He’s not a K-Pop idol who sets hearts dancing across the world, but Dr Joo Kwon is a star in another industry that has put South Korea on the global map. As one of the country’s most recognised cosmetic surgeons, he helps to define what Korean beauty is, as well as create the “perfect” faces that many other Asians desire.
It was only four years ago that the Ministry of Health and Welfare first granted South Korean clinics official permission to receive foreign patients. By meeting the rigorous standards set by the government for medical globalisation, Dr Joo’s JK Plastic Surgery Center was the very first to obtain its licence.
“Our authorisation code is 0001. Ever since then, Korea has opened its doors to the global healthcare market, particularly in cosmetic surgery. We were the first clinic to receive foreign patients,” the soft-spoken surgeon tells Asia Focus at his offices in Apgujeong, part of the Gangnam district in Seoul that is home to around 300 plastic surgery clinics.
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