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兵庫医科大学医学会

My clinical clerkship at Hyogo College of Medicine 2016

Peng Yangさん(第2学年次)

My experiences at Hyogo College of Medicine over the past three weeks have been in one word, unforgettable. Since the first day I arrived at Hyogo, I have been greeted with kindness, friendliness, and helpfulness from faculty, staff, and students. The very first night I stayed there, I was taken out to kaiten sushi by some students, including two whom I had first met just a month earlier as they were studying abroad at my school!
Of course, the medical experiences I had while shadowing at the Emergency and Critical Care Department was also unforgettable. Dr. Kotani, the department head, was a great host and guide, introducing us to the doctors and residents who worked there. Since my Japanese was only at a basic level, it was sometimes difficult to understand all the medical discussions. However, I was aided greatly by the many doctors there who spoke English, allowing me to comprehend and participate in these discussions. Because the patient population was entirely different, I was able to see a variety of conditions less common and more interesting than what I was used to in the US. Additionally, some of the treatments were also slightly different, reflecting a distinct set of standards in the Japanese healthcare system.
One of the reasons I chose to study medicine abroad in Japan was to compare the Japanese healthcare system with that of the US. The chance to compare the two allowed me to identify how each system affected the patients and the practitioners. The biggest difference I noted was that Japan mandates universal healthcare and offers a national health insurance plan. In comparison, the US does not have universal healthcare. While there were many differences due to this contrast, the biggest by far was the difference when discussing treatment. Whereas cost is almost always a factor in the US when considering treatment options, it is almost never a factor in Japan. Indeed, I became a firsthand witness to that system after being struck by severe food poisoning. In an ironic twist, I was temporarily hospitalized and treated by the very same doctors I was shadowing! However, I was neither asked for my insurance nor asked about how I was going to pay for treatment during my visit.
Outside of my medical experiences, I had a vast amount of chances to enjoy Japan as a tourist. Hyogo’s proximity to Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe offered me many chances to visit prominent and beautiful sites in Japan. I was able to see Japanese castles, tour various legendary temples and shrines, climb a mountain or two, and take a bath at an onsen! I was even lucky enough to try some world-famous Kobe beef!
But by far my most favorite part of studying abroad at Hyogo College of Medicine was the opportunity to meet so many new people. As a temporary resident, I was not only able to meet new people, but also able to see them again and again, allowing us to become more than just one-time acquaintances. The students at the College were extremely welcoming to me, and offered to bring me out to see Japan the way they saw it. They shared with me the experiences of real Japan, experiences that can only be found outside of the tourist guides. Whether it was singing at karaoke, taking photos at purikura, or visiting a local izakaya, my newfound friends made me feel like I was actually living in Japan, and not just visiting.
Because of all the wonderful memories I have made with the people at the Hyogo College of Medicine and all that I have learned through my medical externship, my time there will forever be one I will never forget. Although my time was relatively short, every day was filled with new and exciting experiences. And hopefully, I will have a chance to visit again.
I would like to thank all the doctors, staff, and students who helped me out and showed me a great time. I hope to meet you all again!

研修中の様子

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