Korean J Leg Med.  2022 Nov;46(4):95-101. 10.7580/kjlm.2022.46.4.95.

Undergraduate Education in Forensic Medicine in Germany, Japan, and Korea

  • 1Department of Forensic Medicine, College of Medicine, Pusan National University, Yangsan, Korea


Germany, Japan, and Korea have a similar medicolegal death investigation system, the so-called European style, governed by prosecutors for crime investigation and brought into Korea through Japan from Germany. In this system, all physicians must be engaged in postmortem external examination and issue a death certificate for unnatural death. Therefore, education in forensic medicine should be provided to medical students to ensure the ability to determine the cause of death and the manner of death after graduation. However, the quality of undergraduate education in forensic medicine is known to be unsatisfactory in Korea because there is no well-organized nation-based education policy. This study aims to review significant features of the education system for forensic medicine in Germany, Japan, and Korea. Related laws and regulations, standard curriculum, and incorporation of forensic medicine in medical license examination are comparatively analyzed. In conclusion, the Korean education system in forensic medicine has a weak structure for achieving competency in postmortem external examination, while Germany and Japan have sustained relatively concrete frameworks. Practical approaches are proposed for improving education quality, including incorporating forensic medicine into compulsory assessment in the medical licensing examination.


Forensic medicine; Education; Undergraduate; Germany; Japan; Korea
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