Home to 25 million people, North Korea is a world of its own. Insights into the country’s healthcare system are scarce at best, let alone surgical care. This is not the case, however, for Dr Kee Park, a neurosurgeon working with Harvard’s Program in Global Surgery and Social Change and the World Health Organization to support local surgeons in their efforts. Tune in as we discuss innovative, cost-effective computed tomography designs unique to North Korea, neurosurgery in Ethiopia and Cambodia, geopolitical healthcare diplomacy, as well impending funding cuts to the largest global health entity in the world – the W.H.O.

Dr Kee Park: Faculty at Harvard Medical School, Member of National Committee on North Korea, Expert Advisory Panel Member for Surgical Care at the World Health Organization, and Director of the North Korea Program at the Korean American Medical Association






“North Korean Surgical Insights, Geopolitical Healthcare Diplomacy, and Guardians of the Global Public Health”

Dr. Park is the Paul Farmer Global Surgery Scholar with the Program in Global Surgery and Social Change at the Harvard Medical School.  After completing his medical school and neurosurgical residency in the US, he spent 10 years teaching neurosurgery in Nepal, Ethiopia, and Cambodia. Realizing the need to systematically address the unmet neurosurgical needs in the developing world, he returned to the US to train in Global Surgery under John Meara and to obtain a Master in Public Health at Harvard.


He remained at Harvard Medical School to be faculty in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine where he directs the Global Neurosurgery Initiative and Fellowship.

Since October, 2019, as the co-chair of the Global Neurosurgery Committee of the WFNS, he co-leads the implementation of the global action plan by bringing into alignment all global neurosurgery activity to achieve global neurosurgical equity more efficiently and with greater impact.


Dr. Park is the Director of the North Korea Program at the Korean American Medical Association. Since 2007, he has visited North Korea over 20 times to support the North Korean doctors. His last visit was in November, 2019.


He is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on the Korean Peninsula, the National Committee on North Korea, and the Council of Korean Americans. He also serves on the Expert Panel on Surgical Care at the World Health Organization in Geneva. He has appeared on PBS, CBC, Arirang TV, CNA and cited by the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal.


He received his MD from Rutgers Medical School, MPH from Harvard Chan School of Public Health, and neurosurgical training at Temple University Hospital. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Neurological Surgery.