While the number of foreign residents in Japan is increasing, it is desired that opportunities that healthcare professionals learn about “specific difficulties foreign residents have” and “communication between foreigners” are to be increased. Especially, it is effective that healthcare professionals know about the presence of “Yasashii Nihongo” and practice it in the communication between foreign residents.
Even if foreign residents have no trouble speaking Japanese in their daily lives, they do not always understand the language spoken in hospitals. This is because they face many barriers other than language, such as unfamiliar medical terminology, difficulty concentrating due to illness, tensions caused by the unusual hospital environment, and differences in the medical system, customs and culture. We believe that the presence of a medical interpreter will lead to better communication between doctors and patients at initial consultations, when announcements are made, when explanations of treatment are made, when rapport is established, and when the patient’s complaints need to be fully listened to. As a medical interpreter who supports foreign patients in the medical field, I would like to offer some suggestions to medical professionals who encounter foreign patients in clinical settings.
As the number of international patients has been increasing in Japan, it is essential for medical schools to provide cross-cultural education to develop the ability to provide quality health care to patients with limited Japanese proficiency and diverse sociocultural backgrounds. Cross-cultural medical education is divided into three conceptual approaches focusing on students’ attitudes, knowledge, and skills. As quality medical interpreters can be a cultural liaison in a clinical setting, patient encounter training through medical interpreting can provide opportunities for students to develop a culturally sensitive attitude and multicultural knowledge, as well as practical skills to support international patients.
Many healthcare professionals believe they must speak English to communicate with patients from overseas. However, a survey revealed more than 70% of overseas patients comfortably use Japanese in their daily life. Therefore “Easy Japanese” has been promoted at municipal offices, tourism agencies, or schools attended by children with ties to overseas countries. However, Easy Japanese is not known to clinical staff. This article introduced an overview of “Easy Japanese” and the educational materials we have developed for busy clinicians. As the number of international residents has been increasing, hospitals must be equipped with medical interpreters and “Easy Japanese.” Easy Japanese is also helpful for the elderly, especially those with hearing and/or cognitive impairment. Medical interpreters and sign-language interpreters often express the merits of “Easy Japanese,” which is a valuable tool for multicultural societies and should be implemented in medical education.
In recent years, with the advance of globalization, there has been an increasing demand for education in the medical field to promote cross-cultural understanding and a multicultural society. The International University of Health and Welfare (IUHW) School of Medicine, which opened in 2017, accepts 20 international students each year out of a capacity of 140 students, and the majority of classes are taught in English, and other efforts have been made to provide medical education that emphasizes internationalism. As an example of how to deal with internationality and multicultural coexistence, this paper describes a “Global Health” course taught by multinational faculty members. The goal of this course is to cultivate a mindset of respect for people with different cultural and linguistic backgrounds and to act based on understanding, in order to build a symbiotic society.
The multicultural coexistence with increasing number of foreigners has been promoted in Japan. In this paper, the authors introduce the concept of community-based inclusive development (CBID) and CBR Matrix as an useful tool to understand not only the situation of foreigners but low income families and social withdrawals, to visualize community resources, and to learn Social Determination of Health (SDH) which is one of the curriculum of medical education. The paper contains explanation of SDH which is included in the core model curriculum of medical education, historical background of CBID and CBR Matrix. It also includes practices in the community and educational practicum at the medical school which both are engaged by authors respectively.
A class to learn ethnographic approach was provided for medical students in the process of clinical clerkship to cultivate perspectives and methods for understanding people with viewpoints and behaviors that are different from theirs. After attending collaborative lectures and exercises by faculty members who specialized in medical anthropology and medical science, medical students conducted participant observation during clinical clerkship, and shared their field notes with other students. In this process, students learned the importance of situating a person's narratives and behaviors within their social and cultural contexts as well as importance of relativizing themselves. This class is considered to be a method for providing tips to medical students on how to interact with a variety of others. This paper also describes the practice of holding remote classes on this topic during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Introduction: Recently, Escape Rooms have been included in educational content. Method: An Escape Room style class was conducted for first-year medical students to review previously learned content and to learn how to collaborate with others. The class was 70 minutes in total, 45 minutes of that was spent playing games. These included not only puzzles and riddles but also simulation-based tasks such as BLS. Multi-ending style was also used to motivate students. Result: In addition to the difficulty of making stories and puzzles, the management of staff and organizing of the games were also challenging for the class. Discussion: There are few comprehensive studies on educational practices using escape rooms. Research is necessary to consider effective and practical training methods.
The importance of student participation has been noted, but there is not enough accumulated knowledge on how that “participation” can be achieved. In Kyoto University, a student circle called KS-CoM started a “student-faculty meeting” in 2016 with the objectives of (1) two-way communication between students and faculty and (2) reexamining the nature of pre-graduate medical education. We discussed the handling of past exam questions, grading methods, lectures within the practicum, etc. We tried to clarify both sides’ thoughts on why the education was being provided and how it was being perceived by students and faculty. A “semi-official forum” is needed for students to examine the premise of their education. It will also be effective for establishing partnership-based educational participation.