Thomas Jefferson University International Exchange Report
The experience I gained in the United States was very valuable and must have changed my future. I will report some differences I found in Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.
1. They are practical - As everyone can write properly, charts have common form to write history, vital signs, clinical symptoms, laboratory data, treatment, physician’s comment, and so on; it is easy to read not only to write. Besides, they work as a small team made up of one leader, a few physicians, residents, nurses, other medical stuffs, and students. All members keep their concentration because all of them have their own task. In Japan, We often waste our effort and time with a too big team.
2. They spend much more time to talk with patients - They listen to patients enough and never forget to say “any other question?” at last. In SOAP notes, it seems that they put much emphasis on Subjective than Objective. Though one physician told me that doctors I saw are biased, I must respect and model them.
3. The students study much harder than Japanese students – It was most shocking for me. No one in the classroom dozes off during a lecture in contrast to the classroom in Japan. All by himself, 3rd grade student makes a presentation everyday as a member of the team; how many same grade medical students are able to do in Japan? They have much more knowledge, experiences and enthusiasms as I wonder why Japanese students could become qualified doctors. Many Japanese students feel quite at ease after we entered a medical college. We must remember that knowledge and skills are not what be given. We must gain them on our own.
Though these five days were short time for me, they were more valuable than the days studying just for an examination. I strongly recommend my juniors at the university to start to practice English and to apply for this program next year. Finally, I really appreciate all physicians, coordinators, students, patients, other stuff members and my companies who are involved in this international exchange program in Thomas Jefferson University.