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Academic

NO.374 02.12.2018

"I Shall Devote Myself to Promoting the Oral Health of the World"

Professor Young-Guk Park, Dean of the College of Dentistry, won the 2017 Dentist of the Year Award following the election to the FDI World Dental Association Federation Council


The Dentist of the Year Award is selected by the Korea Dentist Association every year for his or her dedication to the dentistry community and for enhancing the honor of dentists. Park said, "I humbly accept the decision with the intention that I shall continue to contribute to the development of domestic dentistry and devote myself to enhance the oral health of the world, and I will do my best to further my role in the future.”


"Elected as a FDI Council, he elevated the status of Korea’s dentistry in the world”
Professor Young-Guk Park unpretentiously expressed, "I just did my job as a dentist and an educator." Last year, Park was elected as a Council of the World Dental Association Federation, and is responsible for leading and determining the oral health and health policy in the world. Dean Park's election to the FDI Executive Committee is meaningful because Korea becomes actively participated in solving the oral health and health problems faced by humankind.

Cheol-soo Kim, president of the Korea Dentist Association, highly regards him by saying that “Professor Park has been trying to improve the dental health care system by establishing a basis for the development of Korean dental medicine as evidence-based medical system as well as training international dental professionals. Furthermore, he has enhanced the status of Korea’s dental medicine since he was elected as an executive committee member of FDI for the second time.”


Preventing the spread of noncommunicable diseases and working for global gum health
When asked about the activities and plans as a member of FDI Council, he said, "We are in the process of setting up a business plan from 2018 to 2020. Since FDI executive committee members are spread all around the world, we are communicating via video conference.”

Currently Park has two major interests. One is Noncommunicable diseases (NCD), such as cancer and diabetes, mentioned at the 2012 Davos Forum. "If we do not manage it efficiently, there will be a crisis in the national finance," Park said. "Since dental medicine plays an important role in preventing the spread of noncommunicable diseases, we are pursuing relevant projects.”

Another is the Global Periodontal Health Project (GPHP). In many cases, gingival inflammation is neglected. If that happens, inflammatory products will be absorbed directly into the body and compromise the overall health of the patient. Park said, "Since gingival inflammation is a direct threat to health, we are making efforts to educate the public and nurture personnel to deal with it.”


Need to develop the ability to sympathize with the pain of others
Dean Park said, "Unilateral didactic authority of the yore is no longer valid in today’s classroom. We need to get involved with students' creativity so that the existing knowledge, new technology, and arts are integrated, which means convergence beyond imagination.” He also continued to explain about dental education. "Harvard has started to classify medicine as humanities. The phenomenon that appears in the mouth of a patient is a physical phenomenon, but it shows how a patient lives. Doctors have an obligation to advise their patient for changes in lifestyle."

According to Dean Park, the most necessary virtue for a doctor is his ability to sympathize with the pain of others. Understanding the changes in life brought on by the disease, empathizing with pain, and having compassion can motivate doctors to do their best in treatment. Park said, "It is difficult for the personality education to be at all achieved in the university." He emphasized that both home, school, and society should work together for humanism education.

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