トーマスジェファーソン大学（Thomas Jefferson University）Report
Thomas Jefferson University Study Report
- Osaka City University
- Elective period
- 28th July to 4th August 2023
It was a valuable experience for me to participate in this program. First, I would like to thank everyone at Thomas Jefferson University and Osaka Metropolitan University who organized this program.
In the United States, the range of work of hospital staff is highly segmented. They work with a high level of specialty. A team of attending, resident, and student staff operates internal medicine wards. This team is highly fluid, and when team members change, they sometimes work without knowing each other. What surprised me was that the students had as much responsibility for the patients as the residents. They understand the problems of the patients in detail. They give their opinions on changing the treatment plan or consulting with other departments. Medical students in the U.S. who are third-year or above have passed the USMLE step 2 CK, so they are equivalent to junior residents. It was inspiring to see students with high-level knowledge and discuss with senior doctors on a similar level.
I felt there was no clear difference between Japan and the U.S. in the level of medical care. The pediatric outpatient checkups for infants were almost the same in Japan. On the other hand, the cost of treatment and drugs was much higher than in Japan. Japanese social security system is very supportive, allowing patients to receive standard medical care with little co-payment.
I also experienced unique cases in the U.S. that do not appear in Japan. I observed a patient of fentanyl abuse in the ER. Drug addiction is a common disease in the U.S., especially in the northern section of Philadelphia. It was very memorable to see the unique situation in the U.S.
JeffHOPE is a facility for homeless people in Philadelphia, run primarily by TJU students. It supports the health of homeless people by giving them medications and hygiene products as needed. The students there were all energetic and full of volunteer spirit. On the other hand, Japan has a highly developed social security system, so the number of homeless people is not as large as in the U.S. I feel we don't need a facility like JeffHOPE in Japan.
Due to my insufficient English skills, I could not communicate what I wanted to know clearly, and I failed to learn enough. This experience gave me the motivation to learn English. I hope that more students will participate in the selection process next year.