Medical School

[Editorial] Med faculty obsession

The overwhelming and virtually obsessive recognition of medical colleges amongst elite Korean college students has been a priority amongst training policymakers over its unwanted side effects, equivalent to a rising variety of repeat check takers.

One other troubling signal is rising: 1 in 5 candidates who made it to much-coveted medical colleges hailed from rich districts in southern Seoul — and their share is steadily on the rise.

Amongst those that had been admitted to medical colleges, 20.8 p.c of candidates got here from the three costly districts — Gangnam, Seocho and Songpa — in 2019, and the ratio rose to 22.7 p.c in 2022, in keeping with the workplace of Democratic Social gathering of Korea Rep. Kang Deuk-gu and civic group World With out Worries About Personal Schooling.

The proportion of scholars from the metropolitan space additionally elevated from 44.2 p.c to 46.3 p.c throughout the identical interval.

The brand new information means that youngsters born to high-income mother and father dwelling within the nation’s costliest space codes are prone to have a much better probability of coming into medical faculty, a golden ticket to enviable lifetime job safety and excessive revenue.

The phenomenon is regrettable in two methods. First, mother and father’ incomes are more and more correlated to their youngsters’s educational success, particularly regarding restricted locations at medical colleges in a method that solidifies the inheritance of wealth. Lately, universities have eased admissions requirements round Suneung, or the annual school scholastic potential check, in a bid to boost equity. Nonetheless, this apparently has not stopped rich mother and father from supporting their youngsters by pouring cash into non-public training.

Second, the irregular recognition of medical colleges is anticipated to soar within the coming years, until the federal government takes complete training reforms together with a hike within the enrollment quota for medical colleges.

The quota has been fastened at 3,058 since 2006, amid fierce conflicts amongst medical doctors, medical college students, specialists and policymakers over elevating the determine.

The poisonous mixture of a giant discrepancy in regional illustration and the fastened quota for medical college students is feared to undermine the very basis of the broader training coverage targeted on honest alternative and the medical service business, the place medical doctors in unpopular fields are briefly provide.

The obsession with medical colleges is forcing extra college students to take school entrance exams many times till they get admitted to medical colleges. In accordance with information from Rep. Kang, 3 out of 4 college students admitted into medical colleges throughout the nation prior to now 4 years had taken entrance exams a number of instances earlier than they succeeded. This can be a waste of human assets, to not point out the misplaced alternatives for the brightest and smartest college students.

For the 2023 educational yr, 1,343 candidates (29 p.c) turned down presents from the highest three universities together with Seoul Nationwide College. The reason being that they utilized for a number of faculties and finally opted to enter medical colleges or associated faculties. Since many college students with excessive check scores solely pursue spots at medical colleges, different educational departments are struggling. Even semiconductor departments at many universities, which promise strong job safety in a vital business, are handed over by many prime college students.

The variety of college students who deliberately dropped out of the celebrated prime 5 science-related universities such because the Korea Superior Institute of Science and Know-how is estimated at 1,150 over the previous 5 years. About 80 p.c of those that stop seem to have retaken entrance examinations for medical colleges.

A putting facet impact is that personal training facilities in rich neighborhoods are organising particular “medical faculty prep” applications focusing on elementary faculty college students. The underlying logic is that younger college students ought to begin as early as potential and take superior classes — even these designed for highschool college students — for the reason that competitors for medical colleges is intensifying.

Specialists say the federal government ought to improve the medical pupil quota to resolve the deepening training downside and the scarcity of medical doctors. However previous makes an attempt failed within the face of fierce protests from medical doctors and medical college students. The federal government is required to push for a rise within the quota and devise different measures that resolve the regional illustration concern and inspire college students to use for non-medical fields in dire want of recent expertise.

By Korea Herald (

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