Report: JMSA Presents Online International Salon!

With generous support from various faculty physicians and student leaders in Japan, we are able to recruit roughly 60 medical students and physicians as participants on the day of the event!

The following is the event content:

10:00am-10:15am: Welcome by JMSA会長 & Introduction (English)

Followed by greeting & welcome by Dr. Yanagisawa, the president of JMSA, the PowerPoint slide presentation about the days in the life of medical students is delivered.


10:15am-10:50am: Self-Reflection of Student Doctors(English)

Why we learn medicine? Why we choose to become a physician over mid-level healthcare providers? Answering to such questions is important as medical students as raw experiences of making students to pursue medicine are vital for resilience.

10:50am-11:25am: Medical English via CBL (English)

Case Base Learning is one of the popular learning formats introduced in medical schools in Japan and the United States. Here, we tackled the CBL case of delivering bad news to a patient working with pre-recruited 9 samurai medical students from Japan! No medical knowledge is needed to solve this case!



11:25am-12:00pm: Q&A Session

There are two parts: Q&A for students and Q&A for Japanese physicians who came to the US as international medical graduates.

12:00pm: Closing Event

12:01pm〜: Post-Event Talk

The following is comments from mighty CBL participants:

Yuka Kaizu, MD Candidate & Class of 2023 at Tokyo Women’s Medical University

“Thank you very much for allowing me to participate in JMSA Online International Salon and CBL this time and for giving me a valuable experience. I don’t usually have many opportunities to speak English or interact with medical students of various schools. This opportunity allowed me to improve my ability to discuss in English and learn various inspiring ideas. I would like to keep in touch with other participants in the future.”

Mika Fujiwara, MD Candidate & Class of 2023 at Tokyo Women’s Medical University

“I don’t have many opportunities to speak English, so I wanted to gain more chances to communicate through this event. I was able to practice several times in advance, so I could discuss without getting nervous. The topics were based on actual clinical practice, and they were useful when I became a doctor in the future. It was also interesting to understand the difference in the medical education system between Japan and America.”

Yukari Aruga, MD Candidate & Class of 2023 at Tokyo Medical and Dental University

“Thank you for this great event! This event including practice sessions was a good opportunity to motivate me to study medicine in foreign countries. I was very surprised at the difference of how to study medicine between USA and Japan, such as medical students in America always participate in the actual medical care. In Japan, I always “watch” what doctors do, so I sometimes feel like a guest, not a medical student. However, Japanese students have more time to use for other than their study, such as volunteer, part-time job, club activities, and so on. I believe those various experience will help me to deal with people with various background. Therefore, I cannot say which way is better. However, the biggest thing I learned in this event was taking action by myself, no matter which I choose. Getting to know that the CBL participants and JMSA members take action of their own accord, I was ashamed that I often hesitate to take action, which is said to be the negative aspects of many Japanese people. Because this event gave me an opportunity to think about what I have to do to realize my dream, I promise to take action such as getting more information and advice from role models to make my long-time plan. Again, I really appreciate Yusuke Nakagawa and everyone who participated in this event.” 

Takehiro Mochizuki, MD Candidate & Class of 2023 at Tokyo Medical and Dental University

“Participating in the CBL session at the JMSA winter student event was a great opportunity for me to get to know fellow medical students in Japan (CBL participants) who have similar interests in English as well as medical students in the United States (JMSA representatives). Although I do participate in English related programs at my own university, there are not many chances to meet students from other universities and together engage in English activities. The event and the preparation leading up to it has really opened up my mind and vision in thinking about my own career, the diverse stories and interests of fellow CBL participants and JMSA reps being the stimulant. I had been experiencing a motivational crisis lately with many plans being cancelled due to COVID-19, but this experience has boosted my mindset and motivation, and furthermore has given me a strong impulse to work as a physician both in and outside Japan in the future. I am excited about what the connections established through this event will bring about in the future, and I am hoping to meet everyone face-to-face once the COVID-19 pandemic is over. I would like to send my deepest gratitude to Yusuke, the JMSA reps, and all others involved for organizing such a great event, it has definitely been a turning point in my life as a medical student.”

Sakiko Takahashi, MD Candidate & Class of 2024 at Tohoku University SOM

“Case Based Learning is a new upcoming trend in Japanese educational system and I was honestly impressed that how well students in US organized in this online CBL session. I could clearly see lots of differences between Japanese and American medial educations here and they made me recognize how and what kind of skills I would need to learn to become a doctor in US, which is one of my biggest aims now. I certainly love this mixed community and would like to keep in touch with all of them to realize our dream come true. This was absolutely amazing meeting! Last but not least, I would like to show my gratitude to the amazing organizer Mr. Nakagawa. Thank you very much.”

Chihiro Kawano, MD Candidate & Class of 2023 at Tohoku University SOM

“First of all, I’d like to thank all of you involved in this JMSA event. Although I’ve been interested in studying/working abroad in my future, there weren’t many opportunities that help me keep my motivation for that especially under the situation where you can’t easily go to foreign countries. By joining this event as one of the CBL participant, I could meet some other Japanese med students who are interested in working worldwide and also US med students. It helps me crystallize my thought about what it is like to work in the US, and gives me ambition to study harder for that. To be honest, it wasn’t my favorite thing to tell my opinions aloud even when I have clear thoughts about something mostly because I have ADHD and sometimes it’s really hard for me to control my temper especially when my opinions are denied by others. But in this event, everyone welcomed me with understanding and warm support, so I felt comfortable talking about what I thought. It also made it easier to state my opinions that no one said something negative about other people’s opinions. I hope I can keep in touch with people I was able to meet through this wonderful opportunity. Thank you.”

Taiga Komatsu, MD Candidate & Class of 2023 at Hokkaido University SOM

“I am so honored to have joined such an excellent event. I was able to learn a lot from Japanese medical students learning in the US. In particular, I got the clear image of how they are studying medicine and how the medical field works in the US. Once again, thank you so much for giving me a wonderful experience.”

Yusuke Kenma, MD Candidate & Class of 2023 at Yokohama City University SOM

“Thank you for allowing me to participate in this wonderful event. It was a really valuable opportunity for me to talk with doctors who work in the US, especially under the corona virus situation. At this event, doctors and medical students in the U.S. from various backgrounds talked to us. I was surprised at the difference between American and Japanese medicine. In addition, I learned a lot of things from them, including what we should do to work abroad while we are still students and when to come to the US as a doctor. Through the CBL case, I experienced American style of discussion and found a lot of difference between Japan and the U.S. Also, there were many things I can learn from them, such as their proactive attitude in discussion. Through this event, I became more motivated to work abroad in the future.”

Shunya Hishinuma, MD Candidate & Class of 2023 at Yokohama City University SOM

“I am very proud to have been involved in this event as a participant of the CBL program, which was a precious moment, discussing patient-physician interaction with Japanese med students in the States and Japan. In the CBL session, including the pre-sessions, I had been stimulated by the thoughts of the other members, which pushed me harder in a good way and made me look at myself objectively. The case on the day of the event reminded me of why we pursue medicine. We should not forget the importance of building a relationship with the patients, because if they don’t believe that we have their best interest at heart, they won’t come back and follow our plan, advice, and treatment which we study so hard to give them. On top of that, it was impressive to touch on how the difference in autonomy affects medicine and society, giving me a new point of view. While I am studying hard every day to immerse myself in the systematic educational system in the States as early as possible, I saw the footsteps of the students there, which fueled me to never give up and overcome the obstacles in my path, no matter what. I appreciate this experience. Thank you.”

The following is comments about the event from general participants:

“Hearing stories from US med students was a great opportunity.”

“It was a very valuable and interesting opportunity. Thank you very much.”

“Q&A session was very fun! I enjoyed CBL case because participants had various thoughts.”

“This was totally amazing and unforgettable. Thank you very much for organizing.”



The event was big hit thanks to all participants as well as special guest physicians (Drs. Asai, Shimada, and Minami)!

As the lead organizer of the event, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all! Thank you! ありがとうございました!

See you guys at next event!

Yusuke Nakagawa, the lead organizer of Online International Salon