Japan is an excellent place to pursue higher education due to its world-class universities and high-quality education. Moreover, the country provides international students the opportunity to explore its rich cultural heritage and enjoy its beautiful nature spots. Studying in Japan also offers the perfect reason to learn its widely popular language, and Medicine is one of the sought-after programs that require Japanese proficiency. In this article, you will learn about the best medical schools in Japan.
Can Foreigners Study in Medical Schools in Japan?
Yes, medical schools in Japan accept international students. One of the universities open to foreign applicants is Okayama University. The university offers a six-year degree in Medicine for aspiring international students in Japan. Applicants must have completed their 12-year basic education and pass the National Center Test for University Admissions before applying to the university. The university conducts most Medicine classes in the Japanese language, so it is necessary to obtain at least JLPT N1 level.
What is the most prestigious medical school in Japan?
The University of Tokyo has the most prestigious medical school in Japan. As the country’s leading university, the university also received international recognitions from reputable ranking institutions such as the QS Top Universities, ShanghaiRanking, and Times Higher Education. Along with its 36th place in world universities ranking, the university also took 27th in clinical and health subject ranking of Times Higher Education in 2021. Meanwhile, QS Top Universities ranked it 30th in its Life Sciences and Medicine for 2020 and 24th in the overall score for 2021.
Best Medical Schools in Japan
1. The University of Tokyo – Faculty of Medicine
The University of Tokyo Faculty of Medicine goes back to 1858 when European trained practitioners established a vaccination center. After several years of further transition, the vaccination center changed its name to Tokyo Medical School. It later became the Faculty of Medicine along with the establishment of the University of Tokyo in 1877.
Together with the University of Tokyo Hospital, the Center for Disease Biology and Integrative Medicine, and its affiliated institutes, the University of Tokyo is the best medical school in Japan, which aims to train future global healthcare leaders through its holistic view in education and research.
The faculty offers a four-year Bachelor of Medicine degree, with courses taught in English or Japanese and classified into Basic Medical Sciences, Clinical Medicine, and Social Medicine.
Students start their clinical clerkship in the second year until the fourth year, after successfully passing a series of examinations, including the Objective Structured Clinical Examination. Two years in clinical training follow the completion of Bachelor’s studies. Meanwhile, students looking to advance their medical education through research can take the PhD-MD degree program.
2. Kyoto University – Faculty of Medicine
Established in 1899 as Kyoto Imperial University College of Medicine, the Faculty of Medicine, looks to producing international professionals with leading contributions to Medicine and healthcare. This top medical school in Japan has the Medical Science Division and the Human Health Sciences Division.
The former focuses on training medical doctors, scholars, and researchers, while the latter produces nurses and other health care professionals. Though Japanese is still the primary language of instruction in the university, some of the Medical Science Division classes use the English language.
The faculty offers several degree programs in Medicine. For aspiring doctors, Medicine study at Kyoto University starts with a four-year Bachelor’s degree followed by a two-year clinical training. The faculty also offers an MD Researcher degree where students experience laboratory research from their first year of studies.
3. Osaka University – Faculty of Medicine
The Osaka University Faculty of Medicine, established in 1931, is one of Japan’s best medical schools. The faculty aims to develop excellent human resources, lead and contribute in the medical field by providing forward-looking education and promoting future-oriented research studies. Under it are the Division of Medicine, which has 16 departments, and the Division of Health Sciences, with five departments.
The university offers the six-year undergraduate program in Medicine, which, upon completion, awards the Doctor of Medicine degree. The program starts with Liberal Arts courses in the first year, followed by Basic Medicine courses in the second year. Students also take the Medical English program during their second year. The research program starts in the students’ third year, while clinical clerkships occur in the fifth year. In their last year, students have the option to complete their studies abroad.
4. Tohoku University – School of Medicine
Tohoku University School of Medicine, founded in 1817 in its former name, Sendai Han Medical School, has developed to become one of the best medical universities in Japan. It aims to train leading specialists, contributing to human health and welfare while delving deeper into medical science through research.
The school offers an undergraduate program in Medicine, taught in Japanese. It is a six-year program that starts with medical communication in the first year and an optional research program for interested students. The program also includes a Medical English course where students whose native language is English are encouraged to teach.
Research starts in the third year, and students have the option to accomplish this abroad. Students undergo clinical training at Tohoku University Hospital or other affiliated hospitals during the second half of their fourth year.
5. Tokyo Medical and Dental University – Faculty of Medicine
The Tokyo Medical and Dental University joins the best medical schools in Japan. Its Faculty of Medicine, founded in 1951, trains students to gain academic and medical knowledge, professional skills, a researcher’s mindset, a heart full of humanity, and excellent insights. Furthermore, the faculty’s curriculum strives to nurture future leaders in Medicine, contributing to medicine development for disease prevention and treatment and maintenance of good health.
The six-year undergraduate Medicine program in Tokyo Medical and Dental University underwent innovation in 2011 to meet Japan’s aging society’s demands.
The introductory course in Medicine starts in the second semester of the students’ first year in medical school, earlier than undergraduate programs in other medical schools. The succeeding years allow students to master the human body’s biological mechanisms and diseases according to physiological systems through lectures, seminars, and laboratory classes. Research and clinical training start in the fourth year through the program, and clinical clerkship occurs during the fifth and sixth year.
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