Shortage of doctors feared after medical exam boycott

There are growing fears of a shortage of new doctors in South Korea next year after around 86% of eligible medical students refused to take the state-run medical licensing exam which ended on 10 November. Medical organisations say more than 2,700 out of 3,172 final-year students did not participate in the practical skills test that was conducted for two months from 8 September, writes Lee Hyo-jin for The Korea Times.

The students refused to apply for the licensing exam in August in protest against the government’s medical workforce reform plans. They chose to boycott the exam even after the health authorities had postponed it by one week and extended the registration deadline.

Another 446 students who took the test will be allowed to take a written test scheduled for 7 and 8 January 2021, and those who pass will receive their licences to practise medicine. But the absence of most of the potential test-takers for the annual exam has led to concerns that next year the country might experience a shortage of qualified medical personnel including interns at general hospitals, public health clinics and military facilities.
Full story on The Korea Times site