The purpose of this article is to spell out the changing landscape of Korea’s professional interest group politics through an investigation into the factors that brought about a reduction in the monopolistic power of organized medicine in Korean health politics. To this end, the article first debates two theories concerning organized interests and their relationship with the government—pluralism and corporatism—and then summarizes changes in the Korean healthcare subsystem. The forces that made possible the role of the Korean Medical Association (KMA) as the sole representative of medical interests are also detailed. The main part of this article strives to use diverse angles to illuminate the principal factors that brought about the decline of the KMA’s monopolistic power: the environmental context, the changing relationship between the government and the KMA, health policy changes, and the KMA’s internal affairs.
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