J Korean Med Assoc.  2013 Aug;56(8):686-694. 10.5124/jkma.2013.56.8.686.

Training residents in the prevention of legal disputes

  • 1Department of Patient Affairs Team, Chung-Ang University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Hospital Legal Affairs Department Consultative Meeting, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Social Medicine, Dankook University College of Medicine, Cheonan, Korea. hywopark@gmail.com
  • 4Korean Academy of Medical Science, Seoul, Korea.


Unlike medical students, doctors-in-training (residents) are physicians who can legally provide medical treatment with a medical doctor's license obtained from Korea the Ministry of Health and Welfare, and thus they are liable for the care they provide. Therefore, residents need to be aware of the legal and risks they facing in medical practice and ensure that they have the ability to deal with such risks. Legal responsibilities of residents can be examined from three perspectives: the relationships between patients and doctors, the relationships between doctors and medical officials, and the Korean health and welfare system. With regard to the relationships between patients and doctors, the legal responsibilities of doctors-in-training span a diverse range of liability for explanation (informed consent), malpractice, medical records, prohibition on revealing medical secrets, emergency medical treatment, treatment for the opposite sex, and other basic responsibilities. They will be liable for any damage caused under Article 268 of the Criminal Code, which addresses the crime of professional negligence resulting in injury or in death, and Article 750 of the Civil Code, which addresses torts liability, and above and beyond them of legal liability in general. With regard to the relationships between doctors and medical officials, the legal responsibilities can be classified into two types of relationships. One is between a doctor and a senior doctor, and the other is between a doctor and a doctor from a different medical specialization. it there is miscommunication between two or more doctors, it could lead to poor outcomes for patients. Regarding the health and welfare system, the issuance of medical licenses and the duty of notification are the most important legal responsibilities. The system's treatment of residents require special caution as issuance of falsified medical licenses has caused serious social problems. Laws that state the various notification duties allow no exceptions even for the residents. Residints should therefore understand the basic notification duties involved in cases of accidental death, child abuse, and etc. and prepare for contingencies.


Residents; Legal liability; Training; Communication

MeSH Terms

Child Abuse
Dietary Sucrose
Dissent and Disputes
Liability, Legal
Medical Records
Social Problems
Students, Medical
Dietary Sucrose


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