CONTRIBUTED BY KELLY GARCIA
So, every time I go to this place, I’m like, “I’m going to write it up TONIGHT!” And every night something else in life takes priority. Like “Nashville” or “The New Girl”.
Well, I’m finally getting down to it because its ease and convenience has changed my world. It’s my duty to share.
It’s a little pediatric clinic like 5-10 minutes from Yongsan in the Richensia apartment buildings near Samgakji.
Before wising up and finally taking my kids here, I’d haul them all the way out to Samsung when they couldn’t get in at the 121. Samsung’s great, but sheesh, it’s like an hour just to get out there sometimes. At Dr. Kim’s you can be in and out in literally 5 minutes.
I’d thought it was going to be a semi sketchy hole in the wall. But it was clean and modern and not unlike an urgent care in the states, minus the waiting room of miserable people.
I took my daughter in the other day for an ear infection. Here’s how it went:
3:30 PM Preschool teacher calls me and says my daughter’s ear hurts. Pick daughter up and drive her to Dr. Kim’s WITH NO APPOINTMENT. I sign in with her name and birthday. We’re immediately shown into Dr. Kim’s office with no wait. He looks in her ears, says she has an ear infection and gives her a lollipop. He tells me she’d need antibiotics and to come back in 5 days. Then the nurse has her sit with this heat hairdryer thing by her ear for two minutes. (The heat helps with the pain, he says.) Then I pay…15,000 won. Fifteen bucks! I get a ticket to show the parking attendant and a paper to give the pharmacist on the same floor.
This all took 5 minutes…maybe 7. Seriously. 15 with the pharmacy trip.
Fifteen minutes to go to the doctor!
A note on the pharmacy: If you have not gotten medicine at a Korean pharmacy before, know that you will get a lot of little vials and powders and they expect you to mix them together yourself. At first I was nervous that I’d get it wrong, but now mix up a batch of meds with the ease of Walter White. Also, I triple check with the pharmacist to make sure I’m understanding the directions correctly. (I’d swing back into Dr. Kim’s again if I still wasn’t sure though. His English is excellent!)
The pharmacy is also inexpensive. I got four different medicines for 10,000 won.
I don’t know Dr. Kim’s educational background because I was in and out so quick I didn’t even have time to read all his diplomas. (I did see he’s both and M.D. and a PhD though, for what it’s worth.) I’ve been in there three or four times now. He’s friendly, fast and to the point. We’ve only been in for easy stuff, so I haven’t seen how he is in more complicated situations. I know about three other people who take their kids too though and they all report being happy with his care. He says he usually gets at least one foreign patient a day from Itaewon.
I don’t know if he accepts Tricare. I don’t have it so I haven’t tried.
I know there are more important things to consider than being fast when it comes to your child’s health. But when you have a sick kid (or kids) on your hands, sometimes you just need to get that prescription and get out the door. It’s good to know there’s an additional convenient option out there when you’re at your wits end!
Hours: CLOSED SUNDAYS, Open M-F 9-6pm, closed 1-2pm for lunch. Open Saturday 9-4pm. (I assume the lunch break is the same time then too.)
Address: #133-3 Wonhyoro1-ga, Yongsan-gu, Richensia Yongsan A-303, Seoul, 140-111
Phone: 02) 713-9340 Cell Phone: 010-2647-9340
Directions: If you are taking a cab, show ’em this
By car, If you are driving out the Dragon Hill Lodge Gate, turn left and go straight through the Samgakji intersection (that big one after War Memorial Museum) and go OVER the overpass. At the first light after the overpass take a right. Then take your very first right into a small alley. Immediately you’ll see a Parking sign on your right and will have to do a sharp U-turn into the garage. Park and find the elevator that goes to the Richensia Arcade (the other one will go to the residences). Go up to the third floor. (There’s also a place called “Mama’s on that floor.) Behind the elevators is Dr. Kim’s. The pharmacy is on the same floor.
When you go back downstairs, make sure you get the right elevator. Some go to B1 and some B2. When you leave show the attendant your validation or if you forget it, your pharmacy bag. To get back to base, drive out of the garage and go left the way you came. Turn right on the main street then do a u-turn at the first U-Turn lane (about a block away). Then turn left at the light and go back over the overpass and back across Samgakji intersection till you get to base.