Korean J Med Educ.  2015 Jun;27(2):87-98. 10.3946/kjme.2015.27.2.87.

What is the current orientation of undergraduate medical education in Korea?

  • 1Department of Medical Education, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. lshcho@snu.ac.kr


The educational purpose of a medical school is important, because it guides educational decisions in an individual organization and projects the image of the doctors that we are generating. By analyzing the educational goals of entire medical schools, this study aimed to examine the current orientation and future direction of undergraduate medical education in Korea.
Educational goals were collected from the website of each medical school and subjected to inductive content analysis. After identifying categories and themes, we examined the differences between medical school subgroups and compared the categories with competencies that have been suggested by the "Korean Doctor's Role."
Thirteen themes were identified: medical expertise, professionalism, contribution to various levels of society, self-management and development, basic educational ideology, research ability, cooperation, leadership, dealing with future change, respect for life, creativity, problem-solving ability, and ability to educate. There was a significant difference in educational goals between medical schools when grouped by geographic location and affiliation of research-driven hospitals. Of the 16 competencies that are suggested by the Korean Doctor's Role, 12 had one or more corresponding categories.
Per their current educational purposes, Korean medical schools pursue a broad variety of competencies that need cultivating during the course of undergraduate medical education. Further research is needed to determine how best to apply these educational purposes in actual institutions and ultimately lead them to become part of the competency of a graduate.


Educational goals; Educational purposes; Inductive content analysis; Korean doctor's role

MeSH Terms

*Education, Medical, Undergraduate
*Professional Competence
Republic of Korea
*Schools, Medical
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