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J Korean Med Assoc > Volume 62(12); 2019 > Article
Journal of the Korean Medical Association 2019;62(12):600-603.
Published online December 17, 2019.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5124/jkma.2019.62.12.600   
Medical research as a clinician: hoping for golden era
Hyung Keun Lee
Institute of Vision Research, Department of Ophthalmology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. shadik@yuhs.ac
Despite the successful development of modern medical educational systems within the last century, such systems need improvement in terms of developing better ways to educate medical students as future clinicians while also nurturing them to be good physician scientists. The period from 1964 to 1972 was called the Golden Era of Nobel Laureates in Medicine. Nine laureates, all graduates from American medical schools, came to the United States National Institute of Health (NIH). During the Vietnam War, many medical doctors substituted military service for service in the NIH, became members of the United States National Academy of Sciences, and attained brilliant medical and scientific achievements. There is a crucial lesson to learn from this golden time of the NIH: ambitious young physicians given opportunities to become cutting-edge scientists can make fundamental discoveries. In hopes of encouraging a similar “golden era” for medical research in Korea, I suggest three steps. First, medical schools and the educational system should provide medical students with more opportunities to conduct in-depth medical research in various fields. Second, the Physician Scientist Program should be further expanded to include more medical students and clinical board holders. Better treatments and approaches are essential for gathering both bright candidates and brilliant mentors, who will support each other in making outstanding scientific discoveries. Finally, the flexibility of the medical educational system in terms of medical students and clinical residency needs updating. In conclusion, a national medical educational system that is well balanced can maintain and support both excellent physician scientists and skillful clinicians.
Key Words: Biomedical research, Clinician, Medical educational system
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