VES Member Spotlight: Dr. Jiyoung Park

Jiyoung Park

I was born and raised in Daejeon, a city between Seoul and Busan in South Korea. It’s a clean and quiet place with slow temper of citizens but also a busy and smart city with a bunch of research complexes. I studied veterinary medicine at Chungnam national university and completed Master and PhD course of veterinary surgery at the same school in 2010 and 2014, respectively. After then, I stayed couple more years as a lecturer and staff surgeon. 

I first had deep interests in MIS when I was a just graduated fledgling vet in 2007 with a great opportunity being involved into a research team of hybrid NOTES, transgastric/transcolonic/transvaginal cholecystectomy in dogs with human doctors. 

Tell us about your current role (ie. Practice type, position, professional and research focuses?)

I’ve spent most time of my career at university, but currently I’m working at Ulsan S Animal Medical Group in South Korea. This is my first employed job in local field and I’m in charge of soft tissue surgery including MIS. Although vet-MIS got a little bit more familiar to clients now than when I first started, my goal for vet-MIS in Korea is to establish it as a routine concept even in the local clinical field, not just as a research concept like when I was working at university. 

In these days, I’m diving in urology such as PCCL or transurethral lithotripsy for urolithiasis, and also preparing a clinical trial of Tilapia fish skin for wound management in dogs and cats.

How do you incorporate MIS into your surgery clinic?

Actually, frequency is not that high in my current clinic until now. This is probably because it’s a first MIS facility in this area where is quite far from capital city, Seoul. But I’m still working on MIS one by one like pericardiectomy, cholecystectomy, omentalization for renal cyst or paraprostatic cyst, cellophane banding attenuation for PSS, PCCL or lithotripsy, and other routine procedures as well. I’ve been trying to get my clients feel more comfortable with MIS. It is my passion to continue to bring awareness of MIS in Korea. Long long way to go for me but I can’t wait!

What excites you about MIS? (or tell us about a MIS success story)

Putting aside my amazing experiences during MIS co-work research with human doctors from 2007, I can never forget the feeling when my first clinical patient was being discharged after Lap-cholecystectomy by GB mucocele. MIS for me is not only a personal challenge for unlimited possibility but also an expression of my effort to provide good medical service to my patients and clients. As a vet surgeon, moreover, I have a responsibility to improve quality of service of veterinary surgery in my clinic. And MIS is more than perfect for that purpose.

Why do you love being a VES member?

I was in Lake Tahoe for my first VES meeting in 2019 and I was lucky to meet many vets loving MIS. It was amazing that I finally met doctors who I can communicate with and that made me extremely happy. Since that time I feel so relieved that I’m not going to wander and I know that I can always ask my VES family about anything. (There had been nobody to discuss with because my team was a pioneer as for vet-MIS in Korea when we started, which was kind of frustrating.)

I have so much admiration for all the fabulous work of all VES members! I hope you remember that I’m rooting for you always. Respect for your passion gives me great motivation, which encourages and challenges me too. Of course, it’s scary, sometimes. But that makes us progress, one-step forward.

I love MIS, people who love MIS, and I love that crazy gala dinner night, too ☺. 

I’m ready to enjoy MIS with all the amazing friends all over the world. All of you are my great teacher. Miss you guys and I hope we can have a good time again in person, soon. Until then, please stay safe and healthy, everybody!

Where would you like to see veterinary MIS go in the future?

Broadening MIS in veterinary medicine as well as developing more astonishing, complicated, and specified techniques in MIS would be happy. I mean, like human medicine. 

However, we could not overlook accessibility, at the same time. GI endoscopes are everywhere, now. But, that must’ve been not familiar to people, and someone still preferred to open surgery for exploration, biopsy and FB removal in upper GI tract. As time goes by, esophagogastroscopy settled and became a first option replacing open surgery, considerably. More friends doing MIS, big society, bigger idea, undoubtable progression. MIS everywhere for easy access, more and more!!!

It’s connected to a point of my wish, ‘MIS as a routine concept’. Like human medicine.

What do you like to do for fun outside of veterinary medicine?

What I love – travel, watching movies, music, musical play, making friends living in totally different world….or…doing nothing surrounded by amazing scenery in a great nature but just being a part of it. COVID-19 took them all away from me, unfortunately, except being a couch potato, so sad. 🙁   

Oh! What suddenly comes to my mind is I want to learn Spanish! I’ve learned German for 1 year previously when I was a high school student, It was so much fun as I remember (Of course, I can’t speak at all now! ☺ ). But learning a foreign language has something more than just getting to speak that language well, I think.