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Aug 26, 2020
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I'm writing this to share the Korean doctors' strike. I am Michelle, a PCP in South Korea who graduated from med school in 2015 and ECFMG-certified in 2019.
In South Korea, most resident physicians and fellows are protesting against the government and submitting letters of resignation as a part of the movements. Also, up to 90% of MS4 in South Korea decided not to take the KMLE which leads to a gap year. To resist us, as of Aug 26th, the government forced residents, fellows, and all physicians participating in the strike to return to work. If not, medical licenses will be suspended and/or revoked. Moreover, the govt is threatening physicians with the risk of imprisonment by the law.

So, WHY are we doing this?

There are MANY reasons but let me make this as simple as possible.
Above all, we believe the government plans to open new public med schools(No tuition. It's from the tax) in some rural areas to better the health care service gap across the country is on the wrong track for the following reasons.

A. Medical accessibility in SK is relatively fair. South Korea, a small country approx size of FL, is full of academic hospitals and clinics. You can see any PCPs or specialists at an affordable cost with the Korean healthcare insurance system. In fact, last year my granny in a rural area was diagnosed with S4 colon ca. She was able to receive chemo from a UPENN-trained oncologist at Samsung medical center w/o a long waiting list and the visit only took two hrs with my dad's drive. Surprisingly, per the ONC visit, she only paid about 70$ for the standard chemo regimen including one-month meds with the national insurance.

B. We don't feel the admission process to the pub MS would be FAIR. The govt plan is choosing med students according to LORs from local politicians(WHAT?) and/or NGOs w/o the SAT, which smells fishy. For example, a daughter of a former attorney general entered med school without MCAT and about to graduate with a GPA of 1.13/4.5. Last year, there were tons of legal/ethical issues regarding her admission; she was listed as a 1st author of a pathology article which was not her work. With the shining GPA, she has received scholarships from her med school and will be accepted to one of the prestigious DERM programs in Seoul.

I know. It's hard to take it but things already happened and ARE happening here.

I feel overwhelmed by all of the chaos. We, 130K Korean doctors, will stand for the young MDs and MSs.
I'm not a saint, just a person full of guilt, and THE SELFISH doctor as people say. I don't wanna judge others but plz stay with the young MDs in South Korea.
 
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