CONTRIBUTED BY LAUREL SCHMOLZE ANDERSON
Want to go on a unique and interesting date? Show off your visiting friends and family some aspects of Seoul Culture you might not see elsewhere? Get good food, coffee, art, shopping, and museum-like exhibits all in one air conditioned place for FREE? Oh, and awesome health care… Go to Severance Hospital.
I have back problems. It’s just in pain all the time. So I went to my Primary Care Manager (Militaryspeak for Doctor) at the Brian Allgood Community (121) Hospital. 121 has a lot of great facilities available for dependents. They are also great at connecting us with the off base resources we need. I needed physical therapy. And I got to know Severance Hospital.
Any time I have to deal with off base facilities I get really nervous. I don’t speak Korean, and I don’t like dealing with people over the phone. But this was really positive. Since this was a referral through Tricare, Severance hospital called me to set up my appointment, they already had my information, and I didn’t have to do anything special. They spoke English and were very helpful. First hurdle!
On my first day there, I walked up to the main outpatient entrance and was ushered along an escalator by the staff person dressed in red at the front door.
1) The place is huge. They have several separate buildings including a Cancer Center and a Kid’s hospital, Dental hospital, Medical Library. Ok, it’s huge. Don’t get scared!
2) There is greenery everywhere. There are so many plants, bushes, greenery, natural light, and fountains. Just walking through the main building is pretty amazing.
3) There are people to help you EVERYWHERE. Just look for people dressed in RED. It seems like everywhere I went there were people looking to direct you. After I got up the elevator I walked until I saw the giant information desk staffed by those awesome red-dressed helpers. I told them I had an appointment, and then walked me to the International Clinic. The people I interacted with either spoke English, or quickly found someone who did. Everywhere I went, someone was happy to walk with me to show me where my destination was. They even have people at the entrances giving cups of tea on hot days.
My personal interaction with the hospital is in two parts. I go to physical therapy in the rehabilitation clinic (separate building) but my appointments are billed and tracked through the International Care Clinic. So I interact with both departments. The International Care Clinic is awesome. (The Physical Therapy experience is also awesome -but not everyone will be going there so I’ll stick to the hospital in general).
From their website:
The Severance Hospital International Health Care Center is staffed by doctors and nurses who are fluent in several languages (e.g. English, Korean, Chinese). The center maintains an atmosphere of comfort and assurance, providing quality medical care and referrals to specialists throughout the hospital.
There are also a ton of convince facilities there. An art gallery (what!?), a giant CU convenience store with grocery section, bakeries, coffee shops (I’ve seen at least 2), smoothie/juice bar, an entire separate food court with at least 6 different international cuisines, computers with internet to use, gift shops, including a fancy shop for only hand made elegant items, an ice cream place, a giant Digital Bible, and… I also have seen what looks to be a Automated Post Box for Korea Mail, but honestly I have no idea what it is.
Here are my favorite things to do when I’m early for my appointment.
The Art Gallery. Small, but amazing. They’ve had at least 4 exhibits in the last 4 months that I have been going. Hmmm, maybe they change monthly.
The Steve Jobs piece is by an artist who uses wire in various sizes, colors, and shapes to get the overall shape he wants. It’s like a 3D pointillism piece, except with wires, and an Apple, Inc Icon. There were several others, but I was really fascinated by this piece. Here you can see the overall piece, as well as details.
Old Cameras. Located right outside the International Health Care Center, is a really amazing display of old cameras. I have no idea why it’s there, or what the connection is. I’m not sure if it’s a donation by a patron, or just something to show off. In any case, it’s totally cool. It seems to be permanent because it hasn’t moved or changed the entire 3-4 months I’ve been going there.
Seriously, the food is really good. Except the Bubble Tea at the smoothie place, it’s horrible. Don’t bother. The CU grocery is usually pretty busy, and so are the coffee places depending on the time of day. Most of the people who work there speak English and everything is usually really good. The food court food is surprisingly excellent and reasonably priced. The Palazzo ice cream place is a nice place to stop too.
In short, there’s loads of stuff to do in addition to your appointment, people speak English, are comfortable dealing with foreigners, and it may be big, but it’s not scary!
Other Important Info
02-2228-5800 – International Health Care Center
02-2228-1009 – Appointment Line
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
*Office hour on weekdays : 8:30am~5:30pm (Appointment recommended)
*Office hour on Sat: 8:30am~12:30pm (Walking-in only)
The International Health Care Center is located on the 3rd floor of Severance Hospital.
International Health Care Center, Yonsei University Severance Hospital
50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu Seoul 120-752 Korea
To give to a Taxi:
세브란스 병원 국제진료센터
120-752 서울시 서대문구 연세로50
By Subway :
There is a shuttle bus from Sinchon Subway station that will take you straight to the hospital.
From Sinchon Subway Station (Line 2, Exit 1 for shuttle bus or Exit 3 for 15 minute walk)
From Dongnimmun Subway Station (Line 3, Exit 4)→Maeul (Village) Bus 8, 8-1 (5 minutes)
By Train :
Munsan→Sinchon Train Station→Seoul Station (from Sinchon Train Station, it will be about an 8 minute walk)
By Bus :
Bus Stop→Front of Severance Hospital
Blue Bus (Main Line): 163, 171, 270, 272, 370, 470, 472, 601, 606, 700, 750, 751
Green Bus (Branch Line): 6714, 7014, 7017, 7020, 7712 (Chungjeongno Direction), 7015, 8-1 (Seodaemun), 8 (Seodaemun)
Red Bus (Wide Area Line): 9600, 9601, 9602, 9702, 9704, 9706, 9708, 9713
Or, Stop at Ehwa Woman’s University Back Gate. I take line 750A or 750B from Seoul Station to get there.
Here is a link to the parking information (http://www.yuhs.or.kr/en/hospitals/severance/Visiting/park_guide/)