resident courses.
He valued substances more than superficiality and he adhered to this belief when he instructed students, managed hospital and hired employees.
He always emphasized being thorough about treating patients. Making rounds, he used to ask basic information on patients or the numerical values of tests to their doctors. When they could not answer immediately just reading the charts, he did not listen to their answers and asked another question. He wanted doctors to remember everything about at least patients they cared for. Doctors who were trained from him still remember even numerical values of the examination results of their patients.
Even on holidays, he made rounds of wards. He did treatment with strong responsibilities. One day, an unidentified fever patient with suspected septicemia went to the emergency room and took examination. Even though he had a meeting outside, he did not leave until the result was produced. Before leaving, he got the result and instructed how to treat the patient. It was not contrasting compared to other doctors at high positions who instructed examination and received the results over the phone.
Saying that the most desirable care starts with trust, he repeatedly asked doctors to listen to patients. In addition, he emphasized physical diagnosis --- inspection, percussion, and palpation --- as a principle. Saying that learning is a long way and there is a lot of medical knowledge, he taught students not to be proud in front of patients but to try to be respected by patients to get true authority.
Everywhere he went, the patient flocked together. Patients followed him. A lot of patients followed him to Severance Hospital, St. Mary Hospital, Dong-Eun Clinic he once opened, Korea Hospital under Samsung, and Paik Hospital. As soon as he moved, patients followed him and they had to wait for two to three months to get treated.
Patients looked for him and relied on him not because of his excellent medical skills but because he always listened to them and he tried to heal their physical pains as well as wounded heart. He always listened to patients. Patients became comfortable while talking to him and the healing effects doubled. The rumor that Dr. SUH Succ-Jo was reliable spread to distant areas.
Even though he had a lot of positions including dean and foundation director, he had always taken care of patients for more than 40 years without taking rest until 1990. He took care of not only outpatients but also inpatients and also was out for house calls. He was always with patients. This was the reward for patients’ trust to him and his heart for respecting and caring for patients. For him, the top priority was patients.
Having watched westerners' deauthorization and patients-centeredness through studying abroad for a long time, Dr. Suh wanted to grow student who had such thoughts and to make space where they could practice their medicine. He achieved a wish he had dreamed of in November 1964. It was the opening of Dong-Eun Clinic at Jeo-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, Korea. Placed in the two-story building opposite to Jungbu Police Station, the clinic has 10 beds, which was quite a big hospital. Being famous as a hospital by the ‘true medical practitioner, he had a lot of patients. However, his medical services days and nights aggravated his diabetes that was found when he worked at Severance Hospital and this was one of reasons that he moved to Korea Hospital (currently Gangbuk Samsung Hospital). He passed his prosperous clinic to his follower in November 1968 and was appointed as vice president of newly founded Korea Hospital due to his desire to put the medical development forward. Korea Hospital was established by Samsung Group. In 1967, Samsung Chairman Lee Byung-Chul tried to recruit him through hospital president CHO Un-Hae.
At the time, he knew that a medical school would be established with the opening of Korea Hospital. Instead of the personal honor and remuneration in order to foster students and make Korea Hospital the best medical institution in Korea, he chose to develop the medical field and foster true medical personnel. But his dream became still far-off. Since the Medical Law was amended so that only medical personnel could open hospitals, Samsung showed the negative position on building a medical school and eventually gave up establishing such medical school. When the establishment of the medical school of Korea Hospital failed, the doctor was relocated to the department of internal medicine of Paik Hospital, which was promoted to general hospital in March 1972.
At the time, the doctor firmly came to the idea that in order to improve the quality of medical care, the skills of doctors are important, but the facilities and finances for student education and research must be firmly supported. The disappointing experience at Korea Hospital became a great ‘nourishment’ for establishing the correct management philosophy and educational philosophy.
Dr. Suh's dream seemed to be falling behind as he moved to the department of internal medicine at Paik Hospital, which was promoted to a general hospital in March 1972, but soon he started to try being independent. He planned to establish a medical corporation, and began to prepare it by gathering colleagues of his kind whom he had relationships with and they were willing to accept his proposal and focused on how hard they focused on it.
He had regard for people. He considered all people he had met important. Whenever he moved, excellent followers followed him and he kept companies even with nurses, and administrative staff. His wide and deep relationships became a great energy whenever he founded Soon Chun Hyang Hospital and Soon Chun Hyang University.
The land at Hannam-dong as a hospital site received from the Ministry of Affairs was a wasteland which was flooded every summer. In 1972, the first sod was finally cut. While the building was constructed, cement crisis occurred. Everybody was seriously concerned about the suspension of the construction. However, Ssangyong Group Chairman KIM Sung-Gon, acquainted with him, provided a sufficient amount of cement, so he could successfully build a hospital. As such, at every critical moment, his personnel connections showed their power. After that, there were many difficulties, but he overcame them with his positive drive and leadership and completely constructed the hospital.
Dr. Suh habitually said he would build a clinic like Mayo Clinic in the US, as the role model. Mayo Clinic is a global hospital located in Minnesota, USA. In deciding whether or not to operate, delegation, specialists in the clinic carry out deauthoritative patients-centered care, including consultations with several departments and deciding by voting.
In December 1972, he purchased 1,004 pyeong at 657 Hannam-dong, Seoul, and had a groundbreaking ceremony on April 3, 1973. After that, he began build a modern general hospital with 250 beds. His dream was to strengthen research functions by making it as the best general hospital in Korea and to connect universities with hospitals together through the establishment of a medical school. This initiative suggested a new model of the hospital operation system, and this showed the mission of the Korean medical world.
On August 5, 1973, 13 concerned officials including Dr. Suh held a general meeting to establish Soon Chun Hyang Hospital as a medical corporation in Cheongpa-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul and launched a medical foundation Soon Chun Hyang while the building was under construction.
At the time, Soon Chun Hyang Hospital was all of his life, so that he, as Chairman, would be presenting nearly all his property to the new medical corporation. The name 'Soon Chun Hyang' was created by former Prime Minister Kim Jong-pil who came to meet Dr. Suh as the personal doctor for former President Park Chung-Hee and First Lady Yuk Young-Soo, which means 'a village following God’s will.’
In November 1973, he applied for the establishment of medical corporation Soon Chun Hyang Hospital to the Ministry of Health and Society and received the license as a medical corporation on December 27, 1973. He was formally appointed as the first chairman on January 20, 1974. Medical corporation Soon Chun Hyang Medical Foundation beyond the establishment of medical corporation has a historical meaning with the symbolism of Korea's “first” medical corporation.
In 1974, Soon Chun Hyang Medical Foundation was established and in May 1974, Soon Chun Hyang Hospital was opened. It had 250 beds (in a building with 2 underground levels and 8 stories above at 3,300 pyeong with two story rooftop), which was large in size at the time. It also had the state-of-the art equipment and facilities. The medical staff including Dr. SUH Succ-Jo were the best doctors at that time and this made headline not only in the medical world but also among the public. KBS News introduced the hospital as the hospital with Korea’s best medical staff and facilities.
Soon Chun Hyang Hospital had the signboard of a huge building reflecting Dr. Suh’s philosophy that “following God’s will is to go with the flow” and “diseases are healed by God and doctors help the courses of healing.” A hospital like Mayo Clinic he was eager to build finally came out of the ground and took the first step.
After opening, Dr. Suh also made the first mother and child health center in Korea by addressing the necessity of establishing a related center internally and externally to solve the long-running problems in the field of maternal and child health and therefore, he made great achievements to present the direction and model of the national maternal and child health project. After the establishment of the center, he used the network to connect with Keio University in Japan, helping to keep the center running properly. At Soon Chun Hyang Hospital, the large-scale centers such as Hospital Gumi and Hospital Cheonan were made at the time and contributed greatly to the development of the Korean pediatric and gynecology fields.
Just as indicated in the prospectus of hospital establishment, the meaning of the opening of Soon Chun Hyang Hospital was not limited to the emergence of new general hospitals. Soon Chun Hyang Hospital was born with the mission of the times related to the development of the whole Korean medical world.
Since its opening, it has led many developments of general hospitals in Korea in quality and quantity.
It is undeniable that civilization has many benefits for modern people, while the erosion of diseases on human objects due to mental and physical fatigue and tension is also increasingly diversified and deepened.
In addition, Korea should be the subject of research as an important challenge for all the problems of public health caused by urban and rural areas in parallel with the development process of heavy chemical industry and other industries.
The corporation established Soon Chun Hyang Hospital, a general hospital to share the role of pioneering roles in clinical medicine and public hygiene in addition to the basic medical fields.
It is convinced that the development of research institutes and medical personnel, such as rural medicine, endemic diseases, health management, and clinical medicine to be established as well at the hospital will contribute greatly to national health management by providing more efficient means for achieving this purpose.
The destination of Dr. Suh's dream is not a hospital. It was to establish a medical school that nurtures excellent medical talents who contribute to the national and social development. Although Soon Chun Hyang hospitals have developed day by day, the doctor felt sorry for the lack of the research atmosphere. In particular, the blank appearance of the professor-level doctors stimulated him and made him speed up construction of the ivory tower.
Even though he as a doctor wanted to try a general hospital for a while, he was just suffering from medical treatment but the research atmosphere was not easily created. Medical science is to study without a break, but it is impossible to create a climate for studying only with a hospital.
On July 8, 1974, I started to prepare for founding Education Foundation Dong-Eun by convening the general meeting of foundation. At last, on January 14, 1978, the College of University of Soon Chun Hyang at Eunnae-ri, Sinchang-myeon, Asan in Chungcheongnam-do with the licensed establishment was founded. “Why did you choose the rural area instead of selecting a good place?”
I have been asked by many people why we established the medical school at Eunnae-ri, Sinchang-myeon, Asan in Chungcheongnam-do far from the city area. The answer to this question will be my intention to establish Soon Chun Hyang Medical College.
Korea's medical benefits are far less than those of western developed countries. Moreover, due to the doctor's urban concentration phenomenon, the medical benefits in rural areas are very poor, and the doctorless village phenomenon has not been resolved. – Omitted -
The establishment of Soon Chun Hyang University School of Medicine is an implementation of the will of adding strength to the nation and people through the discharge of excellent medical grades and the elimination of rural medical problems. In the future, we are expecting not only to cure patients suffering from diseases, but also to serve the nation and society as the birthplace of new medical research, because many medical students who have advanced the fine medicine through this medical school are produced.
From the beginning, Dr. Suh did not dream of establishing a university in the metropolitan area. He urgently needed to resolve the regional imbalances in health care in Korea. So, I firmly believed that many medical schools should be created in the provinces. Soon Chun Hyang School of Medicine, the first medical school founded by the professor of medicine, was created through the doctor's conviction for national and social development.
Finally, in September 1977, the groundbreaking construction was finally underway, and as I was working hard on the construction in frigid winter, I had some difficulties. On March 15, two weeks before the scheduled opening date, the first lecture started. His final goal was to cultivate and produce not only medical professionals but also more talented people to take root and commit to the region in the future.
In 1978, when it started under the name of Soon Chun Hyang School of Medicine, the appearance and human composition were small. At the time, there were only 6 professors and 10 manager-level employees in the college of medicine. In addition, only 80 male students passed through the three-to-one competition rate and they started studying at a small two-story building at the foot of a hill at Shinchang-myeon, Asan, Chungcheongnam-do. Although the school size and number of students were not great, the faculty, composed of the best-known doctors in Korea, were as great as those in the leading medical schools.
At this time, he drew a sketch to develop into a very large university in the future in center of the college of medicine. He planned to expand the campus to the hill at Changam-ri beyond Maengsan. It was because of such paving stones that trees were planted with all the students at the hill of Changam-ri, which would become part of the campus, on Arbor Day on April 5, 1978.
Soon Chun Hyang College of Medicine changed its name to Soon Chun Hyang college in 1980, and was promoted to a university in 1990. Since the mid-2000s, it has developed into a prestigious local private school. Soon Chun Hyang has produced more than 60,000 people who learned the wisdom of life from the ideal of Dr. Suh’s dream, who have contributed to national and social development in many fields.
For the development to establish a close cooperative system of hospitals and the university in the future, Soon Chun Hyang Medical Foundation was dissolved in January 1978 and Soon Chun Hyang Medical Center was launched in February and Dong-Eun Medical Foundation was reborn in May 1979. In addition, while the College of Medicine was established, Soon Chun Hyang Seoul Hospital located at Hannam-dong was changed to the affiliate hospital of the university and since the opening of Soon Chun Hyang Hospital, it implemented the national medical network by opening the hospitals including Health Care Center in Seosan in 1977, Hospital Gumi in 1979, Hospital Cheonan in 1982, Hospital Eumseong in 1984 (sold in 1995), and Hospital Bucheon in 2001. Hospitals Gumi and Cheonan which belonged to the medical corporation (Dong-Eun Medical Foundation) and Hospitals Seoul and Bucheon which belonged to the education foundation (Dong-Eun Academy) with the university had been separately operated before they were merged to Dong-Eun Academy in October 2008.
Just like universities, the establishment of hospitals in non-capital areas was also to make medical care reach out to every corner of the medical blind spots. Until the late 1970s, as more than 60% of Korean doctors were concentrated in Seoul and Busan, small and medium cities and provinces were neglected as serious medical vulnerable areas.
The following is about the opening period, beds at the time of opening, and the first president of each of Soon Chun Hyang Hospitals which have played pioneering roles in resolving medically vulnerable areas:
May 6, 1974 Opened Soon Chun Hyang Hospital (250 beds)
First President Dr. KIM Hak-Hyun, Vice President Dr. YOO Hun May 1, 1977 Opened Healthcare Center (Samhwa Clinic) at Seosan in Chungcheongnam-do (15 beds)
First President KIM Hyun-Kwang/em> Sep. 10, 1979 Opened Soon Chun Hyang Hospital Gumi (250 beds)
First President Dr. KIM Jeong-Wan July 7, 1982 Opened Soon Chun Hyang Hospital Cheonan (200 beds)
First President KIM Hak-Hyun, Vice President Dr. KIM Young-Seok Apr. 2, 1984 Opened Soon Chun Hyang Hospital Eumsung (80 beds)
First President Dr. PARK Hee-Ju Feb. 1, 2001 Opened Education Corporation Soon Chun Hyang University Hospital Bucheon (621 beds)
First President Dr. KIM Bu-Seong, Vice President Dr. SHIN Won-Han Hospital Seoul was also a metropolitan general hospital established in Hannam-dong, one of the most vulnerable areas in Seoul at that time. Healthcare Center at Seosan in Chungcheongnam-do was a rural-type hospital for farmers and fishers who were not properly receiving medical benefits and Hospital Gumi is an industrial hospital established in Gumi, one of the leading industrial complexes in Gyeongbuk where there were no hospitals that could care industrial accident patients. Hospital Cheonan is an urban hospital established in the Chungnam region, the only area in the country where there were no general hospitals and Hospital Eumsung was a small town hospital established in central inland, the medically most vulnerable district with Hospital Bucheon as the only university hospital in a rapidly emerging large residential district. All Soon Chun Hyang hospitals dramatically fulfilled the medical services which were insufficient at that time.
Originally, Dr. Suh took ‘Mayo Clinic’ as the ideal model. Just as the hospital was rooted in the region and has grown into a global hospital, he dreamed that all Soon Chun Hyang hospitals will develop with the university and the regions while playing the leading roles in their own regions just as Korean ‘Mayo Clinic’. In addition, he wished all the hospitals would contribute to the nation and the community with deauthoritativeness and patients-centeredness.
The efforts of Soon Chun Hyang people to realize the ideals of Dr. Suh have been made for over 30 years. Soon Chun Hyang hospitals, which are very similar to his mind, have been recognized internally and externally as a community of medical care that prioritizes patients over profits and has been firmly positioned as the central hospital in the region.
On March 30, 1990, Dr. SUH Succ-Jo finished his journey to perform his healing art of medicine which had been made for more than 40 years. As universities and hospitals grew significantly, they were forced to give patient care to faithfully take care of the increased university and hospital management. As usual, the doctor took care of about 50 patients and took a commemorative photo with his last patient.
Since then, he laid the foundation of the university and four hospitals as a university and regional pivotal hospitals and firmly established a solid foothold for the university and four hospitals.
Maybe, the heaven might need Dr. Suh. Hyangseul Dr. SUH Succ-Jo passed away at the age of 79 in 1999. He became become a big star in the fields of medical and education. On December 31, 1999, at his funeral ceremony, it snowed as if the heaven consoled in his death.
The doctor who had dedicated the whole body to the development of medical and education received Camellia Medal, an Order of Civil Merit in 1981. It is a national award when a person has made great contributions in the major areas of Korea and has contributed to improving the welfare of the people and national development. It was newly established in 1951 and it corresponds to the Republic of Korea Medal. In addition, Dr. Suh, who was a member of the Central Education Council, Chairman of the Subcommittee of Private Academic Affairs Committee, and Director of the Korea Association for University Foundations, received several awards for his contributions to the development of medical education.
When you see the words SOON CHUN HYANG that produce warmth, you can guess the spirit of establishment of Soon Chun Hyang University, and its hospitals with educational philosophy.
When Dr. SUH Succ-Jo first thought about the name of the hospital at the time of establishment, Former Prime Minister KIM Jong-Pil, familiar with him, named the hospital with the motto and medical philosophy and Dr. Suh was said to have loved Soon Chun Hyang more than his pen name Hyangseul.
Under the motto of “Reasonableness Following God’s Will,” with the medical philosophy of “Diseases are healed by God and doctors help the courses of healing,” he never forgot them in his whole life. With such attitude in his life, he was able to unfold the art of healing literally and patients also acknowledged his devotion and effort.
The patients could trust him, not because he was a doctor with the greatest skills but because he was humble and loved patients much more than others.
Soon Chun Hyang, with his love and ideals, has its strong network following up the intention of the late Dr. Suh and has grown into a cradle of national education and group of hospitals.
Growing up to see his father helping his neighbors in need, Dr. Suh inherited his father’s warm-heartedness. Since becoming a doctor, he had always loved and helped patients suffering from diseases and their neighbors in difficulties. When a patient was unable to be hospitalized because he did not have medical expenses and family care, he asked for a guarantor himself. Even if a patient gave up his complaint during the treatment, he listened to every single word and really loved the patient so much that he remembered.
Professor Park Hyeong-Guk (head of Neurology Dept.), who performed the round as neurology resident at Hospital Seoul for two years from 1989, testifies how specially and greatly he had love for the patients.
Every junior and disciple who remembers him always describes him as a humanist. Dr. Suh, who intended to break down Korean medical culture going through the motions and authoritarianism and build the utopia for giving consideration to patients by practicing “love for humanity” by actions rather than by words, was a true pioneer in the Korean medical world and true doctor which practiced the spirit of the Hippocratic Spirit.
Dr. Suh decided the spirit of Soon Chun Hyang as ‘love for humanity’, the basic educational policies of the school as ‘True, Service, and Practice’ and the slogans of hospital as ‘Sincerity, Service, and Research.’ His belief was that the spirit of true love for humanity is essential not only in the field of medicine but also in the field of education. Following and developing his intention to continuously contribute to the development of the Korean community and the nation is the principle of Soon Chun Hyang people.
Dr. Suh’s exceptional love for humans and ideal with his great mind are Soon Chun Hyang. The doctor who made the great ecosystem which is Soon Chun Hyang with the great ideal asked his colleagues, juniors, disciples, and employees to ‘love human beings’ to come down to the spirit of Soon Chun Hyang people.
He taught that what is the most important is ‘human being’. No matter how good a medical device or hospital facility is, if there is no doctor's intention to sincerely care for patients, medical equipment is nothing but a useless machine and without the sincere service of patients, such medical equipment would take up only space uselessly.
In addition, the doctor asked them not to be proud but to live for others rather than themselves. He wanted all to become true intellectuals, true medical personnel and true hospitals as role models.
‘Love for Humanity,’ the spirit of Soon Chun Hyang, gathers all Soon Chun Hyang people over 30 years and has ceaselessly worked as driving force of growth. In addition, practicing the service as a member of the beautiful community and increasing humanity with the mind of ‘living for others than me’ has been perfectly implemented with the symbol of Soon Chun Hyang people.
The ideal figure of Soon Chun Hyang that Dr. started drawing is still incomplete, but the sketch of the spirit of the doctor is so wonderful. Soon Chun Hyang will get dignified and shine through slight modifications. However, what we at Soon Chun Hyang have to do is to make our hospital stay longer as a prestigious private institution in the region and make the name of Soon Chun Hyang as a greater brand. Dr. SUH Succ-Jo, a great role model and great teacher for a number of people, is still shining through the nation and lighting up the future of Soon Chun Hyang.
When Soon Chun Hyang University was established in 1978, Soon Chun Hyang was divided into a school corporation (Dong-Eun Institute) and a medical corporation (Dong-Eun Medical Foundation). The university, Hospital Seoul, and Hospital Bucheon were operated under the school corporation while Hospitals Cheonan and Gumi were under the medical corporation. Like this, the long separation resulted in the invisible wall between the organizations under Soon Chun Hyang and blurred identity. Therefore, this brought the national network of Soon Chun Hyang failing to fully show its great potential power.
By seeing through the problem in 1997, SUH Kyo-Il, the eldest son (then-director) of Dr. Suh, who had been involved in the management of hospitals and the university, made the brave decision in 2008. Without any conditions, he integrated the medical foundation into Education Foundation Dong-Eun Academy through free assignment. The case of assigning the medical foundation worth hundreds of billions of tangible and intangible assets free of charge to the education foundation was the first time in the history of Korea and it was a historical case that made the pivotal moment in the private education circle and the medical world.
Corporate integration does not end with assignment. To do this, a complicated course and procedures for employment succession were necessary to make more than 2,000 staff in the medical foundation retire temporarily and then make them the staff in the education foundation again. The problem was severance pay in tens of billions of won. Under the poor medical system, even though Soon Chun Hyang made the made transparent and robust management, it was not easy to pay tens of billions of won in cash. The brave decision surprised the world but after the uneasy integration, Soon Chun Hyang overcame such burdensome situation, successfully completing the integration.
Soon Chun Hyang came to become one and since then, Soon Chun Hyang made a long drive through the synergy effects through the enormous national network. Getting better all the time, Soon Chun Hyang is taking forward to Hyangseul Dr. SUH Succ-Jo’s ideal and dream.
‘Dong-Eun’ that Education Foundation Dong-Eun Academy was named after is the pen name of Dr. Suh’s father-in-law KIM Du-Ha (1894~1957). KIM Du-Ha from Pohang, Gyeongsangbuk-do earned a lot of money through businesses such as fishing industry and with his noble personality and sincere and diligent living attitude, he became a symbol of others all the time and generously donated a lot of money to build education facilities and help the needy. Having respected him, Dr. Suh named Dong-Eun Clinic (1964~1968) after him, where he operated at Jeo-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul. While establishing Soon Chun Hyang University, he named the education foundation as ‘Dong-Eun Academy’. Growing with Soon Chun Hyang University and Soon Chun Hyang hospitals, Dong-Eun Academy became a place for growing with the brilliant value. Soon Chun Hyang SCH Pride! This is why all Soon Chun Hyang people are proud of Soon Chun Hayng.
Tens of years have passed since Dr. Suh slept. The university and four affiliated hospitals, born with the spirit of the doctor's spirit of challenge and love for humanity, have been merged into the Education Foundation Dong-Eun Academy, which has grown tremendously in both qualitative and quantitative terms.
The once desolate campus with 78 students in 1978 is not full of more than 20,000 students and the spirit of Soon Chun Hyang attracts young people from a lot of foreign countries around the world, who follow their dreams in Soon Chun Hyang. As well, Soon Chun Hyang which started with 250 beds in 1974 has grown more than 10 times with over 3,000 beds. Now, it has more than 6,000 faculty members.
The status and power of Soon Chun Hyang that people around the world consider much better than before resulted from integration into Education Foundation Dong-Eun Academy. Proving the proverb that united we stand, divided we fall, the national network of Soon Chun Hyang has brought synergy effects that increase competitiveness after integration, working as a powerful drive for leap.