Published to swtimes.com on November 13, 2019
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The Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine is going global. It announced Tuesday a partnership with Jaseng Hospital of Korean Medicine.

According to a press release, the Arkansas Colleges of Health Education signed a memorandum of understanding with the Seoul, South Korea, hospital. The two organizations hope to provide “cultural learning exchanges” between their doctors.

ACHE President Brian Kim, born in South Korea, helped create the partnership. The release says he developed relationships with many hospitals in his previous role at the American Osteopathic Association.

Kim was hired in July to handle the day-to-day activities of ARCOM, oversee its current academic programs, and help develop the school’s future programs.

“As ARCOM develops its osteopathic medical education curriculum for students to practice locally, we want them to have not only national but (a) global perspective for patient care,” Kim said in the release. “It will broaden our students’ abilities to approach their patients with mind, body, and spirit medicine, which will ultimately help us fulfill our mission to educate competent, caring, and compassionate physicians to practice in Arkansas.”

ARCOM prides itself on partnerships with other medical institutions. ACHE CEO Kyle Parker said at the beginning of this year the school works with Baptist Health, Mercy Health, all the major hospitals in the state of Arkansas, Unity Health clinics in Arkansas, as well as several hospitals in Oklahoma for rotations and residency program placements.

Working with other medical facilities, whether down the street or across the world, is intended to give students a well-rounded education to properly serve those who are often overlooked because of their background, Parker said at the time. This is yet another chance to do so.

ARCOM plans to select students to complete a two-week clinical rotation in Seoul to study nontraditional, non-Western medical techniques. Second-year students will have the opportunity to shadow physicians, while third- and fourth-year students will work alongside the Jaseng doctors.

Jaseng is a network of hospitals in South Korea known for its noninvasive treatments, particularly of joint and spinal disorders. It marries holistic healing techniques, such as acupuncture and “cupping,” with modern science and technology to provide quality patient care. It has multiple facilities stateside in Southern California.

Plans for students to visit Seoul are tentatively scheduled for June 2020, depending on the ability to raise funds for the trip.

“We want our students to look at more than just conventional approaches,” Kim said in the release. “This opportunity presents our students with another tool in their medical bag, with a broader depth of experience that they will translate into a more compassionate approach to serving the underserved.”

Partnering with the hospital will also provide for the two institutions to learn from each other. ARCOM faculty will present lectures on research project and medical techniques while in Seoul, and doctors from Jaseng will come to Fort Smith to share their work.

“I wish I could really tell you what it means to this city,” Mayor George McGill said at ACHE’s five-year celebration in April. “It’s incredible, and it’s the one thing I talk about very often — the impact this medical school and all its bold vision has meant to Fort Smith and all of the River Valley. We’re very blessed to have you here.”