J Korean Med Assoc.  2019 Oct;62(10):506-511. 10.5124/jkma.2019.62.10.506.

Efforts to prepare inter-Korea medical consolidation: compilation of a medical dictionary for all of Korea

  • 1Department of Cardiology, Korea University Anam Hospital, Seoul, Korea. yhkmd@korea.ac.kr


It is known that there are wide disparities in the medical terms and language that medical professionals currently use in South and North Korea. How much chaos can be expected when people will be able to come and go freely unless there is an effort to lessen these gaps? To minimize medical mess in advance and to provide a better environment to strengthen collaborative exchanges between South and North Korea, which should be independent of political beliefs and dynamics, as part of the efforts for inter-Korea medical consolidation, I would like to underscore the need to compile an integrative medical dictionary. For the compilation of such a dictionary, the following process and preparations are suggested. First, there should be a database of medical terminology from North Korea through a search of various types of literature in North Korea, including dictionaries, journals, and textbooks. Second, entry words for an integrative dictionary based on English terms should be included. Third, specialists in medical terminology from the northern side should participate in the editing process and hold discussions with their southern counterparts. Fourth, after the full discussion and consensus has taken place, print and web versions of the dictionary can be published. Furthermore, a dissemination plan should be established to be used widely with both sides. The above strategy should also be supported by not only the medical society in South Korea but also the Korean government.


North Korea; Medicine; Medical dictionaries; Language

MeSH Terms

Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Dictionaries, Medical*
Societies, Medical
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