Located about three hours south of Seoul, the country’s capital city, hospital officials at Jeonju must deal with patients who will drive to the capital because they believe they can get better medical care there.
FMC has formed a partnership with the South Korean hospital so the two can learn from each other.
On Tuesday, Keith Kim, secretary of general affairs of the 700-bed South Korean hospital, toured FMC facilities — including The Breast Center — and met with administrators as part of a 20-day stay to get ideas he will take back to South Korea.
This is not Kim’s first visit to Rome.
A delegation from the country toured all the medical facilities in Rome last year, said Aimee Griffin, executive director of the hospital’s Breast Center. Kim was one of the key officials who decided that a partnership with FMC would be beneficial.
A delegation from FMC also made a visit in November to Jeonju City, which has about 600,000 people, Griffin said.
When studying their hospital, FMC officials learned that the area has about the same incident rate but a lower death rate for breast cancer patients.
“We think that part of it can be dietary — they have a much healthier diet than we do,” Griffin said. “We hope maybe in time we can learn from them why they have lower death rates than we do.”
Kim is observing how the Rome hospital functions.
“They have a lot of the same equipment as we do,” Griffin said. “They use the same techniques that we use. A lot of what he will learn is operational.”
At Kim’s hospital, it can be two weeks before a newly diagnosed breast cancer patient can see a surgeon. At The Breast Center, the time frame is 24 hours.
In the next few days, Kim will visit the hospital’s public relations and marketing department and spend more time with administration officials and staff.
Later this year, a breast and thoracic surgeon from Jesus Hospital is expected to visit Rome to observe surgeries.