Doctors' Images Represented in the Korean Press: From a Perspective of the Korean Doctor's Role 2014

  • Kim, Kyong-Jee (Department of Medical Education, Dongguk University School of Medicine) ;
  • Yoo, Kyung-Eun (Graduate School of Medicine, Dongguk University) ;
  • Hwang, Jee-Young (Department of Medical Education, Dongguk University School of Medicine)
  • Received : 2018.07.24
  • Accepted : 2018.10.19
  • Published : 2018.10.31


This study examined doctors' images represented in the Korean press to identify overall public perceptions of doctors and to suggest areas for improvement to enhance their image. All news reports published in the two major Korean daily newspapers between years 2011 and 2015 related to doctors and the practice of medicine were searched and collected. The news reports were categorized into the five competency domains in the Korean doctor's role (i.e., patient care, communication and cooperation, social accountability, professionalism, and education and research). Each news item was coded as being either positive or negative and was given a score regarding the extent to which positive or negative image that it represents of doctors using the Doctor Image Scale (DIS) score. A total of 314 news reports were collected, a majority of which were on patient care (36%), professionalism (33%), and social accountability (23%). Positive stories slightly outnumbered negative ones (56% vs. 44%). The largest number of positive news reports was in patient care (n=82); negative news reports most frequently appeared in professionalism (n=99) and patient care (n=32). The total DIS score was also positive (+28): the highest positive DIS score was in social accountability (+164); the highest negative DIS score was obtained in professionalism (-226). This study revealed overall positive portrayals of doctors in the Korean press, yet doctors need to better comply with regulations and ethical guidelines and enhance their medical knowledge and clinical skills and to improve their image.


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