Journal List > J Korean Med Assoc > v.53(3) > 1042244

Shin: A Model of Accreditation System for Medical Subspecialty Board Certification in Korea


Subspecialty board certification is a post-graduate program in which clinicians can acquire the qualifications for special areas or techniques, after they have received a board certification in a specialty in clinical medicine. Considering the trend of increasingly sub-classified and professionalized medicine and the higher demand on specialized medical services, introduction of subspecialty board certification is inevitable. However, given the characteristics of the medical environment in Korea, such as the medical payment system, a possibility of undesirable outcomes should not be overlooked. An imprudent administration of the specialty board system would cause conflict and split within communities of medical professionals and also produce confusion among medical consumers. Accordingly, the establishment of subspecialty board system should proceed based on academic communications as well as organic collaboration with the parent academic society and/or the relevant academic societies. Individuals can submit an application for a subspecialty board qualification under the agreement of specialized academic societies which have already been authorized, but the authorization of the societies is determined following a rigorous assessment by the Korean Academy of Medical Sciences (KAMS). An active intervention by KAMS is essential for maintaining the quality of specialty board system and preventing imprudent administration. KAMS will make the best effort to prevent distribution of unauthorized certificates and to rectify rational implementation of the subspecialty board certification system.


1. Albritton W, Bates J, Brazeau M, Busing N, Clarke J, Kendel D, McClean K, Saucier D, Waddington A, Walker D, Gray J. Generalism versus subspecialization: changes necessary in medical education. Can J Rural Med. 2006. 11:126–128.
2. Kempainen RR, McKone EF, Rubenfeld GD, Scott CS, Tonelli MR. Comparison of scholarly productivity of general and sub-specialty clinician-educators in internal medicine. Teach Learn Med. 2004. 16:323–328.
3. Korean Academy of Medical Science. The regulation in the Management of Accreditation Committee for Subspeciality Board Certification. 2002.
Similar articles