Thomas Jefferson University Study Report
20th August to 24th August 2018
To begin with, I would like to express my appreciation to doctors, students and all staffs who gave me such a great opportunity to observe medical care and medical education in the United States. Although there are many things I was impressed with during this program, let me tell some of them.
One of them is the medical education in the United States. In Thomas Jefferson University, students start to learn basic clinical skills like measuring blood pressure when they are in just a 1st year. Then in both a 1st and 2nd year, they should take Objective Structured Clinical Examination and teachers record videos for feedback. Dr. Majdan, associated professor of medicine, said that it was easier for students to notice their mistakes by showing videos than by giving some comments from teachers. Students can find their faults by themselves, so they study hard and practice repeatedly. I could see the result of their hard working in the college. I participated in Jeff Hope, which is the medical activity for people who don’t have medical insurance because of its high price, and visited the shelter for women and children. To my surprise, it was the students in a 2nd year who examined patients with confidence, and furthermore, they made diagnosis and even gave some medication. Of course their residents gave their students some advice, but fundamentally all activities were up to students. I thought this series of practice even in an early year makes students highly motivated and confident.
Another one which I was impressed is a careful examination by all doctors in the hospital. Most of all doctors take enough time (about 30minutes) for every patient even if they don’t have significant disease. What I was moved about medical examination is that they examine a patient as a “whole” person literally. Let me explain the case of a doctor of pediatrics. First, the doctor shook hands with a patient and started ice break. He never looked hard at monitor but made eye contact with his patient. After exchanging some words frankly, he started to ask some questions. There was a template in the electric clinical record. The list included home life, school life and even safety in bicycle. I thought he is not so much a doctor as a counselor. At last, he checked all physical condition completely according to a basic procedure without any skips. His way to examine a patient makes me reconsider what the doctor should be. Although considering the difference of the number of patients they have to see, it is a significant problem that doctors in Japan have difficulty in taking enough time to talk and examine their patients.
Through this program, I keenly realized my lack of English ability. However, at the same time, I thought all I can do is to continue speaking English without shame. If people who read this report now and want to go abroad are worried about your ability of English, don’t be afraid and go overseas before thinking. Studying abroad will broaden your horizons.
By the way, this program stimulates me to study medicine and English more hard. Definitely it was one of the most precious experiences in my life.
Thank you again for all people involved.