The briefing session continued on without any break time.
Despite this, nobody left the place as they were all focused on Suhyuk’s explanation.
That showed how important his briefing session was.
“Thanks everybody. Let’s have a 10-minute break and then a Q&A session after.”
As soon as Suhyuk said that, the doctors present there closed their laptops and notebooks, standing up from their seats.
“Just great. How could he solve all that?”
“I heard that Koreans are smart, and I think that’s right. He’s a really smart guy.”
Suhyuk, standing at the podium, looked at them heading for the restroom.
‘They would treat a great number of patients, based on my stem cell research.’
Even though he had no patients right before his eyes, he felt he would be able to treat them, starting from today.
The camera flash popped up at the place where he mingled with the medical staff.
A photographer took a picture of Suhyuk.
Suhyuk made a gentle smile at him.
The photographer suddenly raised his thumbs up, to which Suhyuk did the same.
The Suhyuk today was different from the Suhyuk of the past who hated camera flashes and attention.
“Is there anyone you respect?” one reporter asked.
Suhyuk gladly answered without any hesitation,
“Well, that would be my parents who gave birth to me and raised me.”
That’s right. Without caring about their own life, his parents raised him by working hard, doing such things like manual labor or cleaning buildings despite their back pain.
When they wrote Suhyuk’s remarks in their notebooks, another reporter asked,
“Do you have any mentors?”
At his asking, Suhyuk replied,
“Prof. Han Myungjin. He’s a guest doctor at St. Hopkins Hospital right now.”
Nodding his head, the reporter murmured, “Someday I’ve got to interview him.”
While the reporter and Suhyuk were exchanging a brief conversation, the doctors came back after their break. The breaktime was now over.
Suhyuk said, “Let me now open the floor up to your questions.”
The doctors raised their hands here and there.
After the briefing session was over, Suhyuk went back to the hospital, and was waiting for the elevator.
Suhyuk turned back at someone’s calling him from behind.
It was Phillip.
“How did your briefing session go?”
“Great. Thanks for your help.”
Suhyuk knew that Phillip drove away all the reporters coming to the hospital to see him.
Without Phillip’s help, he would have experienced a lot of difficulties moving to his where he needed to go.
Suhyuk went inside the elevator with Phillip.
They remained silent while they were heading for the surgery building.
Soon they stepped out into the hallway, with Phillip walking ahead.
Phillip walked fast as if he had a patient he needed to see urgently.
“Dr. Lee. Nice job today!” said Phillip, suddenly turning his head back toward Suhyuk.
When Suhyuk was about to open his mouth, Phillip had already disappeared around the corner.
Suhyuk walked to the desk of the surgery department, where he could find Daman and Han already there.
Han greeted Suhyuk with a smile, saying, “So, did your briefing session go well?”
“You must be tired.”
“I’m alright, sir.”
When Han gave an eye signal to Daman, he handed a piece of A4 paper to Suhyuk.
A list of several hospitals were on it.
“What is all this…”
“Well, these hospitals are requesting for you to give a briefing session too.”
Suhyuk fixed his eyes again on the paper. More than 30 hospitals.
Han cautiously opened his mouth, “You don’t have to.”
Han knew it was not that easy for him to move from one hospital to another for the briefing session, both physically and mentally.
At Han’s remarks, Suhyuk, who was perusing the list of hospitals, lifted his head, saying,
“I can do it.”
Suhyuk was full of confidence, as if he would go as far as Africa for the briefing session.
Watching him quietly, Han said,
“Yes, you have to work more if there are many people wanting to see you. But you have to take a break if you feel tired. If you’re sick, oftentimes you can’t see the patients even if you want to.”
“Sure, your health comes before anything else.”
At that moment, he heard the nurse taking the phone at the desk.
“A trauma patient. He’s being transported to our hospital now.”
When Daman took over the phone from the nurse, Han looked at Suhyun as if to ask him, ‘What are you going to do?’
Suhyuk’s glittering eyes trembled a bit, but only for a moment.
“Your job, professor.”
‘Yes, that’s what I want to hear from you.’
Han patted him on the shoulder.
Then Daman, who just hung up the phone, opened his mouth,
“Dr. Lee, the phone number for each hospital is written here. Call them to arrange a convenient time for your briefing session.”
Soon Han and Daman left the place.
Left alone, Suhyuk pressed the call button on his cell phone, checking the number on the A4 paper.
“Hello, this is Boston Hospital.”
“Hello, this is Suhyuk Lee.”
“What? Lee Suhyuk? What business made you call us?”
Scratching his head, he informed them again about him,
“This is Suhyuk Lee from St. Hopkins Hospital. I’d like to offer a briefing session…”
Some sort of startled voice was heard from his cell phone.
“Oh, doctor! Wait a moment. Let me connect you to the hospital director.”
The connection was made immediately.
A deep and sonorous voice was heard in Suhyuk’s ears. It was very polite.
“Thank you for your call, sir. This is James, the director of Boston Hospital.”
Already dozens of days passed since Suhyuk hopped from one hospital to another for the briefing session.
Though the videotapes of his briefing session were spread to many doctors, he went anywhere he was wanted to satisfy the doctor’s curiosity and answer their questions.
It did not end there.
The US FDA endorsed his stem cell work after it went through the 1st, 2nd and 3r clinical tests successfully. It came very close to being commercialized.
Regardless of their age, the doctors looked at Suhyuk with respect.
Aside from his capabilities, his attitude toward the patients was different.
He treated patients well as if he was taking care of his lover or as if he was sick himself.
Some of the doctors did not pay any serious attention to him, but there were those who took his words to their hearts.
And they began to call him another title other than merely ‘Dr. Lee.’
Dr. of Medicine.
Even though he had no doctoral degree in medicine, the fact that he was called like that meant he was now recognized by his fellow doctors.
Never caring about it, though, Suhyuk only showed them his medical knowledge while performing the surgery.
Suhyuk’s activities at St. Hopkins Hospital went on and on, and soon it snowed and new buds appeared on the trees. Time passed quickly like that.
And Daman and Han shook hands.
With a smile Daman opened his mouth,
“Times flies like an arrow. Already one year has passed since you came here. Thanks so much for your work here, Dr. Han.”
Han smiled gently, replying,
“Well, I enjoyed it a lot here, working and making money too. Hope you can stay in good health until we meet again.”
After exchanging greetings with Han, he looked at Suhyuk.
He just raised his thumbs up without saying anything to him.
With a smile Suhyuk gave a bow to him as well as the medical staff who came to see him off.
Everybody waved their hands at him.
Now Han and Suhyuk got in the car waiting for them.
The buildings in New York quickly passed outside the car window.
“What are you going to do first when you go back to Korea?”
“I want to buy a house.”
With a smile Han nodded his head.
Suhyuk made a lot of money by offering the briefing sessions at many hospitals, which were not free.
“Well, I miss spicy kimchi soup along with soju.”
“Let me treat you, sir.”
“I guess you don’t want to treat me just one time, right?”
Suhyuk smiled and said, “Just tell me anything you want to eat, professor.”
“Wait a minute… I’ve got too much food that I want.”
“I’m going to buy you all of it.”
“Yes, I was going to make such a request anyway. I’m going to have you treat me a lot.”
Suhyuk looked out the window, thinking about when he would be able to come back to the US.
While Suhyuk was thinking about it, the car was heading for the airport silently.
Arriving at Incheon International Airport, Suhyuk went out after going through immigration.
Fortunately there were no reporters out there.
As he arrived without even informing Daehan Hospital of his return, the reporters could not get wind of it.
“Are you going straight home? I think I have to stop by the hospital.”
Han had to report to the hospital director.
“I would like to come with you, sir.”
Both of them headed to the hospital, which took about two hours to get there.
Arriving at the hospital, Suhyuk looked up at it.
He felt as he was back home. Are they all doing well?
“What are you doing?” asked Han who was walking ahead.
Suhyuk quickened his pace.
The medical staff of Daehan Hospital greeted them wildly.
Especially Suhyuk’s appearance made the whole hospital excited and noisy.
Even those medical staff who did not know him approached to exchange greetings.
Park Sungjae, who became a resident of the cardiothoracic surgery department, was no exception.
“Welcome back, sir!”
“How have you been doing?”
At Suhyuk’s greeting, he nodded his head and said, “I respect you, sir!”
The medical staff had a dinner get-together, and Suhyuk was present.
Regrettably Prof. Lee Mansuk and Prof. Kim Jinwook could not attend because they went to academic seminars.
The hospital director raised his glass, saying,
“As you know, Dr. Lee Suhyuk came back with a terrific research achievement.”
At his words, the medical staff nodded their heads.
Suhyuk, who made such a sensational impact in the United States, became the face of Daehan Hospital now.
When he was making an embarrassed look, the hospital director raised his glass higher and said, “Let’s toast for the future of Dr. Lee Suhyuk!”
Everybody downed their glass of soju, and so did Suhyuk.
The mixed taste of soju and beer softly touched his throat.
“Were you always that interested in stem cells, Dr. Lee?”
“How did you come to think of it?”
The professors showered him with questions, with mixed feelings of envy, surprise and jealousy.
Han just smiled at them.
Suhyuk was about to answer the questions when the director said,
“Dr. Lee Suhyuk.”
“Yes, go ahead.”
“You must have had a lot of hardship in the United States. So, I would like to let you take vacation. How about one month? Of course you’ll be paid during that period, and at that, twice as much.”
It was obvious that the other hospitals were keen on scouting Suhyuk. Accordingly it was inevitable to give him the best possible compensation.
At the director’s eye-opening offer, the other professors were surprised.
Suhyuk opened his mouth,
“Thanks for your consideration, sir. But I’m afraid I have to join the army soon.”