In 2022, the JMSA Student Representatives began the JMSA Mentorship Program with the goal of connecting Japanese and Japanese-American premedical students, medical students and residents with physicians and health care professionals of similar cultural backgrounds. The program supports students and residents in the US and Japan who hope to build their medical career in the United States.
Thus far, we have connected with premedical, PA, and medical students across the US and Japan who are interested in the mentorship program. Members of the JMSA community have also stepped up to become mentors for these students. We have successfully made 29 pairings between mentors and students, according to shared professional and personal interests. For those interested, we have also paired premedical and medical students for a multilevel mentorship opportunity.
Mentors have a minimum requirement of meeting with students once virtually. However, many often meet more frequently and stay in contact. Kanako Fukuda, a 5th year medical student at Yamaguchi University with an interest in Emergency Medicine and Critical Care was matched with Dr. Akira Nishisaki, an attending physician in the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Vice President of JMSA. “I applied for the mentorship program with the aim of working as a doctor in the United States” says Fukuda. Since her initial meeting with Dr. Nishisaki, she continues to meet and update him every three months. She also said, “[Dr. Nishisaki] offered me professional guidance and detailed information about medical care differences between Japan and the United States, which helped me clarify my vision. I’m hoping to somehow get closer to the career I want by actively engaging in this mentorship program.”
This project exemplifies a strong foundation of our mission to foster a close-knit community among our JMSA members and increase collaboration at multiple levels of medical education and training. Through this process, we are also able to recruit more students and provide opportunities for our members to take on leadership roles and give back to this community.
2023 will bring new opportunities to grow this mentorship program. If interested in becoming a mentee or mentor, please fill out the following forms. We will start matching students starting in February. Please keep a look out on our website and Instagram to get updates!