American College of Physicians: From San Diego


Here I am in San Diego to attend the annual meeting of the American College of Physicians (ACP).  Last year it was in Toronto.  This is my 3rd visit to Southern California (Ref.1) this year.

Since we founded ACP Japan Chapter 8 years ago, I have served as the Governor for two terms, which was an exceptional arrangement.  I am relieved that I am leaving this position of the Governor this year without any problems. 

During these 8 years, the Japan Chapter grew to have more than 1,000 members, with significant increase in Student Members and Associate Members.  Some of our activities focus on education, on female doctors, and on volunteerism, some of which led to ACP awards which I take as the manifestation of recognition by ACP of the Japan Chapter.  I thank all members and leadership of Japan Chapter for their dedications.

Because of the East Japan Disaster, the annual meeting of The Japanese Society of Internal Medicine was cancelled.  Subsequently the ACP Japan Chapter meeting which is annually held during the same period welcoming the President of the ACP was postponed at present..

Consequently, not as many Japanese members were able to join the meeting in San Diego this year.  However, at the Convocation of new Fellows, 5 physicians from Japan (among them was Dr. Gremillion, a leader of the medical education at Kameda Hospital, who organizes annually a highly stimulating session named ‘Clear at a Glance (Ichimoku Ryozen)’ at the Japan Chapter meeting) were present. As they stood in response to the announcement of the name of Chapter ‘Japan’, I was touched by a long and warm applause that arose from the entire audience filling this large auditorium…

I participated in 3 panels; a student from Yokohama City University who was selected for the poster session joined,. as well as Drs. Ishiyama and Kato whom I saw last year were also present.  Drs. Ishiyama and Kato are currently working as ‘hospitalists’ (in Japanese) in medical centers in St. Louis.  They both happen to work at the same city but did not know each other until I introduced them to each other last year at Toronto.  I was happy with the reunion.

The reception of the Japan Chapter turned out to be a very nice gathering thanks to the attendance of many friends of the Japan Chapter, including former and current Presidents of the ACP; their presence are customary every year to our Japan Chapter annual meetings since our inauguration eight years ago.

However, like others, I could not get my mind off from what was going on in Japan, so I kept myself pretty busy getting in touch and talking on phone with people at American Academies, Japan Embassy in Washington DC, or other related contacts.

I had an impression that although everyone was concerned with the damages done by the tsunami, in terms of the nuclear problems, they were worrying more about the ways of Japanese authorities and leadership.

Getting to know people across national borders, making friends with them and building trusts between each other is an asset that I would never exchange for anything.