Appropriateness of task of public health doctors in South Korea

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Introduction: Public health doctors (PHDs) in South Korea serve the medically underserved region of South Korea as part of national service duty, but their number has declined in recent years (due to changes in the medical education system). Therefore, there is an increasing need to deploy PHDs efficiently. Consisting of 2138 medical doctors of different specialties, they serve as both primary care physicians and public health experts. Methods: The purpose of this study was to investigate the appropriateness of tasks of PHDs in South Korea. Results: Of the 2138 PHDs invited, 1015 participated in the survey. Most PHDs performed primary care and vaccination duties (96.8% and 85.8%). PHDs evaluated the appropriateness of tasks and number of PHDs as above the midpoint of a five-point Likert scale (3.5±1.1 and 3.4±1.1). The majority of offices were located within 5 km of private clinics and hospitals (72.7% and 45.2%). Conclusions: PHDs on remote islands highly value the validity and deployment needs of PHDs, while PHDs in close proximity to private clinics or hospitals give a low score. This suggests that there is a need to more efficiently deploy PHDs depending on local characteristics and the presence or absence of nearby private medical clinics and hospitals.




Lee, D. H., Moon, M. E., Go, Y., Song, J., Kim, J., Kim, C., … Kim, J. (2018). Appropriateness of task of public health doctors in South Korea. Rural and Remote Health, 18(4).

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