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Highly Qualified Medical Professionals

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Korea's Medical School System

The undergraduate program in medical schools in Korea comprises two years of premedical studies followed by four years of the standard medical program.

During the first two years of premedical studies, students take all prerequisite coursework in physics, chemistry, biology, physical chemistry, organic chemistry, etc., with other non-medical students, rather than medical subjects.

During the four years of the standard medical program, students are required first to take basic medical science courses including anatomy, physiology, parasitology, preventive medicine, and pathology. Upon completion of the basic coursework, they take clinical courses in internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics & gynecology, dermatology, and other specialty areas. In the third year of the standard medical program, students enter clinical rotations. Prior tograduating, they sit the national qualification examination for doctors to become a general practitioner after graduation.

Specialty Program

After completing one year of internship and 4 years of residency and passing the qualifying examination for medical specialties administered by KMA, one receives a medical specialist certificate. A certified medical specialist may choose to work as a clinical specialist (generally referred to as "Fellow") for experiences in more specialized research and clinical studies.

Although becoming a medical specialist requires at least 11 years, the specialists accounted for 70.3% in 2008 according to the Korea Health care Industry Report 2009.

A hospital, in order to become a registered healthcare provider for foreign patients, is required to have at least one medical specialist in each medical department treating foreign patients in order to ensure the quality of medical services.

Continuing education program

The training is part of a life-long education designed to improve the performance of members of the Korean Medical Association (KMA), who are employed at healthcare providers. Each trainee is required to complete at least 12 credits of the training.

Training Credit Upper limit
(credits per day)
1. KMA-approved programs - -
1) Lectures 1 credit per hour -
2) Practices 1 credit per hour -
3) Audio visual education (videos,slides) 1 credit per hour -
4) Self learning via KMA journal 1 credit per hour 3
5) Workshop 1 credit per hour -
6) Symposium 1 credit per hour 6
2. Domestic and international conferences and KMA's conferences 1 credit per hour 6
3. Online training 1 credit per lecture as a rulewith an exception of special items approved by Chairman of the Training Board 5
4. Lectures by medical school professors, lecturers or training instructors 1 credit per hour 7
5. Publication First author and corresponding author: 5 credits per publication Second author on: 3 credits per publication 10
6. Items acknowledged by Chairman of the Training Board - -

The KMA may take the following actions on members who have not completed relevant trainings:

  1. Suspension of membership up to 3 years
  2. Charge and request for administrative proceedings
  3. Warning and instructions on corrective action