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Big 5 hospitals, 2,745 residents, including interns and residents… Accounts for approximately 40% of the total medical workforce

If work is stopped all at once in the field, a ‘medical crisis’ is inevitable.

Some voices say, “We need to improve the reality of assigning excessive work to ‘low-paid’ residents.”

Medical Association supports voluntary resignation of medical residents

Medical Association supports voluntary resignation of medical residents

(Seoul = Larose.VIP) Reporter Kim Jan-di = Residents who resigned en masse in protest against the government’s expansion of medical school seats are considered ‘key personnel’ in the work of large hospitals.

This is why, unlike the Korean Medical Association (KMA), which focuses on private practice, the collective action of residents has a large impact.

According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the medical community on the 19th, there are currently about 13,000 residents, including interns and residents, working at 221 teaching hospitals in Korea.

Residents are doctors who graduate from medical school, obtain a medical license, and then train at general hospitals to obtain specialist qualifications. They undergo a 1-year internship as an intern, rotating through various medical departments, and a 3-4 year residency program where they train in their own specialty.

The number of residents at the five major general hospitals in Seoul (Seoul National University, Severance, Samsung Seoul, Asan Seoul, and Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital), the so-called ‘Big Five’, is 2,745, and the total number of doctors in the five hospitals is 7,042. Accounts for 39% of people.

The proportion of medical residents among the medical staff is 46.2% at Seoul National University Hospital, 40.2% at Severance Hospital, 38.0% at Samsung Seoul Hospital, 34.5% at Asan Medical Center, and 33.8% at Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital.

Since 34-46% of the medical workforce is comprised of residents, if they stop working all at once, the impact will inevitably be significant.

At the hospital, they assist professors with treatment and surgery, participate in rounds together to manage patients’ conditions, and are also responsible for a variety of tasks, such as responding to emergency situations in the ward or working night shifts.

Strictly speaking, the attending doctor is a professor who is a specialist, but in reality, it is the resident who closely watches and cares for the patient morning and evening.

The surgery and treatment itself are performed by professors, but if the residents who support them are absent, efficient division of work becomes impossible, and overall ‘overload’ is inevitable as we encounter a situation where professors replace on-call duties.

The government is also seriously aware of the problem caused by the gap in majors and is preparing countermeasures. A ‘maintenance order’ has been issued to residents at all 221 teaching hospitals to prevent them from leaving, and manpower management plans are also being reviewed in case the situation prolongs.

Park Min-soo, the second vice minister of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, said in a radio interview that day, “The Big 5 hospitals have a resident ratio of about 30-40%, so we thought that problems could arise if they leave all at once, so we decided to switch to focusing on emergency and critical care.” “And if it continues for a long time, we will be able to bring in the necessary manpower from outside,” he said.

'Big 5' hospital residents predicted collective action...  Medical crisis before our eyes

‘Big 5’ hospital residents predicted collective action… Medical crisis before our eyes

Some point out that the reality of a medical crisis due to absence of medical residents needs to be improved.

In fact, the medical community has repeatedly called for improvements in the working environment, saying that the structure of hospitals in which medical residents are overworked is a problem. It is pointed out that the problem is that hospitals are run by hiring only residents who are ‘low-paid’ compared to professors.

According to the results of the ‘2022 Resident Survey’ released by the Korean Medical Resident Association in January last year, the average weekly working hours of residents was 77.7 hours, and 52.0% of the respondents said they were working more than 80 hours a week on average for four weeks.

In fact, the reason the government is pushing to increase the number of medical schools is in line with the opinions of the medical community.

In the essential medical policy package announcing the increase in medical schools, the government unveiled a plan to reorganize medical institutions from resident-centered to ‘specialist-centered’.

This is because it is judged that excessive dependence on one’s major leads to long working hours and ‘burnout’.

The government decided to encourage the hiring of specialists by calculating 1 resident as 0.5 people when determining whether to comply with the standards for securing medical personnel when establishing a new medical institution.

Measures were also included to compensate hospitals that expand the employment of specialists and reduce the work delegated to residents with ‘additional fees’, and to encourage long-term contracts for specialists and guaranteed parental leave and research years.


Report to KakaoTalk okjebo 2024/02/19 11:04 Sent

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