Why not pursue a global career path?
The International Exchange Program Committee
On the first day of ACP Japan Chapter annual meeting 2018 in Kyoto, the International Exchange Program Committee (IEPC) held a panel discussion-style luncheon seminar entitled “Why not pursue a global career path?” Although it was a nice and sunny Saturday noon, ideal weather for outing with friends or families, the venue was packed and filled with the energies of the audience. Most of them were seemingly clinical residents or medical students, but some senior clinicians were also attended. After introducing themselves and their career path briefly, five speakers told their story on why they recommend a global career path.
First speaker was Dr. Yamada, who is currently serving for his clinical residency in New York. He explains the difference in educational system for clinical residents between Japan and the United States. Dr. Yamada also mentioned how exciting it is to work with people with various backgrounds in the world’s most vibrant city, also known as a melting pot of races.
The second speaker was Dr. Mamiko Ohara from Kameda Medical Hospital. As reflecting back the days she was struggling to survive as a researcher from Japan among many talented scientists at a top-ranked research institution in the United States, she introduced the “Planned happened theory” by John D. Krumbolts. According to the theory, there are five things to keep in mind to make your dream come true; those are curiosity, persistency, flexibility, optimism, and risk taking. Dr. Ohara closed her remarks by quoting the following phrase, “You can accomplish more than eighty percent of what you cannot achieve with your earnest effort.” Next speaker was Dr. Mitsuyo Kinjo from Okinawa chubu Hospital. As a mother of three children, she told her experience on pregnancy, childbirth, and raising children while working as a clinical fellow at a hospital in New York. In addition, she stated that earning a master degree of public health during her stay in New York was a significant event not just because it was awesome to study at an academic graduate school abroad with people from many countries, but because the network she created at the school has been affecting her career since then. Dr. Yuko Takeda, from Juntendo University, took over the talk. Dr. Takeda, who spent about a half of her career abroad, focused her story on adult learning. She emphasized that studying abroad is not a privilege limited to young people because adult people can learn effectively about problems they face and they have experience that would be precious resource for them. Dr. Takeda also suggested that studying abroad with a child/children would definitely add more value than staying alone, in that you can encounter unique experience in parenting in foreign countries. The last speaker was Dr. Tsutsumi from Takatsuki Hospital. He provided detailed information on how to succeed in matching clinical residency programs in the United States based on his experience as a mentor for four Japanese young physicians, all of them are currently working as a clinical resident or a fellow in the United States. “All too often, they rush to apply to the programs as soon as they are eligible to apply and ended up failing. They have no clear strategy to success. I’ve been seeing so many cases like that.” He ended his speech by stating that getting into the United States residency program is still possible, and that potential applicants need to have a well-crafted strategy as well as passion.
In the discussion, one attendee asked panelists about their way to improve English speaking ability. Some panelists introduced their tips, and they all agreed that there is no end to learning English and that we do not need to pay too much attention to speak “correct” English. There was also a discussion on the scope of “global career path”. Dr. Takeda indicated, “Some people from foreign countries who are now living in Japan are in desperate need of medical care. Providing medical care to them or doing what we can do for them is another way to pursue a global career path.
At the end of the session, Dr. Kiyoshi Kurokawa, the founding Governor of ACP Japan Chapter, gave us a message that it is vitally important for all of us to see and feel the world outside Japan whenever we can, in order to lead a fulfilling career path in this ever changing world.
We hope that this seminar has provided each participant some insight into a globally oriented career path and would help them pursue it.
Acknowledgement: We really appreciate Dr. Yuko Takeda for her participation as a panelist and also for her thoughtful talk. We are also grateful to Dr. Kiyoshi Kurokawa and Dr. Shotai Kobayashi, the former Governor, for their attendance and their fabulous comments.