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J Korean Med Assoc > Volume 63(1); 2020 > Article
Journal of the Korean Medical Association 2020;63(1):56-65.
Published online January 17, 2020.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5124/jkma.2020.63.1.56   
Introduction of basic medicine examination in Korean Medical License Examination to improve physician's science competency
Yong Sung Juhnn
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. juhnn@snu.ac.kr
Physicians play a central role in the fields of medical service, research, and industry, so it is imperative to produce well-qualified doctors. Medicine is composed of science and arts, both necessary for its practice, and thus, the education outcomes in basic medical education in a medical school include basic biomedical sciences, social sciences and clinical sciences. Adequate science competencies create a deeper and better understanding of scientific knowledge, concepts, and methods fundamental to clinical science, and contribute to the scientific, technological, and clinical developments. The science competencies are primarily obtained by studying basic medicine in basic medical education, which has been criticized for failing to do so sufficiently in Korea. The failure is attributed to insufficient education time, teachers, and budgets, but the most critical factor is the lack of awareness regarding the importance of the science competencies of the physicians. Such ignorance also affects the Korean Medical Licensing Examination (KMLE). The KMLE tests competency in clinical sciences, preventive medicine, and medical laws, but not in basic biomedical sciences, which might result in insufficient science competency of the physicians and a decrease in the overall quality of the medical health service. Tests must be urgently introduced in KMLE on the competencies of basic biomedical sciences to improve the science competency of the physicians. The representative organizations of the medical society should take vigorous actions for the introduction of the basic medicine examination in KMLE.
Key Words: Physicians, Science competency, Basic medicine, Medical license examination


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