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Cultural and Knowledge Exchange in Japan for IMU Medical Students

15 Jan 2015

1 November 2014 – Five medical students from International Medical University (IMU), Ng Yen Wing, Mohammad Hazwan Bin Yuan, Ng Chang Ern (Ernest), Koh Khai Ling and Wong Zhi Xian, had the opportunity to be the lead committee and travel to Osaka, Japan for the Asian Medical Student Exchange Program (AMSEP) between IMU and Osaka University for 9 days. The purpose of this programme is to provide cultural and knowledge exchange at an international level amongst the medical students. The students relates their experience in Japan.Japan 2 “Upon arrival, we were greeted by Kazushi Fujiyama, the local AMSEP Japan Director, and later joined by Takeshi Sakata. We were efficiently accommodated and provided with great hospitality. We were then brought to the beautiful Suita Campus of Osaka University where we were given the opportunity to attend a lecture on statistics of cancer in Japan, by Dr Tomotake Sobue. At night, we were brought to Nakanoshima (Central Island), a place where the river splits into delta dividing the business and commercial areas in Osaka. Despite the cold temperature in autumn, the views were breathtaking. Japan 6 This exchange programme widened our perspective in terms of academics, especially as medical students. We were privileged to learn in one of the most prestigious emergency departments in Japan-the Emergency Department of Osaka University Hospital. Dr Mitsuo Onishi showed us the advanced medical technology by which they use for treatments (even in Accident and Emergency Departments), like the CT scan, X-ray machines and platform for emergency gadgets converged into one room. Besides that, he gave us a lecture on disaster management (which was absolutely new to us Malaysians) and introduced us the emergency management system called Disaster Medical Assistant Team (DMAT). Japan 5 Besides the hospital visit, we experienced the other side of Japan’s healthcare at the rural area with Dr Tomoyuki Kido’s clinic at Itakano. We were briefed with high enthusiasm on the operations of the clinic, and the visit ended with casual conversations over warm tea session and more so the company. Moreover, we were also able to enter the Immunology Research Department of Osaka University. Prof Suguru Ishi explained to us cell imaging under the state-of-the-art 2x photon microscope. Medical assistants were there to demonstrate to us the entire process, from preparation to the actual imaging. We were extremely honored, as Prof Kishimoto was amongst the first who developed the method to use cell imaging microscopy. The days in Osaka were undeniably not only filled with academics but very enjoyable moments as tourists. We were brought to places such as Universal Studios of Japan, Osaka Castle, Dotonbori, Kyomitsu Temple at Kyoto, Umeda and Namba. Japan 3 Culture was amongst one of the many that attracted our hearts to Osaka and Kyoto. The people’s politeness was definitely admirable; our Japanese hosts and friends were more than glad to show us hospitality, even though language was, in the beginning, an obstacle to communication. Our Japanese friends told us that we were very fortunate to have visited Osaka at a time when the brownish-red autumn leaves begin to fall. In that kind of chilling climate (it even fell to 7 Celsius on the second night), we tried the mouth-watering dishes including okonomiyaki, takoyaki, kaiten sushi and matcha flavoured desserts, not forgetting the various fresh sashimi. We unanimously agreed that we had the best Japanese food during this exchange; we truly enjoyed each and every meal. 10 November marks the end of the journey. It was the last day, and we had to say goodbye to one if not the best city that we had been. We definitely are going to miss the friends that we made and the experience itself of traveling around Japan like the locals. We appreciate the chance given to us by AMSA, AMSEP and all the members that made this programme possible. We are now looking forward to host the Japanese students here in Kuala Lumpur in March next year.” Japan 1


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