3 defectors: All brothers, all doctors

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3 defectors: All brothers, all doctors


North Korean brothers living in the South passed the national test to become oriental medicine doctor. From left to right, third son, Park Tae-hyeon, who passed on Jan. 14; the second, Park Su-hyeon, who was the first to become a doctor among three, and the youngest, Park Se-hyeon, who passed in 2009. [YONHAP]

Three North Korean brothers living in the South have passed the national test to become oriental medicine doctors, one of the most difficult vocational tests in the country.

Park Su-hyeon, 45, the second eldest of four brothers who runs an oriental medicine clinic in Seongnam, Gyeonggi, couldn’t hide his pleasure for the success of the third eldest brother, Tae-hyeon, who passed the test on Jan.14.

“The success of my brother feels like winning a lottery,” the second Park said.

Among the four brothers, three succeeded in passing the test and became oriental medicine doctors, except the eldest brother working in the South.

The second eldest, Su-hyeon, who attended a medical college in Chongjin, North Hamgyong, fled from North Korea in 1993 and brought his family members to the South in 1998 and 1999.

He transferred to Kyung Hee University in 1995 and passed the national test for oriental doctors in 2001.

After Su-hyeon became a doctor, his two younger brothers, both of whom graduated from Sangji University in South Korea, followed his path - the youngest Se-hyeon, 35, passed the test in 2009, and finally, so did the third one, Tae-hyeon, 40, this year.

But it was not so easy for the three brothers to achieve success in the test, Su-hyeon said. His two younger brothers took the test three times before they passed.

When Tae-hyeon took the test in December 2010, all family members visited a temple, wishing him good luck on his test.

The brothers’ parents also expressed their happiness.

Park Sang-un, the 73-year-old father, who had gallstone surgery three times since he came to the South, said he now had no worries left.

Two of the brothers, Su-hyeon and Se-hyeon, run their oriental clinics separately, but with the same name, “Mount Myohyang Oriental Medicine Clinic.”

Mount Myohyang is where Su-hyeon served his military service in North Pyongan Province, North Korea, and where he decided to be an oriental doctor. Tae-hyeon hasn’t opened his clinic yet.

Su-hyeon gained publicity in February 2010 when he achieved a doctorate degree in oriental medicine from Kyungwon University - he was the first North Korean defector to get the degree in South Korea.

By Kim Hee-jin [heejin@joongang.co.kr]

Related Korean Article [중앙일보]

탈북자 3형제, 한의사 시험 차례로 합격
40세 박태현씨, 형·동생 이어 3수 끝에 자격 따내
형 수현씨는 작년 탈북자 최초로 한의학 박사 돼

북한을 탈출해 한국에 정착한 3형제가 차례로 한의사 시험에 합격했다. 북한에서의 학력이나 경력을 인정받아 의사·한의사가 된 경우는 있지만 탈북 3형제가 모두 한의사 자격을 따낸 것은 전례없는 일이다. 화제의 주인공은 경기도 성남에서 묘향산한의원을 운영 중인 박수현(45)씨와 두 동생들. 최근 발표된 한의사 국가고시 합격자 명단에 셋째인 태현(40)씨가 올랐다. 넷째인 막내 세현(35)씨가 2009년 한의사가 된 지 2년 만의 경사다.

3형제 한의사의 첫 단추는 4형제 중 둘째인 수현씨가 10년 전에 뀄다. 북한에서 청진의과대학 고려의학부(한약학과)에 다니다 1993년 10월 탈북한 수현씨는 95년 3월 경희대 한의예과 2학년에 편입했다. 하지만 한의학 교육 수준의 극심한 차이 등으로 어려움이 컸다고 한다. 최대 복병은 한자였다. 북한에서는 한자를 잘 쓰지 않는 바람에 한자투성이인 남한의 한의학 공부는 옥편과의 싸움이나 마찬가지였다. 수현씨는 각고의 노력 끝에 본과 4학년 재학 중이던 2001년 한의사 자격시험에 합격했다. …


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