Cancer prevalence among physicians in Korea: A single center study

Hye Lin Kim, Hae Jin Park, Yun Hye Sim, Eun Young Choi, Kyung Won Shim, Sang Wha Lee, Hong Soo Lee, Hyejin Chun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: There is little research regarding whether working as a physician affects cancer risk. Moreover, there is no research on cancer prevalence among physicians in Korea. This study utilized the Korea National Cancer Incidence Database to determine whether the prevalence of cancer among physicians differs from the prevalence of cancer within the general population. Methods: We analyzed the medical records of a representative sample of 382 doctors who underwent a health examination between 2010 and 2013 at a health examination center in a Ewha Womans University Medical Center. Cancer incidence was measured as cases that were eventually diagnosed as cancer according to a biopsy. Results: We collected medical records from 382 physicians (mean age, 51.9±8.1 years) and calculated the standardized prevalence ratios compared to the general population. Thirty physicians (9 male and 21 female) were identified as having cancer. Physicians had a significantly higher prevalence of cancer compared to the general population. Cancer prevalence in male physicians was found to be 2.47 times higher than the prevalence expected within the general population (P=0.006). Among female physicians, cancer prevalence was 3.94 times higher than that in the general population (P < 0.001). Conclusion: This study revealed that physicians had a higher prevalence of cancer compared to the general population in Korea, which suggests that there may be a problem present in the health care of physicians. Changes to the working environment of physicians will be needed to reduce the high prevalence of cancer among physicians.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-96
Number of pages6
JournalKorean Journal of Family Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Korean Academy of Family Medicine.


  • Cancer
  • Korea
  • Physicians
  • Prevalence


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