Practice report in Thomas Jefferson University in 2013
Through this international student exchange program, I found and saw many differences between medicine in the United States and that in Japan.
In internal medicine, I was surprised that physicians had conferences and rounds every day. I think that it is very good and essential because everyone in medical teams can grasp patients’ conditions correctly. In these conferences, medical students had nice presentations about patients to physicians. In Japan, medical students can’t have such nice presentations because they are shy at speaking in front of doctors. In addition, medical students in Japan don’t have so many opportunities to present cases. We are just observing medical practices in my university hospital. However, in Thomas Jefferson University (TJU), medical students are members of medical teams. In this aspect, I realize that medical education system in the US is more clinical than that in Japan. I think that experience in taking part in medical teams while they are medical students is important as future doctors.
In outpatient family medicine and pediatrics, I saw that medical students were confident and smooth to examine patients. In JeffHOPE, I found that medical students were eager to study and teach how to examine patients each other. I was very surprised by their attitudes because we can’t do that like them. I guess this is partly because there is a great large¬-scale clinical skills and simulation center in TJU and they can use a fake apartment room, operation room and simulators to improve their clinical skills. As my university also has a skills simulation center, we should use this facility more to improve our clinical skills to see real patients with confidence.
In the afternoon on from Tuesday to Thursday, we had lectures from Dr. Majdan in the clinical skills and simulation center. He taught us how to see patients, how to listen to heart sounds and how to read EKGs. His lectures were easy to understand and beneficial. In the end of lectures, he said to us, “As a doctor, you will see ‘human beings’. Don’t forget compassion and humanity.” I was very impressed by his opinion and felt keenly that clinicians should always comfort patients.
My experience in this program stimulated me to study medicine more and more and broadened my horizon. I was really pleased with this program. If possible, I wanted to stay longer to study in TJU. Though this stay was short, the days I spent in TJU to see medical practices in the United States were very meaningful for my future career.
Finally, I really appreciate all people who I met in this program. I especially would like to express my gratitude to Dr. Gonella, Dr. Majdan, Dr. Sato, Dr. Ishimura and Ms. Radi.