Jul 28, 2016
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I am looking at creating an elective next year in Korea/Japan, however my Japanese is very limited (haven't done any since school), and my Korean non-existent. Is this likely to be a big problem, or are there places that also teach in English?
 
Apr 27, 2016
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At least for Japan, I think it would depend on which hospital/university you do your elective. I volunteered at a Japanese university hospital and while most doctors were able to understand and speak English to some extent, I would personally find it difficult/frustrating to be doing an elective with very limited Japanese command. You'd have to consider the fact that most patients, nurses, and hospital staff do not speak English, and bear in mind of the cultural differences as well. I know someone who did her elective in a well respected university, but hated her time there because she had to be on-site everyday at least 30 minutes before the professor arrived (note: not 30 minutes before the starting time, but 30 minutes before the professor arrived).

The info above is of course anecdotal, but IMHO I think it would be difficult to find a program that you'd enjoy without knowing the Japanese language or culture.
 
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Jul 28, 2016
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Yeh figured something along those lines, but thought would ask anyway. Thanks mate
 
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Phloston

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I am looking at creating an elective next year in Korea/Japan, however my Japanese is very limited (haven't done any since school), and my Korean non-existent. Is this likely to be a big problem, or are there places that also teach in English?
You're going to need Japanese under your belt before even considering doing a medical elective. Most universities want a JLPT1 certificate before they'll make a consideration. I've heard there are fewer places that will allow a JLPT2. And that's in an optimistic scenario where a hospital or clinic would even consider a がいこくじん, due to patient comfort, etc.

I've heard Korea is a lot worse btw. And that not knowing the language makes it virtually impossible to integrate.
 

bannie22

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My friend with zilch command of the Japanese language had a terrific time in Japan and even published in one of the journals during his away rotation. He found the people to be fantastic and very supportive and it definitely opened his eyes to how his specialty was practiced very differently there.
 

Phloston

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My friend with zilch command of the Japanese language had a terrific time in Japan and even published in one of the journals during his away rotation. He found the people to be fantastic and very supportive and it definitely opened his eyes to how his specialty was practiced very differently there.
So what you're saying is your friend found a pure-English-speaking elective here in Japan? What that probably was in reality was a vacation to Japan with an ostensible medical purpose. E.g., Many SoMs allow students to do electives anywhere in the world as long as an 'advisor' will sign off on it. I'll be completely frank that that is not having one's eyes opened to how a specialty is practiced here. Your friend must have also had zero patient contact. A research project is completely different from a clinical elective. I'm just putting that out there because people need to be realistic about what to expect coming here, not some fantasy of n=1.
 

bannie22

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So what you're saying is your friend found a pure-English-speaking elective here in Japan? What that probably was in reality was a vacation to Japan with an ostensible medical purpose. E.g., Many SoMs allow students to do electives anywhere in the world as long as an 'advisor' will sign off on it. I'll be completely frank that that is not having one's eyes opened to how a specialty is practiced here. Your friend must have also had zero patient contact. A research project is completely different from a clinical elective. I'm just putting that out there because people need to be realistic about what to expect coming here, not some fantasy of n=1.
No. Why do you assume it is a pure English speaking elective in Japan?
Lets hope others are not misled into believing that there is no patient contact during a clinical elective or that they would not be able to be academically productive in Japan.
 
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Phloston

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No. Why do you assume it is a pure English speaking elective in Japan?
Lets hope others are not misled into believing that there is no patient contact during a clinical elective or that they would not be able to be academically productive in Japan.
You're not making sense. So "My friend with zilch command of the Japanese language" = your friend knows some Japanese but isn't fluent? Or was your comment supposed to be intentionally vague.
 

DocWeeaboo

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You're going to need Japanese under your belt before even considering doing a medical elective. Most universities want a JLPT1 certificate before they'll make a consideration. I've heard there are fewer places that will allow a JLPT2. And that's in an optimistic scenario where a hospital or clinic would even consider a がいこくじん, due to patient comfort, etc.

I've heard Korea is a lot worse btw. And that not knowing the language makes it virtually impossible to integrate.
I see you are in Osaka, but do you know what you are talking about?
I am doing an elective in Japan this spring, and I have only passed JLPT N5 (awaiting JLPT N4 score).
I agree that you need to have native proficiency if you actually plan on practicing medicine in Japan, but to do an away rotation you do not.
OP, if you want info on places to apply, hit me up. You don't need to be good at Japanese, you just learn basic courtesies ("Hello, Thank You, I'm Sorry, etc.)
 

DocWeeaboo

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I am looking at creating an elective next year in Korea/Japan, however my Japanese is very limited (haven't done any since school), and my Korean non-existent. Is this likely to be a big problem, or are there places that also teach in English?
I hope you haven't given up on the Japan elective. I'm going to Toho University in 3 weeks. It required a chest x-ray and a dean's letter, but it was fairly simple to apply and I did it all in English. They provide housing too.
 

Phloston

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I see you are in Osaka, but do you know what you are talking about?
I am doing an elective in Japan this spring, and I have only passed JLPT N5 (awaiting JLPT N4 score).
I agree that you need to have native proficiency if you actually plan on practicing medicine in Japan, but to do an away rotation you do not.
OP, if you want info on places to apply, hit me up. You don't need to be good at Japanese, you just learn basic courtesies ("Hello, Thank You, I'm Sorry, etc.)
Guess it depends on what type of medical elective you're talking about then. If you can't speak Japanese, then what type of patient interaction are you even having.
 

RinShanKaiHo

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Guess it depends on what type of medical elective you're talking about then. If you can't speak Japanese, then what type of patient interaction are you even having.
Sorry for bumping but what if I am fluent in Japanese but never took JLPT? Is the test that crucial? I can pass N1 with ease but just a hassle doing it.
 

Phloston

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Sorry for bumping but what if I am fluent in Japanese but never took JLPT? Is the test that crucial? I can pass N1 with ease but just a hassle doing it.
あなたがどこに応募するかにようて異なると思う。僕が想像してるのはあなたが日本語能力試験を受けなかったとしても、文字通りペラペラ日本語を話せしたり、本物の謙譲語と尊敬語の使い方を知ったり、したら恐らく大丈夫だと思う。でも全体的に全部病院で働きたかったら日本語能力試験に合格するのが大切かな。

Depends on where you'd apply I suppose. I imagine that even if you haven't sat the JLPT, if you are literally perapera and know how to use kenjougo/sonkeigo, it would be fine to have patient interaction. I obviously can't speak on behalf of every place you could conceivably apply to, so it's probably hit or miss. You get a lot of people who are fluent for all intents and purposes, but with respect to business/medicine etiquette, that's a whole different ball game. If you're Japanese blood I think you should be fine! If you can pass the N1 with ease, honestly, just do it.
 
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