Medical Education in Japan

This month, ACP IMpact focuses on physicians and medical students practicing and studying internal medicine in Japan.

There are 80 medical schools in Japan, and training programs in these schools last for 6 years. In Japan, medical school begins right after graduation from high school. There is a period of general study for the first 2 years, followed by 4 years of medicine-related instruction.

Almost 100% of medical school graduates in Japan attend residency training. Two years of junior residency is required before further training can continue. Approximately one-third of medical school graduates in Japan pursue internal medicine and its subspecialties.

Many educators in Japan are renowned researchers in subspecialties. As a result, there is an abundance of specialists with procedural skills and knowledge in novel therapeutics. One of the issues facing medical education in Japan is that more generalists are needed, as the focus on specialization has led to a shortage of good clinical educators, particularly junior faculty. The paradigm shift to value based medicine will require more generalists with a broader focus in the near future.

Back to the April 2019 issue of ACP IMpact