The limitation of the current accreditation system for basic medical education in Republic of Korea

Duck-Sun Ahn

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    Republic of Korea has experienced rapid economic growth over the last several decades. During this period, some medical schools have been founded with inadequate educational resources. Currently, the Korean medical faculties are frustrated due to the sense of inability to improve the quality of education provided by troubled medical schools. In fact, this phenomenon is a consequence of the reckless establishment of new medical schools. Unfortunately, the Ministry of Education, which claims to reserve the right to grant permission to establish new medical schools, cannot manage this situation either. The Ministry is very reluctant to endorse disciplinary measures based on the standards set by the accreditation agency; instead, it insists on using the court system. In East Asia, there is no history of self-regulation, and very often, the power of the government far exceeds that of professional organizations. This can create tension between an accreditation agency and the government. Even though the Korean Ministry of Education has created a new system recognizing the authority of the accreditation agency, it has not taken into account the specialized aspects of medical education. The government has also stated that only the law can mediate the regulation of low-quality education, so the standards set by the accrediting agency are not legally binding. Despite the good quality-control system that has been put in place for the last 13 years by the Korean Institute of Medical Education and Evaluation the Ministry wants to have authority over any corrective measures. Republic of Korea may have achieved democracy at the macro-level, but this is a time when democracy should be implemented with regard to a specific constituency and an important issue.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1050-1052
    Number of pages3
    JournalJournal of the Korean Medical Association
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - 2013 Dec 1


    • Accreditation
    • Law
    • Medical Education
    • Quality

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Medicine


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