Exploring the Ontological Status of the Race Concept as Perceived by Korean Medical Students
Jun-Ki Lee 1
Sein Shin 1
Hyo Hyun Yoo 2  
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Division of Science Education, Biology Major, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju, REPUBLIC OF KOREA
Department of Medical Education, School of Medicine, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju, REPUBLIC OF KOREA
Publication date: 2018-06-14
EURASIA J. Math., Sci Tech. Ed 2018;14(10):em1582
This study explored Korean medical students’ perceptions of race from three perspectives: the definition of race, its biological reality, and the practical use of race information in medicine. Using three open-ended survey questions, we collected data from 506 Korean medical students. The data were analyzed through constant comparative analysis. We found diverse perceptions of race held by the students, which were similar to racial concepts that have emerged throughout the history of science. In addition, some students perceived race as a biological reality based on genetics and epidemiology. Lastly, 50.5% of students agreed to the use of the concept of race in the field of medicine for convenience, while the remainder disagreed with its use based on reasons such as racism, multi-culturalism, etc. Based on the results of this study, we suggest the development of an integrated educational program to increase students’ understanding of race based on biology, culture, and ethics.
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