Meet Dr. Kim Jiyoun, the First Female Plastic Surgeon from Seoul National University Medical School

You won't be surprised to hear that the majority of plastic surgeons are male. Gangnam, where it’s known to be the K-Beauty hub in Seoul Korea is not an exception either. Eunogo works with a few prominent female plastic surgeons in Korea. Today, we set down with Dr. Kim Jiyoun, the Director of Light Plastic Surgery in South Korea to share about Korean beauty trends and her life as a female plastic surgeon. 

Dr. Kim is the first female board-certified plastic surgeon to be graduated from Seoul University Medical School, which is the number one ranked medical school in Korea. As a female plastic surgeon at Light Plastic Surgery with over 10 years of experience working in the Gangnam district, Dr. Kim shares her story of being a female doctor and the current K-Beauty trends in the district!

EUNOGO: Please introduce yourself, Dr. Kim.

Dr. Kim: Hello, I am Kim Jiyeon, a plastic surgeon in South Korea. I graduated from Seoul National University and graduated from Seoul National University Hospital as a plastic surgeon. It's been more than 10 years since I started working as a plastic surgeon after receiving my medical certification, and it has been more than a year since I opened my own plastic surgery clinic. As you may know, there aren't many female plastic surgeons in the plastic surgery hospitals. But I think female surgeons can better understand female patients as we're both women and are more delicate when it comes to both medical and physical treatments.

Eunogo: Is there a reason why you opened your own clinic? What is your vision?

Dr. Kim: My vision was to create a clinic that gives a family-like feel and a place where patients can receive comfortable treatments. At the previous hospital I worked for, the things I could do for patients were bound to be limited in terms of space and service. As a female plastic surgeon, I've opened the clinic to provide a more comfortable space and service for patients to feel the tender and delicate care of women, and I'm continuing to do that. My goal now is not only to take care of the patients as a doctor but also to communicate with them like an older sister and a mother to give them greater satisfaction.

Eunogo: Was it your dream to become a doctor since you were a child? Why did you decide to be a doctor?

Dr Kim: When I was a child, my dream was to be a pianist, and then I wanted to be a scientist as I entered elementary, middle and high school. So I went to Seoul Science High School and naturally entered Seoul National University's Department of Natural Science. However, when I saw that the world of scientists revolved around a handful of geniuses, I began to lose interest in that career. I became interested in medicine after seeing some medical dramas on television. I took the entrance exam again and entered Seoul National University School of Medicine because I felt that this profession could provide practical help to others. As a plastic surgeon, I'm trying to heal and heal the invisible wounds of broken hearts, and I'm most happy about that.

Eunogo: Do you have any specific patient you remember?

Dr. Kim: The most rewarding and happiest time is when a person who is not confident in his or her appearance changes his or her facial expression and personality completely after plastic surgery. In fact, plastic surgery is just one small change. But I'm very happy that the mind that was bound by it was released and resolved through that small change. I'm very happy when I hear that a patient who was only at home before getting surgery now joins the school club activities and has more friends, or that she wore a turtleneck before the surgery, but wears anything now.

Eunogo: K-pop, K-Food, and K-Beauty are receiving a lot of attention around the world. What kind of pride do you have as a Korean doctor?

Dr. Kim: I think Korean culture is very unique. While we admire and introduce foreign culture, we are not only digesting it in our own way without being tainted, but also transforming our culture into the present and interpreting it from a new perspective. As for plastic surgery clinics, Koreans first underwent surgery to meet foreign standards of beauty, but now more foreigners are bringing pictures of Koreans. I am proud to think that Koreans are recognized for their dexterity and their aesthetic sense Also, I feel proud that Korean has become global.

Eunogo: You must have met a variety of foreign patients. What kind of plastic surgeries or treatments do people from other countries visit you for? What are the popular procedures from foreign patients? 

Dr. Kim: My foreign patients are mostly from China, Thailand, and Japan. K-drama is the most popular and the interest in Korean celebrities is probably what drives patients to come to Korea. Patients from the Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia, they want to have rhinoplasty and face lifting surgery because of the low noses and round faces concerns. In case of nose type, many people ask for revisions after having the first surgery in their own countries. In other countries, each country's culture and beauty depends on what they want. Most of the times, Europeans are interested in getting Botox and fillers.

Eunogo: What surgery do you specialize?

Dr. Kim: My specialties are nose revision and anti-aging surgery. It's so called the ‘baby face’ surgery. Nose surgery is very important because it is a structure that occupies the center of the face and determines the impression. My experience has been accumulated through various cases of patients abroad as well as Korean patients. Also, the age group getting lifting procedures is getting younger, with more and more people thinking, "What can I do to look younger?" and a variety of lifting procedures. I think my strength is that I recommend anti-aging procedures and procedures that meet individual needs, such as recovery period, cost, and desired degree.

Eunogo: What is your definition of beauty?

Dr. Kim: The most important thing is your personal standard. You have to have a firm standard. Here, "you" refers to the individual, not me. You can set a standard for beauty at a rate of aesthetics, but with age, the rate has changed little by little. After all, there is no absolute beauty perspective. You need to think about my own standards of beauty. Not everyone likes the same face, the same body.

Eunogo: Any last words you want to share?

Dr Kim: I think the impact of plastic surgery in Korea is global. However, if you don't have the exact information, and you get plastic surgery and procedures with communication problems, the results are likely to be missed. For overseas patients, there may be a limit in the amount of information you can find, so make sure to check if you are getting seen by a specialist, and if you can get more satisfactory results through a place that delivers accurate information, such as Eunogo. I hope you all have a happier time.

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