What I learned in Thomas Jefferson University
17th August to 21st August 2015
It was just a week. However a week in Thomas Jefferson University (TJU) gave me so exciting and irreplaceable experience. I learned a lot but now I want to talk about two things: the highly evidence-based medicine and the developed medical education. Now I’m starting with the highly evidence-based medicine.
In talking with many doctors in TJU hospital, I often find the tendency of doctors to think so clearly and logically. They seem to think more carefully about the medical evidence than Japanese doctors. For example, in our country when I ask why they choose the drug, some doctors say “Just because we have been conventionally using.” However in TJU hospital, they choose what to use thinking carefully whether there is evidence or not. Another example is that, in Japan doing biopsy for melanoma has been contraindication for so long, but I heard in the US it is very common because there is no evidence that biopsy for melanoma causes the spread. Like these examples, doctors in the US practice more evidence-based medicine and are less bound with convention.
Second I want to talk about the developed medical education. There are two things to talk about: the system and the environment. Talking about the system, in TJU the junior medical students have a lot of chances to see patients and think carefully about the diseases patients have. Of course as they are still not good at doing such things, the senior medical students spend so much time to teach junior students. I think this situation is very good for both of the students. Junior students can learn a lot from patients and senior students. Also senior student can learn so much in teaching junior students. Talking about the environment, there is unbelievably huge clinical skills center and in the library there are so many devices to study medicine. The clinical skills center is huge. It’s a very big building and in the building there are so many rooms: operation room, endoscopy room consultation room and so on. In each rooms students and residents can use the simulation devices whenever they want. By using the rooms and devices, they can be better at “team medical care”. The reason American medical education is so advanced may be that shortage of doctors is so serious that how to raise good doctors rapidly is urgent issue. The situation in our country is almost the same and it must be very important to develop the education system and environment.
The week in the American medical university was too short to see medicine in the US and train my medical skill. Now I’ m planning to go back to the US to study more. Lastly, thank you very much for giving me such a wonderful chance to study in the US this time. I really appreciate all the kindness.