J Korean Med Assoc.  2011 Apr;54(4):352-354. 10.5124/jkma.2011.54.4.352.

Reformation of post-graduate medical education system in Korea

  • 1Korean Academy of Medical Sciences, Korea. kcwang@snu.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Neurosurgery, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Revision of the post-graduate medical education (PGME) system, which has been almost fixed since the introduction of the intern-resident training system in Korea more than 50 years ago, is particularly demanding because of changes in the contents of basic medical education and the patient-doctor relationship, division into sub-specialties, the introduction of fellowship training, changing patterns in doctors' work as information technology advanced, and the modifications to the PGME system in the advanced countries. The internship is not an effective course for PGME. The graduates of medical colleges or medical schools can practice by himself or herself without a PGME course. The durations of PGME for various subspecialties are almost the same: one year of internship and four years of residency. The working conditions of trainees are not adequate for proper education and patient safety. Current internships should be merged into residency by a straight internship. PGME should be mandatory for those who want to practice after graduation from medical colleges or medical school without resident training. The duration of PGME for each subspecialty should be newly adjusted. The working conditions of trainees must be improved. Even though this report suggests future directions for PGME on a broad scale, fine adjustment and design of further details should follow. This report has taken comments and opinions from the medical societies into consideration. Nonetheless, it may need further discussion among the stakeholders of PGME including trainees in order to minimize misunderstanding and 'trial and error' during the revision process.


Post-graduate medical education; Intern; Primary physician; Duration of resident training; Working conditions

MeSH Terms

Education, Medical
Fellowships and Scholarships
Internship and Residency
Patient Safety
Propylene Glycols
Schools, Medical
Societies, Medical
Propylene Glycols
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