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How to become a doctor in Japan

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Note that this thread has not been updated in a long time, and its content might not be up-to-date anymore.

How to become a doctor in Japan 2007/4/10 02:04
Philippines
I'm a doctor in the Philippines. What do I need to do in order to become a doctor in Japan?
by Aze  

Very difficult 2007/4/10 13:53
Recently a limited number of Filipinas have been accepted as nurses in Japan after a lot of extra study, but I'm afraid that it is virtually impossible for non-Japanese to become doctors here. I know of one or two foreigners in Tokyo who have their own clinics- one has been in Japan since the Second World War!

It is not really a realistic goal I'm afraid, and not worth wasting time on.

by Sira rate this post as useful

It is possible. 2007/4/10 22:01
What do you mean by non-Japanese?
It is possible to become a doctor for a foreigner in Japan as far as he or she has a Japanese doctor license. Sometime, even they donft need to have Japanese doctor license with some conditions. I know a lot of Chinese, Korean and American doctors who have a Japanese doctor license. Most of them are grown up in Japan or lived here long years. Some Japanese medical students prefer to get their doctor license in EEA, and switch it to the Japanese doctor license because the school fee is less expensive.

by Blue cat rate this post as useful

Interchange System 2007/4/10 22:02
***Interchange System for Japanese Doctor License ***

Britain: A limited number of Japanese doctors are allowed to see Japanese patients living in Britain, and a limited number of British doctors are allowed to see British patients living in Japan.
France: Up to four Japanese doctors are allowed in France, and up to two French doctors are allowed in Japan.
*British and French doctors do not need to have a Japanese doctor license, so as Japanese doctors do not need to have British or French doctor license.

Singapore: Up to fifteen Japanese doctors with Japanese doctor license are allowed to see anybody without any condition in Singapore, but up to five Singaporean doctors with Singaporefs doctor license are allowed to see foreign patients living in Japan only after passing Japanese doctor license test in English version.
USA: Invalid

There is no doctor interchange system between Japan and Philippines at the moment.
I f you have the license in USA or EEA, it may be more easy to switched with some extra test.

by Blue cat rate this post as useful

Give away 2007/4/10 22:29
After the Second World War, for a certain period, Japanese Government gave away every kinds of Japanese licenses (such as doctor license or layer license) to a foreigner living in Japan without any test by the GHQf order. Most of their customers are foreigners. I think it is good that a foreign traveler can see the doctors from their own country for emergency sickness, but their reputation is not so good as the medical treatment is old style and the consultant fee is expensive.
by Blue cat rate this post as useful

Thank you 2007/4/11 00:52
Thank you very much for the info. More power to you and to this website!
by Aze rate this post as useful

. 2007/4/11 08:53
Blue cat,

What do you mean by USA invalid, then you wrote "If you have the license in USA or EEA, it may be more easy to switched with some extra test??"

And what is EEA?

I'm a MD in the US and playing about the idea of moving to Japan.

Thanks.

by yoshi rate this post as useful

My explanation was not enough. 2007/4/12 04:14
Well, my explanation was not enough.
The interchange system for Japanese doctor license is special permission for a foreign doctor to work as a doctor in Japan without the Japanese doctor license. Japan gives the permission to overseas doctors instead of receiving the permission to work as a doctor for Japanese doctor in the overseas country without the overseas doctor license.
Japan made this agreement with US in 1971. There were already enough American (English speaking) doctors with the Japanese doctor license and more Japanese doctors prefer to obtain the American doctor license rather than the special permission, so this agreement was not useful and became invalid. (The special permission has a lot of restriction.)

If you obtain the Japanese doctor license or can transfer your country doctor license to the Japanese one with some extra test, you can work as a doctor in Japan, but you need a permanent visa to open a clinic and Japanese nationality to become a civil servant. Management doctors of the public hospitals are the civil servants in Japan.

by Blue cat rate this post as useful

EEA stands for European Economic Area. 2007/4/12 04:17
EEA stands for European Economic Area.
This is the URL for Japanese medical student who would like to study medical in Hungary and transfer to the Japanese medical license.
http://www.jasac.com/med/guide/license.html

This is the URL for the guideline to apply the Japanese medical license for overseas doctors.
http://www.mhlw.go.jp/topics/2005/10/tp1005-1.html

I do not mean if you have the overseas doctor license, you can easily transfer it to the Japanese one. At least you need to have an extra test and training. You may pass it, or you may fall it. It may be rather difficult, but not impossible. If you find any Japanese medical students in your college, maybe you can ask them if they are thinking about transfer.

by Blue cat rate this post as useful

?????? 2008/1/12 16:06
Okay what if your in the USA do beginning college in America then switch to Japan for medical school how hard would it be from then on to become a doctor in Japan? if my uncle is right Tokyo hospitals want MORE foreign doctors
by Riku rate this post as useful

MHLW documents 2008/4/12 18:10
I posted this somewhere else once...I think this is a pretty thorough answer but I'm sure it's missing some details.
--------------------------------
For those of you who are fluent enough in Kanji here is the official Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare procedure in Japanese:

http://www.mhlw.go.jp/topics/2005/10/tp1005-1.html

In order to pass the Japanese National Examination for Medical Practitioners I would imagine one would also have the ability to pass the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) with a level 1 ranking (the highest). For those who have no prior knowledge of Japanese I have been told that it takes approximately five years of earnest study (preferably while living in Japan) to reach that level. I have heard of people (Dutch mostly) who have been able to pass the JLPT level 1 after only 2 years of studying, but the Dutch have superhuman language skills compared to monolingual English speakers. For instance, check this doctor out:

http://www.internationalclinic.org/dr_schlemper.html

There are also the procedural quirks of being a physician in Japan especially if you are not licensed in Japan. Please refer to this website for a few of these quirks:

http://www.japanpsychiatrist.com/Details.html

I thought I would field some of the information here. For those of you who are fluent enough in Kanji here is the official Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare procedure in Japanese:

http://www.mhlw.go.jp/topics/2005/10/tp1005-1.html

In order to pass the Japanese National Examination for Medical Practitioners I would imagine one would also have the ability to pass the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) with a level 1 ranking (the highest). For those who have no prior knowledge of Japanese I have been told that it takes approximately five years of earnest study (preferably while living in Japan) to reach that level. I have heard of people (Dutch mostly) who have been able to pass the JLPT level 1 after only 2 years of studying, but the Dutch have superhuman language skills compared to monolingual English speakers. For instance, check this doctor out:

http://www.internationalclinic.org/dr_schlemper.html

There are also the procedural quirks of being a physician in Japan especially if you are not licensed in Japan. Please refer to this website for a few of these quirks:

http://www.japanpsychiatrist.com/Details.htmllong....

For those of you who are DOs or prospective DOs hoping to practice abroad here is an international licensure summary from American Osteopathy Association:

http://www.westernu.net/bin/comp/ime...uly%202006.pdf

You can search by country using the panel on th left. You'll notice that Japan's MHLW has not issued a response to the AOA.

I hope that was helpful to some of you. Sorry it was so long....

by K B rate this post as useful

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