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Don’t apply for nuclear medicine, pathology, radiation: trainee doctors
  • By Lee Min-ju
  • Published 2019.01.15 11:38
  • Updated 2019.01.15 11:38
  • comments 0

The medical community expressed shock after a survey revealed 74 percent of trainee physicians specializing in nuclear medicine, pathology, and radiation oncology said they would not recommend juniors to apply for their departments.

The Korean Intern Resident Association (KIRA) on Monday unveiled the survey on trainee doctors at the three departments how much they were satisfied with the training environment.

The result showed that the trainees were not happy with the working environment at their departments.

Asked whether they would recommend applying for their department to a junior or your younger sibling, 74 percent said “no.”

The reasons for not recommending their departments were mostly related to uncertainty about the future, such as “it is hard to open an individual clinic,” “training quality is very different in each hospital,” or “jobs are insufficient.”

To a question, “How much can you learn if the full capability as a specialist is set at 100 percent,” 29 percent of the respondents said “less than 1 percent.”

A majority of 68 percent said “We urgently need to receive better training by our ranks,” showing a significant level of dissatisfaction with the training curriculum.

“I thought the hospital would guarantee a regular training time and help me maintain a good quality of life. However, the hospital gave me more work than training, not providing the right training curriculum. There are too much work and too little time for education and research,” a trainee physician who participated in the survey said.

“The training course is the same for first-year trainees through fourth-year ones. I don’t know what I should do after completing the course,” he added.

Another trainee physician said there was too much work while the number of interns and residents was shrinking.

“In many situations, we have to do the professor’s work. Other departments hired hospitalists to share trainees’ work, but our department failed to do so because we can’t hire a general practitioner,” the trainee said.

Another said even if he worked late at night or on weekends to prepare for scanned images, the hospital did not recognize his work as night duty or training.

Such a demanding work environment was going against the latest trend where other departments reduced work to keep the legal work limit for trainee doctors at 80 hours per week, he added.

KIRA President Lee Seung-woo said the respondents wished their quality of training to be improved the most, with some recommending reducing the time of training or integrating the medical training.

“It is lamentable that while trainee doctors are eager to learn, the training hospital is just using them as workers and giving them irrelevant work,” Lee said. “We need to discuss not only their job prospects but the development of a training program to boost their capacity.”


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