SEOUL, Nov. 11 (Korea Bizwire) — Since 2014, approximately 300 professors and physicians completing residencies at national university hospitals have been caught committing crimes of sexual misconduct and assault. In troubling news, most perpetrators were found to have faced disciplinary measures that amounted to little more than a slap on the wrist.
According to Kim Byeong-wook, a member of parliament in the Special Committee on Budget and Accounts on November 10, the number of professors and medical residents in national university hospitals who received an official reprimand for sex offenses and assault amounted to 313.
Among them, 81.1 percent received mere admonitions or warnings, and only 13.1 percent were given light disciplinary action. Only 5.8 percent were found to have been levied serious disciplinary measures. Moreover, not a single perpetrator was dismissed, the highest level of disciplinary action possible.
A professor of a national university hospital who was found to have committed sexual harassment was only punished with a six-month suspension; the individual in question was not legally charged with a crime. Another professor was only given a stern warning after striking a female medical residency physician with a clenched fist.
At another national university hospital located in South Gyeongsang Province, the institution imposed a one-month suspension on a professor who had kicked a nurse in the middle of a surgical operation.
Bizarre cases of abuse were also unearthed in the government’s findings. At one dental hospital, a medical resident directed med school students on clinical training to administer local anesthesia on their cheeks and mocked them when they had done so. The medical resident got off with an official admonition from the hospital, even after the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission had completed an investigation into the case.
“Not only professors but also medical residents commit extortion, verbal abuse, assault, and sexual harassment against junior medical residents, nurses and patients,” said National Assemblyman Kim, who urged general hospitals all over the country to look into the matter.
Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)