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Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health 2006;39(1): 7-12.
Future of Preventive Medicine Education in Korea: Hopes and Challenges.
Kwang Ho Meng
Department of Preventive Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, Korea. khmeng@catholic.ac.kr
Throughout the century, based on the precedent set by Flexner in the United States, almost every subsequent report on the reform of medical education has pointed out the need for more prevention-oriented teaching in the curriculum. This has been particularly so in countries like Korea where the basic public health services have been so important for the improvement of health of the people. And, in fact, preventive medicine and public health have contributed a great deal to the prevention of communicable diseases and prolongation of life expectancy. Recently, however, along with the educational reform that emphasizing the interdisciplinary teaching, integration of basic science and clinical education, and centralization of responsibility for the medical education curriculum, concerns are being voiced by preventive medicine educators. These concerns are primarily centered around the fear that the implementation of interdisciplinary, centrally administered courses would result in a weakening of content and teaching expertise as well as a loss of departmental power and control. This paper foresees that preventive medicine and public health will be more important in Korea in the future and proposes that preventive medicine educators will have to step forward and turn the challenges of curricula restructuring into opportunities to expand the role of preventive medicine in the curricula of their institutions.
Key words: Preventive medicine; Educational reform; Collaboration with clinical disciplines
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