Severance Hospital chief named presidential physician: report

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Mar 7, 2013 - 19:50
  • Updated : Mar 7, 2013 - 19:50
Lee Byung-seok
Lee Byung-seok, general director of Gangnam Severance Hospital, has been tapped as personal physician to President Park Geun-hye.

The 57-year-old doctor is the first gynecologist in Korea to be responsible for the medical needs of the president and the second Cheong Wa Dae doctor selected from Severance Hospital, one of the leading general hospitals here and a teaching hospital for Yonsei Medical School students. Except for former President Kim Dae-jung, all physicians to previous presidents were from Seoul National University Hospital.

Park reportedly favored Severance Hospital as she received full medical care from the hospital in 2006. At that time the then chairwoman of the main opposition Grand National Party, now the Saenuri Party, was attacked by an ex-convict who slashed her face with a box cutter.

The new presidential doctor will check Park’s health every week and accompany her on overseas tours. Lee will be given a vice ministerial rank but will carry out his duty without pay, according to reports.

A graduate of Yonsei University Medical School, Lee studied reproductive endocrinology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. He served as chief of the obstetrics and gynecology department at Yonsei University and was tapped to head Gangnam Severance Hospital in southern Seoul in 2011.

By Cho Chung-un (