Introduction to a Global Career in Medicine: Reflections from a Keio University 5th-year Medical Student

I am Kazuki Wakiyama, a fifth-year medical student at Keio University School of Medicine. I finished my one-month rotation as a visiting student in cardiology at Harlem Hospital Center, one of the hospitals affiliated with Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.

I have been studying English and for the USMLE for over a couple of years. Although I have always wanted to study abroad, I got anxious when the time had come. I noticed I did not have any connections with people in the U.S. because it was essentially my first trip to there. Under this circumstance, JMSA provided me with reassuring opportunities to talk with Dr. Yuichi Shimada, one of the board members of JMSA, and Mr. Yoshio Kano, executive secretary of JMSA, and a lot of Japanese doctors working in the U.S. At this time, I am honored to write about my experience.

Before my rotation, Dr. Shimada held an orientation for me and the other 3 medical students from Keio University. At first, he showed me around the hospital. It was great to see the environment where my clinical clerkship was about to take place. After that, he took me to an American restaurant and talked about his daily life as an attending doctor and researcher. He also taught me how to thrive and make a good expression during my rotation. It was helpful because I learned the tips directly from the doctor working in the U.S. Through the orientation, I could get the blueprint for my clinical clerkship.

During my cardiology rotation, Dr. Shimada contacted JMSA and Mr. Kano. He held a dinner party and invited many Japanese doctors for us. At that party, I asked them so many questions that arose during my rotation, such as what attending doctors wanted to know in my oral presentation and whether my attitudes were appropriate. They also talked to me about their careers, passions, and the essentials that would help me work in the U.S. in the future. I got so motivated by their enthusiasm. I talked with Mr. Kano about my feelings through my clinical clerkship and my interest in working in the U.S. Finally, he said to me “We can help you as much as we can. You are more than welcome to come back to the U.S.”

Without such devoted support from JMSA, I could not make this experience so meaningful. End of my rotation, I successfully received letters of recommendation from my attending doctors. I appreciate JMSA’s and Dr. Shimada’s support from the bottom of my heart.

Kazuki Wakiyama
Keio University School of Medicine