Korean J Med Educ.  1991 Jun;3(1):36-51.

Elective Course in Undergraduate Medical Education in Korea : Issues and Prospectives

  • 1National Teacher Trainning Center for Health Personnel, Seoul, Korea.


To cope with increasing demand on individualization in undergraduate medical education and to meet the effective learning in terms of buffering function to the explosive cumulation of biomedical scien tific knowledge and changing community needs, curricular renovation becomes a global trend. This step includes an important prerequisite aiming for encouragement of self-learning to prepare a confident life-long self-learner after graduation, as an effort looking forward the establishment of core curriculum and elective course. Among the various issues to adoption of elective course system in Korea, the followings are major concerns identified ; (1) lack of full understanding on its concept ; (2) educational misleading of the national licensing examination and decision-making body against future physician's roles and medical school objectives ; (3) lack of faculty effort or school incentive system on undergraduate medical education ; and (4) more basically, a socio-cultural intolerance against unequality among participants. Being aware of advantages of the elective course, an appropriate method that provides students an opportunity to determine future career choice after graduation with their earliest of the program, to facilitate a motivated learning and indepth study, and to encourage self-directed learning habit, should be developed during the undergraduate medical education program. We also conclude that medical community should explore all possible driving forces to eliminate the impeding factors as listed above and consider an appropriate evolutionary method including elective course of any scale or module during the undergraduate medical education program especially with emphasis for development of appropriate competency required for primary care physicians and research-minded specialists.

MeSH Terms

Career Choice
Education, Medical, Undergraduate*
Physician's Role
Physicians, Primary Care
Schools, Medical
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