South Korea, the fifth-largest metropolitan area in the world, 4th largest economy in Asia, and 10th in the world, has made a name for its high standard of living, high internet speeds, and railway system. It’s a brilliant opportunity to immigrate to South Korea as a doctor and enjoy life there now that the country needs doctors more than before. 

This article will bring you whatever you need to know about moving to South Korea as a doctor. 

How to become a doctor in South Korea?

To immigrate to South Korea as a doctor, you have to follow the below procedures. Read them carefully and bear in mind the details.  

Step 1. Language proficiency 

If you want to immigrate to Korea as a doctor, it is essential to be fluent in the Korean language. TOPK is the language proficiency test which stands for Test of Proficiency in Korean. You need a certificate with a score of 5 or higher to be eligible for the tests. Without such a score, you may not get the license. 

You might have heard about Asian language systems. They are different than the websters world and it takes time to leave and get fluent in them. So it is with the Koreans. It takes you about 3 months to get familiar with the basics of the language. Then you can get communicate in the basic form. 

You would better start learning the Hangul alphabet, which is completely different from Latin. If you have tried Mandarin, you would better know that it is different from Chinese as well. So you would better begin as early as possible. 

Step 2. Study at a Korean university

You can study at a Korean university in medicine; that is a quicker way to become a doctor in Korea. The application process for international and domestic students is about the same. 

36 colleges provide medicine in Korea. Visit the university’s website and find out what the requirements are. 

Universities have SAT exams to test Korean language proficiency. If you have studied in a non-English speaking country, TOEFL is required. The score is up to the university, so you would better visit the website. 

There is also a test called the CSAT test that you need to get prepared and have a high score. If you want to get accepted to the university, you would better world hard and get a better score than your Korean rivals. Remember that the test is in Korean. 

A medical degree in Korea takes six years to complete. The first two years are undergraduate education; the next two years are basic medical science. The final two years are practical/clinical education.

When you get the university admission letter, you can apply for a student visa. You can find out how to apply for it from the right sidebar. 

Step 3. Have a doctor’s license and graduation certificate 

Foreign doctors who want to move to South Korea must first have a license from their home country. Also, it is required to have graduated from a medical college approved by the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare. If you meet the two conditions, you can take the Korea Medical Licensing Examination (KMLE) in Korea.

There are only 96 medical schools from 26 countries that the Ministry approves of Health and Welfare. You can find the list of them in the below section. If your medical school is not on the list, you can contact the Ministry and ask them whether they approve your school or not. 

If the Ministry doesn’t approve your degree, you might have to pass a  qualification exam. It could take up to two years to get prepared for this test. 

Step 4. Take the qualifying tests 

The test you need to take is the Preliminary Examination. It consists of a clinical test ad a written test. The test is held every July and August. Remember that you need a  TOPIK 5 or higher to take the test. 

Then comes the KMLE test. You need to take it in the Korean language to prove your knowledge of medical skills. The clinical skills test is from September to November, and the written test is in January. 

Step 5. Apply for a work visa 

When you pass the KMLE test, you need to apply for a work visa to be allowed to work in South Korea. The work visa gets called an E2 visa, and you can find out all about it from the left sidebar. 

Best Medical schools in South Korea 

There are about 36 medical schools in South Korea. The requirement to get into them are explained above. But you would better visit the university’s website to find out the full details. 

Here are the top ten medical schools in South Korea that you can get familiar with them: 

  1. Yonsei University College of Medicine 
  2. University of Ulsan 
  3. Korea University 
  4. Catholic University of Korea 
  5. Sungkwan university 
  6. Seol National Univesity 
  7. Inje University 
  8. Pusan National university 
  9. Kyungpook national university 
  10. Hanyang university college of Medicine 

What are the benefits of moving to South Korea?

There is no need to talk about the benefits of moving to South Korea, the 4th largest economy in Asia and the 10th largest in the world. 

But you might find the below factors fascinating about South Korea: 

Health and Safety

Health care are affordable for people in South Korea. Insurance costs you 20% of your salary in the US, but that is 4% in South Korea. If you don’t have insurance, it costs you less than 10 dollars to visit a doctor. 

Clinics are around, so you don’t have trouble getting help. As the cost is low, they get IVs when they are not feeling well. 

In fact, public health was not a concern, and people’s health was fine until the Covid-19 pandemic. But the government was able to manage it well. There is mutual trust between people and the GOVt, so the situation was handled well. 

The crime rate is at a low rate compared with the population. You can leave your studies in public places and one hour later find them untouched. But if not, someone has not put them with the lost and found. 

Nice and warm People 

You will find the people warm and friendly, but they’re serious at work and hardworking. Of course, the distance between strangers is a bit long, but you will manage to get familiar with them. You will be able to meet families and make friends in smaller cities.s 

High quality of life

The ease and convenience of life in Kore will amaze you. Everything is available and you have peace of mind living there. The services are convenient and always available. Your grocery will be delivered in one day, and taxis are available every minute. 

Technology has helped Koreans to make life easier, and they have less concern over small things. 

Green spaces and parks are well built and available for everyone to enjoy life. 

Air quality 

The one problem that many people in almost eerie countries face is air pollution. But that is not in South Korea. The quality of air is good even in major cities. You can get an air purifier at 100 US dollars for your house. 

Quality of education 

Schools enjoys a high quality of education in South Korea. They focus on math and languages and teachers are dedicated. You can find a native English speaker teaching English to children even in rural areas.

Infographic Immigrate to South Korea as a doctor

Qualified medical schools accepted in South Korea 

The below list of medical schools and universities are accepted by the Korean Ministry. If you have a degree from one of this list, you may move to South Korea as a doctor: 

South Korea 

University of Pretoria



University of Amsterdam 



National Taiwan University

National Yang-Ming University 

Chung Shan Medical University 



Charito-Universitatsmedizin Berlin


Tuebingen, Medizinische Fakultat 


Goettingen, Medizinische Fakultat

Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universitat 

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Munchen 

Medizinischen Universitat Zu Llibeck 

University Essen Universitat Leipzig 

Philipps-Universitat Marburg 

Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universitat. 

Bonn Medizinische Fakultat 

Ruhr-Universitat Bochum

Ruprecht Karls Unversity of Heidelberg 



Khabarovsk Medical Institute

Novosibirsk State Medical University 

Russian State Medical University(RSMU)

Saint Petersburg State LP Pavlov Medical University

St Petersburg State Pediatric Medical University

I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University 

The Far Eastern State Medical University 



Health Sciences University of Mongolia 

National Medical University of Mongolia 



Tufts University 

Washington University In St Louis School of Medicine 

Virginia Commonwealth University 

University of Southern California School of Medicine 

University of Miami School of Medicine 

University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine 

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 

Rush University, Rush Medical College 

Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine 

New York Medical College,School of Medicine

Loma Linda University School of Medicine

Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons 

Albany Medical College 



Universidad CatOlica Boliviana 



Universitat Zurich(University of Zurich)


Universidad De Buenos Aires Facultad De Medicina 


Universidad del Salvador 


Universidad FavalorP ; 



Addis Ababa University, Faculty of Medicine 


United Kingdom

People’s Friendship University of Russia 

Lomonosov Moscow State University 

University of Liverpool 

University of Leicester 

Imperial College London

University of Birmingham 

University of Nottingham 

University of Manchester, Faculty of Medicine 

University of Cambridge, Jesus College 

University College London Medical School 

King’s College London 


Austria University of Vienna

(Universitat Wien Medizinische Fakultat) 



First Tashkent State Medical Institute 

Samarkand State Medical Institute 

Tashkent Pediatric Medical Institute 



Ukrainian State Medical University 

Kyiv Medical Institute



Kansai Medical University 

Keio University 

The University of Tokyo 

Tokai University 

Osaka University 

Nagasaki University 

Teikyo University 

Hiroshima University 



University of Alberta,


Faculty of Medicine and Oral health Science 


University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine 



The Kazakh State Medical Academy 



Universidad Nacional De Asuncion, 

Facultad De Ciencias Medicas

Universidad Catolica “Nuestra Senora 

de la Asuncion” Campus Asuncion 



Medical University of Warsaw 

(Second Faculty of Medicind English Division) 



Henri Warembourg Universite De Lille li, Faculte De Medecine 

Universite Paris V 

Universite Paris VI 

(Faculte DeMededne Broussais Hotel Dieu) 



Angeles University Foundation College of Medicine


De La Salle University College of Medicine 


University of Santo Tmoas Faculty of Medicine 


Xavier University Dr. Jose P. Rizal College of Medicine



University of Debrecen 

Semmelweis University 

University of Pecs 



Sydney University 

The University of New South Wales 

The University of Queensland Medical School 

University of Melbourne 

University of Western Sydney 


New Zealand  

University of Otago



The Kyrgyz State Medical Academy 

If you have a medical degree from the above list of countries, you are eligible to work in South Korea as a doctor. 

Let’s sum up…

You can immigrate to South Korea as a doctor if you are qualified. This article explains who is eligible to move to South Korea as a doctor and how to do it. You got familiar with the list of approved medical schools by South Korea and the application process got explained in detail. 

If you have questions, write them down in the comment section. 

Visit South Korea work visa article from the right sidebar to know how to get your visa. 

Frequently asked questions about how to immigrate to South Korea as a doctor

Can foreign nationals immigrate to South Korea as a doctor?

Yes, if they have studied in certain medical schools and meet the language proficiency tests. 

How long does it take to become a doctor in South Korea?

If you want to study in Korea, it takes you six years. 

Do I need a Korean language test to become a doctor in Korea?

Yes, the first and foremost requirement are to get a Korean language fluency test. 

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