Samsung Medical Center

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Samsung Medical Center
Revised RomanizationSamseong uiryowon
McCune–ReischauerSamsŏng ryowŏn

Samsung Medical Center (SMC) is a tertiary hospital located in Irwon-Dong of Gangnam-Gu, Seoul, South Korea. SMC is composed of Samsung Seoul Hospital (삼성서울병원), Kangbook Samsung Hospital (강북삼성병원), Samsung Changwon hospital (삼성창원병원), and Samsung Life Sciences Research Center (삼성생명과학연구소). SMC was founded on November 9, 1994 under the philosophy of “contributing to improving the nation’s health through the best medical service, advanced medical research, and development of outstanding medical personnel." Since its foundation, Samsung Medical Center has successfully incorporated and developed an advanced model with the motto of becoming a "patient-centered hospital".

The center, called by media "no. 1 in the nation", has been criticized for its poor handling of the MERS outbreak.[1]


Samsung Medical Center consists of a hospital and a cancer center. The hospital is located in an intelligent building with floor space of more than 200,000 square meters and 20 floors above ground and 5 floors underground, housing 40 departments, 10 specialist centers, 120 special clinics, and 1,306 beds. On the other hand, the 655-bed Cancer Center has 11 floors above ground and 8 floors underground, with floor space of over 100,000 square meters. SMC is a tertiary hospital manned by approximately 7,400 staff including over 1,200 doctors and 2,300 nurses. Since SMC was opened in 1994, SMC has become Korea's representative medical institution. It has provided medical treatments for 16 million outpatients, and SMC is giving treatments to an average of 8,000 patients daily. SMC is leading to make further developments in the medical field in Korea and is planning to build the Samsung International Medical Center by 2015.[needs update] In March 2010, SMC announced the project to become a “globally leading” hospital in the medical market.

Equipped with advanced medical service infrastructure including outstanding medical staff, order communication system (OCS), picture archiving communication system (PACS), clinical pathology automation system, and logistics automation system, SMC is defining a new hospital culture in Korea by being the best hospital in terms of hi-tech medical services and through the provision of genuine patient-centered medical services (shortest waiting time, hospital that does not require guardians).

Educational units[edit]

Since March 1997 when it was established to train the students of Sungkyunkwan University's School of Medicine, the Samsung Medical Center has admitted 40 of the nation's top students each year. As a teaching hospital for the Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, the Hospital autonomously trains and nurtures clinical instructors and medical specialists.

SMC provides EBM (Evidence-Based Medicine) education, Korea's first PBL (Problem-Based Learning) education, medical English education, lectures in cultural studies, PDR (Patient-Doctor Relationship) education for doctors that teaches the ways to communicate effectively with patients, and professional nurse training systems with a combination of theoretical an practitioners. Hence, SMC is recognized as a medical institute producing the best-skilled personal in the field of medicine.[citation needed]

To ensure its further growth, the Samsung Medical Center opened the Samsung Cancer Center and Samsung Cancer Lab in 2008 and 2009, respectively; it is set to open the Samsung International Medical Center in 2016.[needs update]


Through innovative achievements in advanced medicine, SMC is developing medical science. With the Research Center for Future Medicine, SMC is continuously presenting excellent research papers based on active research on advanced medicine. SMC is involved in the 3 major national research projects under the Ministry of Health and Welfare. These assignments are the designation as a Regional Clinical Trial Center, Clinical Trial Professional Training Academy, and a Medical Device Clinical Trial Center. It was also designated as a guidance-style research-oriented hospital to develop new biomedicine that can overcome obstinate cancers.

Samsung Medical Center, one of the world's top ten hospitals to conduct the most multinational clinical trials, was accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) and was registered as an institutional board and a clinical study center by the US Department of Health and Human Services. It is also the first non-US medical institution to obtain an accreditation from the Association for the Accreditation Of Human Research Protection Program (AAHRPP).

International health services[edit]

Opened in September 1995, International Health Services offers inpatient and outpatient treatments, consultations, and referrals across a comprehensive range of specializations. The service is a major component of the Samsung Medical Center's Seoul hospital, one of the country's leading health care institutions.

Samsung Medical Center is well received among foreign residents for its outstanding medical and nursing staff and for its proficient services. International Health Services has put into effect the cashless service with certain companies, main embassies, foreign schools, and US army hospitals for the convenience of foreign patients visiting IHS. In addition, IHS has become the undisputed no. 1 International clinic within Korea, with a large portion of foreign patients residing in Korea as well as those residing in other parts of Asia and Middle East visiting the clinic each year.[citation needed]


  • Is an official evacuation hospital in the Asia-Pacific region designated by the White House.[citation needed]
  • Opened the largest Cancer Center (655 beds in total) in Asia.[citation needed]
  • Achieved one of the world's highest cancer and organ transplant operation survival rates.[citation needed]
  • Achieved the top ranking evaluation from the Ministry of Health and Welfare of Korea.[citation needed]
  • Opened a medical center (Samsung Dubai Medical Center) in UAE as the first hospital in Korea.[citation needed]
  • Conducts the most multinational clinical trials among the medical institutions in Korea (world's top ten).[citation needed]
  • Ranked No. 1 in customer satisfaction researches (KSCI, KS-SQI, NCSI).[citation needed]
  • Acquired the first medical institution certification in Korea by the MHW (2010).[citation needed]
  • Was the source of almost half the cases in the South Korean outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome or MERS (2015).[2]

Social service[edit]

As an institute providing service of public utility, SMC has provided volunteer medical services for more than 50,000 patients since it opened in 1994. It has also been engaged in support activities worth more than KRW 37 billion by providing volunteer medical services for social welfare facilities, remote communities with low accessibility of care and through charitable work for disaster areas home and abroad. SMC launched “Medical Volunteer's Group” for systemic volunteer medical services in 2006, has developed the “Free Medical Services: Sharing Happiness” to provide volunteer medical service for residents in farming and fishing communities. It is also providing opportunities for medical treatment, rehabilitation and social participation for the impoverished patients by giving support for their medical expenses, in an effort to become a warm and caring hospital for the people.

Samsung Medical Center is also engaged in charitable activities that are in connection with affiliates of Samsung Group. Its major activities include the “Bringing back bright smiles” project, which provides free plastic surgery and rehabilitation programs for low-income patients with facial deformities, the “Finding the Harmony of the world” project which supports artificial cochlea implant operations and rehabilitations for hearing-impaired people, the “Heart for Eye” which provides eyesight recovery operations for low-income visually impaired children, and the “Heart to Heart” project supporting free operations for Vietnamese children with congenital heart disease. These activities all enable underprivileged low-income disabled people to live with a better view on life. In addition, SMC operates the “Apple Tree of Hope” donation campaign on a constant basis. The campaign supports hospital expenses for the impoverished patients, and operates hospital schools for long-stay child patients to enable them to continue their studies that may have been suspended due to their illnesses.

It also provides medical service to disaster areas abroad by visiting them, including the Kobe earthquake (1995), the Taiwan earthquake (2006) and the tsunami in Southeast Asia (2004).

Global Cooperation[edit]

A leap into a global top-class hospital through a strong network with overseas medical institutes and through MOUs with overseas organizations for medical cooperation.

Samsung Medical Center, which aims to become a globally leading hospital, has been promoting active interaction with various distinguished medical institutes worldwide including Mayo Clinic (US), MD Anderson Cancer Center (US), and Beijing University Hospital. Since 2009, the hospital is also promoting full-scale activities to attract foreign patients, which comprise a dynamic force for Korea's new growth. The Hospital is particularly focusing on direct consultation with foreign governments, signing memoranda of understanding with the Mongolian Embassy in Korea (July 2009), Vladivostok City (Aug. 2009), Dubai (June. 2010) and Almaty, Kazakhstan (Aug. 2010). One of the most outstanding achievements is the opening of the Samsung Dubai Medical Center in Dubai, UAE, which made the hospital the first Korean hospital to advance into the Middle East. Based on all these efforts, the hospital received a citation from the Ministry of Health and Welfare as the hospital attracting the most foreign patients.


  1. ^ "Samsung stigmatized with MERS". Retrieved 2015-06-15.
  2. ^ "South Korea hospital is source of many Mers cases". British Broadcasting Corporation. 14 June 2015.

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