The “N Program”: Physicians of the Global Age


As the year started, there was a gathering of physicians who have undergone clinical training in the United States, hold U.S. licenses and board-certified in internal medicine and who have even undergone further sub-specialty training. These physicians underwent three years of clinical training in US through the “N Program” (mostly consisting of internal medicine but also including pediatric medicine) established by Dr. Nishimoto with the support of Tokyo Marine Nichido Fire and hosted primarily in the Beth Israel Hospital in New York City (NYC). Many continue onto further special training, eg, infectious diseases, cardiology, hemotology and oncology, and kidney disease, among others.

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Many people have returned to work in Japan, but some have stayed in the U.S. Dr. Kuwama, my junior who I introduced the other day, is one of such people. He has established his own clinic in NYC and has contributed greatly to the teaching of students and physicians in training as a clinical professor. There must have been many Japanese in NYC whom Dr. Kuwama helped.

In the New Year, there was a gathering of medical doctors who have built their careers in such a way. Since the beginning of this “N Program,” I have tried to support Dr. Nishimoto in my own capacity and there has been some 150 medical doctors trained through this program. There were a number of students who I have taught, and meeting them for the first time in a while felt nostalgic. Furthermore, it was possible to see that each person is becoming a good influence and a wonderful role model for others. I believe this is a group of physicians who will be trusted wherever they go in the world.

Underlying this is the American tradition of clinical training, which is built on the continuation of interaction and competition with people of diverse medical schools and universities, and is always open and adjusting previous generations’ training to change with the times and to develop good physicians. This tradition is ingrained into the doctors who are involved with teaching. There is something special about this kind of education, which only people who have received quality education/training would understand.

The foundation of this is high quality training that lies only with people who have gone through themselves in quality education/training, and which you intuitively “give back” to your juniors and students. These are the “good tradition” or 'virtuous cycle' that forms the foundation of education.

In a global world, good traditions can be passed on through this kind of a continuation of open interactive and competitive training. During the three years of this program, I believe that the seniors pass on their shared “good traditions” to their juniors and students. In this way, “N Program graduates” are the “global standard” (in Japanese) and are physicians who have qualities which are universal and applicable anywhere in the world.

This is the state of the world today.