President of the American College of Physicians
Robert McLean, MD, FACP
I was honored to have the opportunity to participate in the ACP Japan chapter meeting in early June. Chapter governor Dr. Kenji Maeda and the rest of his chapter leaders were wonderful hosts. It was very interesting to hear firsthand from many chapter members about the Japan healthcare system and especially the medical education and training system. I enjoyed the opportunity to speak on the topic and discuss how the current changes in the Japanese training and board certification processes will be very helpful to ensure that internal medicine specialists who choose to enter general primary care practice will have adequate training to deliver high-quality care to patients.
I also had the opportunity to give a brief update on activities of the American College of Physicians and review how Global Engagement and the role of international chapters continues to grow. The Japan Chapter was ACP’s first international chapter and remains a role model for how to grow and develop. I also gave a talk on the ACP’s guideline development process, using the Gout Clinical Practice Guidelines as an example. I explained how different guideline processes between various organizations lead to slightly different conclusions and recommendations. Some in the media tends to report these as controversies, when in reality they merely reflect different processes and the lack of definitive evidence to answer many of the clinical questions we face on a daily basis.
I greatly enjoyed the opportunity to tour the beautiful historic city of Kyoto and learn much about Japanese history and culture there. Following several days in Kyoto, I had the opportunity to travel to Tokyo and similarly tour and learn a great deal while spending several days there before returning home to Connecticut. After such a wonderful experience, I clearly intend to return to Japan! I thank all the Chapter members with whom I had the chance to interact.