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Less than half of foreign applicants pass state medical exam
  • By Song Soo-youn
  • Published 2018.10.24 16:47
  • Updated 2018.10.24 16:47
  • comments 0

More than half of applicants who graduated foreign medical schools fail to obtain domestic medical physicians.

A total of 138 people who graduated medical schools between 2003 and 2017 took the national examination for medical practitioners, and 68 of them passed it. The acceptance rate stood at 49.3 percent, indicating more than half of them failed to domestic medical license.

The result was part of the data submitted to Rep. Kim Seung-hee of the opposition Liberty Korea Party by the Ministry of Health and Welfare and related agencies for the National Assembly’s audit of the administration.

The Philippines accounted for the largest share of applicants with 43 but only seven of them, or 16.3 percent, passed the test. On the other hand, 11 graduates of medical schools in Hungary, or 68.8 percent of 16 applicants, got through the exam. German medical school graduates also showed the high acceptance rate of 66.7 percent, as 10 of the 15 applicants passed it.

Eleven Uzbek applicants ranked the fourth place in the number of applicants, and seven of them, or 63.6 percent, won the license. Also, five of the eight U.S. medical college graduates, or 62.5 percent, nailed it.

Over the cited period, 675 graduates of foreign dental schools applied for the state exam for dental practitioners here, but only 178 of them, or 26.4 percent, passed it.

Among the 246 foreigners who graduated foreign medical and dental schools and obtained medical and dental licenses here, 171, or 69.1 percent, were working at the domestic medical care institutions, the data showed.

In the case of medical doctors, 48 out of 68 successful applicants were serving at domestic medical institutions –14 at tertiary general hospitals, 12 at clinics and 10 at general hospitals.

Among foreign dentists, 125 out of 178 new license winners were working at either dental clinics (97) or dental hospitals (14).

To apply for national exams for medical and dental practitioners, foreigners should graduate foreign medical and dental schools recognized by the minister of health and welfare. Currently, such foreign medical schools total 123 in number, plus 118 foreign dental schools.

“Foreigners can apply for national medical and dental practitioner exams if they graduate medical and dental schools recognized by the minister of health and welfare, but only the ministry’s internal guidelines are operating the system without any legal mandates,” Rep. Kim said.

Because the ministry has not made public the qualifications of applicants, only some of the medical workers know and make the most of the system, which resulted in limiting the options for people who graduate medical schools abroad, she added.

“As the government has yet to make public the application criteria for foreign medical school graduates, there is the possibility of infringing on the applicants’ rights,” Kim said.

“The ministry should clarify the applicable standards through revising related laws to protect the rights of applicants better.”


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