J Korean Neuropsychiatr Assoc.  2022 Aug;61(3):196-203. 10.4306/jknpa.2022.61.3.196.

Acceptance and Understanding of the Evolutionary Theory in Medical Students, Interns and Residents: Comparison Between Medical Majors and Non-Medical Majors

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Sanggye Paik Hospital, College of Medicine, Inje University, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Anthropology, College of Social Science, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea


Evolutionary theory is an important biological principle that can be applied in biology and medicine. On the other hand, education on evolution is not widely conducted in medical education. Therefore, this study compared the acceptance and understanding of the concept of evolutionary theory between young medical majors and non-medical majors.
From January to September 2021, participants with a medicine major, a humanities and social science major, and an engineering and natural science major were recruited online. They answered questionnaires about their acceptance, understanding, and interest in evolutionary theory and their religiousness.
Two hundred and fifty participants were recruited: 50 in the medicine group, 57 in the humanities and social science group, 123 in the engineering and natural science group, and 20 other majors. The analysis showed that the acceptance and understanding of the evolutionary theory were lower in the medicine group than in the other groups.
This is the first study to compare the acceptance and understanding of evolutionary theory between the medical majors and non-medical majors in Korea. This result suggests that the education about evolution is very poor and needs to be strengthened in medical education.


Evolutionary theory; Medical education
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