Moving to Korea > Health and Medical Services

Doctors and Cultural Differences


Doctors and Cultural Diffe...

Doctors in Korea are highly respected and are not used to answering patients’ questions or to having to provide an explanation of their treatment. Some may even be highly offended if the patient seeks a second opinion. However, physicians in the international/foreign clinics have become accustomed to patients who ask questions and want to participate actively in their diagnosis and treatment. In fact, more and more Korean patients are following suit.

Some doctors, even those who are foreign trained, still tend to give the worst case scenario first, which sometimes shocks expat patients and results in their thinking they have been misdiagnosed. Before panicking, it’s best to ask questions and to use your best judgment regarding tests and treatments.

Koreans do not have the same sense of privacy that Westerners do, so don't be embarrassed if the doctor asks to examine you in front of other patients. If this is an issue for you, you can ask to have a screen put up. If possible, the staff will usually try to comply.

The Medical Care Intro page also has information you may find helpful.

Read about an expat woman's experience at the gynecologist's office: http://www.korea4expats.com/News/a-visit-to-the-gynecologist-Korean-style.html


K4E Editor: Korea4Expats.com tries to ensure that the information we provide is accurate and complete, so should you notice any errors or omissions in the content above please contact us at info@korea4expats.com.

Last Updated on 2011-05-10


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