We shall review how to become a doctor in Japan in this guide. We’ll also look at some fundamental qualifications for becoming a doctor in Japan, tuition, frequently asked questions and the best medical schools in Japan.
Hang on as we walk you through the process of becoming a doctor in Japan. Let me give you a brief introduction of Japan before we go into the main discussion.
Japan is an island nation in East Asia that may be found in the northwest Pacific Ocean. According to Wikipedia, it is bordered on the west by the Sea of Japan, which spans from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south.
Doctor in Japan – FAQ Answered
How difficult is it to get admission to study a medical program in Japan?
When a student in Japan successfully completes high school, they are required to sit for entrance tests to the school of their choice.
If you are an international student living in Japan and have completed high school there, you can be admitted based on your performance on a General Screening Test, an application, and entrance tests. International non-resident students may also take a Special Screening Test before taking an entrance exam.
It is evident that it takes significant planning and research to get accepted into any undergraduate university program in Japan.
How much does it cost to study medicine in Japan?
In Japan, medical school is quite expensive, especially when compared to other nations. There are approximately $9,000 in admission fees, and the annual tuition ranges from $23,000 to $69,000. (by the time all additional fees are included). You should also take into account that living expenses are relatively expensive in major Japanese cities.
Will it take long to study medicine in Japan?
You must complete two years of clinical education and four years of pre-clinical education in order to earn a bachelor’s degree in clinical medicine.
How to become a medical doctor in Japan
The following are the seven steps to becoming a medical doctor in Japan;
- Japanese Language
- Study in Japanese Medical Schools
- Pass the Medical Exams
- Getting Your Medical License
- Work Visa
- Get a job as a doctor
1. Learn Japanese Language
The Japanese language will be our first focus because it is essential for learning how to become a doctor in Japan.
Any East Asian language will be difficult to learn for the majority of individuals who are not native to that part of the world. Japanese is a challenging language to learn and can take a while to master, while not being as challenging as Mandarin.
Being able to order a cab or ask for directions in a language isn’t tough, but being proficient or fluent enough to function as a doctor in that language is another matter. To pass the medical tests necessary to obtain a medical license, which we’ll go over in more detail later, you’ll need a near-native command of the Japanese language. Additionally, you’ll be expected to know a number of Japanese medical phrases and vocabulary that most natives are not familiar with.
In order to gain a command of the language, you should start learning it as soon as you decide that you wish to practice medicine in Japan. Japanese language requirements for international students has further information.
2. Study in Japanese Medical schools
If you are serious about pursuing this career path, studying medicine in Japan is the easiest way to become a doctor in Japan and is highly recommended. In Japan, medical school lasts a total of six years.
General education courses take up the first two years of study, then two years of applied medical sciences. Years 5 and 6 have been designated for a clinical clerkship at the university hospital where they are enrolled, during which they will learn about a range of issues related to their field.
The process for both foreigners and Japanese nationals to apply to medical schools in Japan is relatively easy and uncomplicated.
However, in order to apply to a university in Japan, you must not only be fluent in the language but also extremely knowledgeable about medical and scientific terminology, which is practically impossible for someone who has not lived in the nation for at least a few years prior to applying.
If so, you can complete your undergraduate studies overseas before pursuing a postgraduate degree in Japan, where there are a wide range of options available in both English and other languages.
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3. Pass Japan Medical Examination
The following step is on this list of requirements to become a physician in Japan. You must apply for a medical license before you may take the final tests, but only if you are eligible. If you are a foreign medical graduate from a program that is comparable to those offered in Japan (6+ years) and you are also licensed in the country where you graduated or studied, you can apply for the final licensing exam in Japan with ease.
Although it varies from case to case and there is no clear reason why some applicants are accepted while others are not, the main concern is whether you are accepted or not. You must also pass a test to determine your language proficiency before you can take the exam. You need to have at least a N1 level to be eligible to take the examinations.
N1 is considered to be barely proficient enough to apply to medical school in Japan, let alone pass the final exam, so you’ll need much more if you want to succeed. Visit the Japan Medical Board website for further details about the examinations.
4. Get Residency
This is yet another crucial step in the process of how to become a doctor in Japan. All medical professionals in Japan are required to finish a two-year residency program before starting their own practice or working in a hospital.
Either a university or a hospital with a university affiliation is where the residency must be finished. Before submitting an application for residency, candidates may select a course from a wide range that piques their interest.
Please be aware that residency is very challenging to obtain for graduates of medical schools outside of Japan, as it frequently necessitates connections with Japanese colleges and credible letters of recommendation.
5. Getting your medical license
The last test you need to pass to get a medical license in Japan is the National Medical Practitioners Examination. Obtaining a medical license is not only one of the requirements for becoming a doctor in Japan; it is a prerequisite.
It is not easy to pass this exam, especially for foreigners, but if you have the necessary language abilities and technical understanding, it is no more difficult than any other final medical exam you can find anyplace in the globe.
If you pass the test, you will instantly be recognized as a licensed physician in the nation, but you won’t be able to practice medicine until you’ve finished a two-year residency.
6. Secure a Work Visa
Another crucial step on our checklist of how to become a medical doctor in Japan is obtaining a work visa. The typical Working Visa for Japan normally covers medical professionals. The process of applying for a visa is often simple and easy.
You must fill out a Japanese visa application form at the Japanese consulate or embassy nearest you. You’ll also need your passport, a current photo, a statement from your employer outlining your role and anticipated income, and a Certificate of Eligibility (COE).
7. Get a Job as a medical doctor
The next step in our discussion on how to become a doctor in Japan is this one. The next thing on your mind after receiving your license will be finding a job.
You are free to start your own practice or apply for employment in a Japanese hospital once you have received your medical license, but only after you have fulfilled the two-year residency requirement.
There aren’t many private practitioners in the nation, especially in psychiatry. You can use any well-known online job-search tool if you wish to work in a hospital.
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However, keep in mind that if you apply online for a job in the medical sector in Japan with little to no experience, your chances of success are quite slim compared to those of other native Japanese applicants who may have more connections. The need for English specialization is, however, modest.
List of 5 Best Medical Schools in Japan
- University of Tokyo – Faculty of Medicine
- Kyoto University – Graduate School of Medicine and Faculty of Medicine
- Osaka University Faculty of Medicine
- Keio University School of Medicine
- Tohoku University School of Medicine
Review of Best Medical Schools in Japan
University of Tokyo – Faculty of Medicine
The University of Tokyo’s Faculty of Medicine is the top-ranked medical school in Japan and ranks in the top 100 clinical medicine universities in the world. Their goal is to provide a comprehensive education that emphasizes not just clinical studies but also research and medical professionals’ contributions to society and the global community.
The medical school provides a medical undergraduate program, a graduate school of medicine, and a school of integrated health sciences for associated courses. It is an honor to have several Nobel laureates in physiology and medicine.
A smallpox vaccination site at Kanda-Otamagaike was the beginning of the 160-year existence of the University of Tokyo’s Faculty of Medicine in 1868. The immunization facility underwent numerous changes until becoming a school in 1872. From there, Imperial University, a connected hospital, a midwives’ school, and other institutions followed. The School presently has various research centers in addition to a Museum of Health and Medicine.
Kyoto University – Graduate School of Medicine and Faculty of Medicine
In 1899, the Kyoto University Faculty of Medicine was founded. Due to its excellent standard of instruction and hands-on medical experience, it has since become a draw for students in Japan and around the world. The faculty is divided into two divisions: the division of medical sciences and the division of human health sciences. The first is for training medical academics and researchers, while the second is for training nurses and other healthcare professionals.
There is also the opportunity to enroll in a combination MD/Ph.D. program at this medical school in Japan. In this program, after four years in the medical school, one can transfer to the Graduate School of Medicine, pursue a Ph.D., and then return to the medical school to finish clinical training. As an alternative, you can complete the six-year MD program and then continue with a Graduate School program.
Osaka University Faculty of Medicine
The Osaka University School of Medicine is descended from a school that Ogata Koan founded in 1838. He has previously instructed students in western studies and medicine. This eventually became Osaka Teikoku University in 1931, including a School of Science and a School of Medicine.
Today, the Medical School at Osaka University School of Medicine offers a 6-year program to become a doctor. Students are taught how to operate in a team and how to be flexible in a field that is thought to be dynamic and ever-changing. Additionally, the Medical School offers chances for advanced research in cutting-edge disciplines like regenerative medicine, medical robotics, and genomic medicine. This is because the institution is committed to producing thought leaders and future medical professionals.
The Osaka University Medical School operates in compliance with international standards to make sure that its degrees are respected all over the world. Additionally, the Medical School has a variety of international collaborations with partner universities throughout the globe, including Alexandria University in Egypt and the University of Oxford in the UK.
Keio University School of Medicine
The Keio University School of Medicine is the next institution on our list of the best medical schools in Japan. The world-famous microbiologist Dr. Shibasaburo Kitasato, who dedicated his life to making medicine more approachable to the general public and afterwards creating his own college of medicine, served as the first dean of this medical school when it was first established in 1917.
The school’s mission hasn’t changed: to develop doctors who devote their lives to better society through a combination of basic science and clinical medicine. A world-class education supported by cutting-edge research capabilities is driven by these strong principles.
The Keio University School of Medicine collaborates with numerous organizations and teaching hospitals as part of a broad network in the medical sciences and healthcare.
Tohoku University School of Medicine
Sendai han Medical School, the original name of Tohoku University School of Medicine, was founded in 1817. It subsequently changed its name to Imperial Medical University in 1915 and grew into one of Japan’s top institutions for medical students to learn, study, and practice. Tohoku University ensures the excellent caliber of instruction obtained throughout its medical program by only admitting a small number of students each year (135 new students).
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The School of Medicine also has a division for health sciences where students can pursue degrees in nursing, radiologic technology, and medical laboratory science.
These are the seven essential steps to becoming a doctor in Japan. Please share these on social media and keep checking our website for more fascinating contents.
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