Korean J Fam Pract. 2018; 8(6): 860-863  https://doi.org/10.21215/kjfp.2018.8.6.860
Comparison of Clinical Skill Test Scores between North Korean Refugee Doctors and Fourth Grade Medical School Students: Reeducation of North Korean Refugee Doctors
Joon Seop Hyun1, Seok Hoon Kang1,2,*, Jeong Hee Yang1, Sung Uk Chae1, Hyunwoo Kim1
1Department of Family Medicine, Kangwon National University Hospital; 2Department of Medical Education, Kangwon National University School of Medicine, Chuncheon, Korea
Seok Hoon Kang
Tel: +82-33-258-9206, Fax: +82-0504-477-4271
E-mail: kingla@kangwon.ac.kr
ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-2881-8774
Received: September 11, 2017; Revised: October 12, 2017; Accepted: October 13, 2017; Published online: December 20, 2018.
© The Korean Academy of Family Medicine. All rights reserved.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Background: The health care system in North Korea that trains medical doctors has collapsed. Hence, there is reason to question the clinical competence of North Korean (NK) doctors. However, few studies have investigated the clinical competence of these doctors. We examined the results of clinical skill tests conducted by a medical school in South Korea for NK refugee doctors.
Methods: In two consecutive years, Kangwon University School of Medicine administered a clinical skill test, similar to the Korean Medical Licensing Examination (KMLE), to their fourth year medical students and seven NK refugee doctors. The annual test results of each group were compared using the Wilcoxon rank-sum test.
Results: The NK refugee doctors scored lower on history-taking in the clinical performance examination (CPX), and on practice and proficiency in the objective structured clinical examination than the South Korean students. The NK refugee doctors displayed higher average scores on physical examination in the CPX.
Conclusion: NK refugee doctors could pass the clinical skill test of the KMLE with sufficient effort and experience.
Keywords: Clinical Competence; Clinical Skill Test; Korean Medical Licensing Examination; North Korea; Refugee Doctor
  1. Yoon M. The arduous march: growing up in North Korea during famine. The Guardian. 2014 Jun 13; 2.17 BST.
  2. Park JH, Kim OJ, Hwang SI. Medical education of North Korea. Seoul: Seoul National University Press; 2003.
  3. Chae SU, Yang JH, Hyun JS, Kim JH, Kang SH. North Korean refugee doctors’ preliminary examination scores. Korean J Med Educ 2016; 28: 373-80.
    Pubmed KoreaMed CrossRef
  4. Lee HK. Analysis on the actual state of North Korean health care workers and the integration plans in preparation for Unification. Seoul: Ministry of Unification Report; 2014. p. 541-2.
  5. Lee YS, Hwang SI, Kim YH. A study to prepare guideline for the certification of medical doctors from DPRK. Seoul: Research Institute for Healthcare Policy of Korean Medical Association; 2011.
  6. Choi JP. Medical Education for North Korean Defector Physicians: Experience at the Seoul Medical Center. Korean Medical Education Review 2012;14: 95-101.
  7. Lee HK. Analysis on the actual state of North Korean health care workers and the integration plans in preparation for unification. Seoul: Ministry of Unification Report; 2014. p. 536-7.
  8. Park H. Clinical skills assessment in Korean medical licensing examination. Korean J Med Educ 2008; 20: 309-12.
  9. Park KH, Chung WJ, Hong D, Lee WK, Shin EK. Relationship between the clinical performance examination and associated variables. Korean J Med Educ 2009; 21: 269-77.
    Pubmed CrossRef

This Article

Author ORCID Information

Social Network Service