Report of practice in Thomas Jefferson University in 2012
The days I spent in Thomas Jefferson University (TJU) were very precious and impressive in my life. During the days I could see what the U.S. medicine is like. I also realize differences between the U.S. and Japan in medical field. Through this experience I will make my way. I would like to write down what I was impressed below.
First, I was surprised that in internal medicine they go the rounds of their patients every day even on weekend. This round system is quite different from Japan. In TJU, They compose some teams. The round was composed of an attending doctor, a senior resident, some junior residents, and some medical students according to their team. They went to see all the patients who they were in charge of. On the round, younger doctors, or junior residents or medical students, were supposed to make presentations of their patients, which were focused on problems patients currently had. If patients were new, they interviewed them in detail beforehand and summarize ｔｈｅｉｒ history. Through these processes, they could discuss patients’ statuses comprehensively and make their presentation ability improved. I thought one of the differences between Japan and the U.S. is skill to present and the round is the one how to train it.
Second, seniors were ready to teach to juniors if they have time. I saw that a 4th student taught to 3rd students about how to read EKG. They seemed to think teaching was learning, that is what comes around goes around. This sort of thinking is also adopted in Japan, which is said Yanegawara-houshiki. However in Japan senior residents or someone like them have little time to teach, so actually it seems difficult to practice. On the other hand, TJU students seemed to naturally have such a mind. I heard from an attending doctor that educating junior doctors was one of the duties of senior doctors. Therefore doctors in TJU can work hard together with their daily works. I thought this mind can be easily accepted in the daily school life.
Practice in TJU was great, but I am regret that I could not follow whole works of TJU doctors. In concrete terms I could not see what was performed in internal medicine, family medicine, and pediatrics in the afternoon. I am interested in pediatrics, so it was a little regrettable. I hope programs in the next year can be selectable in consideration of interest of each exchanging student if possible.
On the whole this practice was worthwhile and so I am willing to recommend to my juniors. Only one week was so short that I wanted to stay longer to study in TJU. If any chance I would like to go studying abroad again. Lastly I really appreciate all the kindness of people I concerned.