Giving Motivation to Live
Students from the Department of Medicine
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On the 18th to the 20th of October, a symposium was held by The Korean Society for Preventive Medicine. Four teams who passed the preliminary rounds were given a session to present their research in the Grand Hotel in Haeundae, Busan. Five students, Cho Seung-won (Medicine, 2nd year), Moon Seong-geun (Medicine, 2nd year), Lee Woo-yeon (Medicine, 1st year), Jin Yoo-hyeon (Medicine, 1st year) and Shin Ji-sook (Medicine, 1st year), proudly won the third prize in this symposium, with research named ‘Factors Affecting Suicidal Ideation of Univeristy Students: Based on a comparison to Their Non-University-Attending Peers‘. News H met three of these students- Cho, Lee and Jin- in a quiet café, early in the morning, to hear more about their unique experience.
Enthusiasm combined in a single paper
Almost all of the university students who major in medical science go through a subject named "preventive medicine". In order to study this subject, they use textbooks made by The Korean Society for Preventive Medicine. This society, therefore, holds a symposium every year with a purpose to return their profits to the students. This year, the 70th symposium was held with a theme of ‘From cure to prevention of illness, a paradigm shift of national health promotion fund strategy’. Various university students form teams and submit papers related to the topic, and only four teams receive a chance to present their research on the spot. The team consisting of five Hanyangians received this chance and explained their paper on the suicides of the 20’s, which was an area where a lot of research has been lacking.
“We first met each other in a suicide prevention club made for students in Seoul majoring in medical science,” reminisced Cho. They visited mental health centers to help those in need and persistently studied these areas. This gave them the motivation to participate in this symposium together. They were so enthusiastic in their research that they devoted the majority of their vacation into their research. Although Hanyangians majoring in medicine only have three to five weeks of vacation, this team met constantly for two weeks to proceed their research. They studied the factors of the 20’s suicides by analyzing statistics by themselves. As a result of their diligent effort, they could present unique research and also receive a great outcome.
The 20’s suicides: out of the government’s picture
Their paper did not have an easy theme to proceed with. There had been a lot of research on the reasons of suicides in various ages groups such as teenagers and the elderly. However, this team found out that there was not enough information on the people who just stepped into the society. The ‘adult’ category defined by the government contained ages from the 20’s to the 40’s, and these Hanyangians felt that this category couldn’t fully explain the reasons for 20’s suicides.
Throughout their research, they concentrated on the difference between the people who entered university and the people who didn’t. Even within the same age group, the students were concerned the two parties would have different thoughts as they go through vastly different experiences, such as jobs or personal relationships. They, therefore, analyzed the social survey of the National Statistical Office. “We made an exemption on all of those who had any experience in a university. We, therefore, had four different groups: by their gender and their experience in university,” commented Lee. They came to a conclusion that there was a visible difference between these groups on the ratio of people who had ever thought about suicide. “Females who didn’t go to university ranked the highest percentage for suicidal thinking at 11 percent, while men who went to university ranked the lowest at 3.5 percent,” explained Lee.
As proud Hanyangians
After their symposium, they are now making a brief plan for their follow-up study. Jin explained, “We are curious if this difference we found had the same traits in the past. This party itself has not been focused on in previous studies, so we are just making an abstract frame.” They, indeed, are busy students studying medicine, but they still find a way out to pursue what they want. “Me and Yoo-hyeon also participate in a book club, and all of us try to attend all seminars associated with preventive medicine. It might look tough, but it’s simply something we do to relieve our academic stress,” chuckled Lee.
They seemed confident and enthusiastic in their field of research throughout the whole interview. However, they also had their deep, personal concerns. “As I started this research, I felt uncertain if I could practically represent those facing hardships. Generally, most students in our major live a fortunate life with less economic concerns. We, sometimes, feel the burden that we might not be able to estimate their situations as much. I just want to let other people know that there are still people like us who truly care about them,” commented Cho. These students will continue working for their own goals, and they will succeed in motivating others to live.
On Jung-yun firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Choi Min-ju
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