International Exchange Program in Thomas Jefferson University 2012
In this International Exchange Program in Thomas Jefferson University, I was impressed by the medical education in the United States. I was surprised at next three points - the medical education system in the United States, doctors and patients who makes importance in medical education. Medical education system in the United States is more clinical based than the medical education system in Japan. In the USA, students start learning with standardized patients or real patients from they are in freshmen, while we deal with patients first in 5th grade. It makes possible for students to think what is needed for them, and great teachers, great library and great University Clinical Skills and Simulation Center help them to deal with the problem. In Japan, On the other hand, we study same things without understanding the importance of it.
Every doctor had mind to teach students. For example, Dr. Joseph F. Majdan who is director of professional development assistant professor of medicine, said teaching his students is his mission of his life. He gave his telephone number to his students and tell them to call him any time they want him and to visit him without appointment. Dr. Rajan Singla who is internal medicine resident was also great doctor. His presentation of a patient in internal medicine inpatient rounds was wonderful that I could not see such a presentation in Japan. But also, what makes me admired is his training to students. He trains students to think every time by asking them frequently how they think or what they want to do next. In Japan, way of thinking is not so well trained as in the USA.
Every patient also had mind to teach students. No one refused my join to their consultation in this international exchange program. I could see check-up of a patient with inguinal hernia, hear the story of a patient with STD, and join a gynecological examination all of which is hard for students to experience in Japan. Most of patients in the United States think that students have right and duty to joint to their consultation. In Japan, On the other hand, most patients are very shy and cannot think about education as patients in the United States.
Education is base of the society. In this international exchange program, I could feel that every man and woman in the USA truly understand this idea, and I thought that we Japanese have to rethink about education.
In this international exchange program, I am very satisfied with the content for the most part. However my suggestion to this program is that surgical clerkship should be included. I want to see the difference of management and operation of the patients by between the surgeons in the United States and Japan.
I appreciate the dedication of all the physicians, medical students, other staff members and patients who are involved in this international exchange program in Thomas Jefferson University. I especially thank for Dr. Gonnella, Dr. Sato and Dr. Ishimura, who are the main coordinators of this international exchange program.