Are you on the journey of becoming or do you want to become a medical doctor in Japan by studying medicine in one of the best Japanese medical schools?
Do you want to find out what the odds are of studying in Japanese medical schools?
Japan is one of the most popular East Asian island countries located in the northwest Pacific Ocean.
The Sea of Japan borders it on the west and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south.
Japan is one of those Asian countries that attract international students to study medicine.
In this article, we have compiled the right steps to take on how to become a medical doctor in Japan.
Also, we have made available the basic requirements you need to apply to med schools in Japan.
What this means is that at the end of this article all your questions are answered about med schools in Japan.
Allow me to lead you on this 15-minute journey that gives you top-notch information on how to become and practise medicine in Japan.
Welcome aboard Scholar!!!
Read Also: Japan Scholarships
Is Japan Good To Study Medicine?
If you’re looking to study medicine in Japan you have just made a very good decision.
Japanese medical schools have a track record of excellence and a high profile in training medical doctors.
Becoming a medical doctor is really very interesting and educational because medical doctor wannabes learn using top-of-the-range facilities with excellent laboratories and research institutions.
In Japanese medical schools, you can earn an M.D. degree, PhD in medicine as well.
Aside from a good academic experience, Japan is a top tourist country with a lot of culture and art.
You’re sure going to have a good time studying in Japan in your journey to become a medical doctor.
How Much Does It Cost To Study MBBS in Japan?
Without a doubt, studying medicine is really expensive compared to other study programs.
And in Japan, it is no exception.
The cost of MBBS in Japan is quite low when compared to high profile countries such as the USA and UK.
For the students willing to pursue MBBS in Japan, the average cost will be around 535,800 YEN (INR 3,50,000).
However, you will need an extra fee for application, examination and accommodation charges which could cost about 90,000- 1,50,000 YEN (INR 60,000- 1,00,000).
10 Best Schools to Become a Medical Doctor in Japan
If you’re looking at studying in the best Japanese medical schools, here are the best 10 you can study to become a medical doctor in Japan;
- Nagoya University
- Chiba University.
- Tohoku University
- Kyushu University
- Keio University
- Waseda University
- Kyoto University
- University of Tsukuba
- Tokyo Medical University
- Tokyo Medical and Dental University
What Are the Requirements to Apply to Become a Medical Doctor in Japan?
Below is a list of basic criteria that need to be fulfilled before you apply for MBBS admission in Japan:
- Your age must be above 17 years.
- You must have scored a minimum aggregate of 50% in class 12th.
- You must have studied Physics, Chemistry, Biology and English as subjects in class 12th.
- NEET is a compulsory exam for Indians.
- Some universities may also require TOEFL/IELTS tests.
- You must provide all the certificates such as mark sheets, school leaving certificates etc to authenticate your qualification while sending an application for admission.
How Do I Become a Medical Doctor in Japan?
Becoming a medical doctor in Japan requires you to have certain criteria to make that a possibility.
Beyond the documents for application, certain skills and competencies are needed to ensure your application stands a chance for consideration when applying to medical schools in Japan.
Here are some of the steps to become a medical doctor in Japan;
#1. You must Know the Japanese Language
One of the vital requirements to apply to become Japanese medical schools is to know the Japanese language.
Most Japanese medical schools’ major language instruction is Japanese.
Therefore all international students seeking to study medicine in Japan must learn the language.
For most people who are not from Japan or Asia as whole learning, any East Asian language will be very challenging.
Although compared to other languages in Asia such as Mandarin, Japanese is a difficult language to master.
And the sad news is that it can take a long time to learn.
Although you can learn simple tasks or instructions in Japan, becoming fluent enough in the language to learn or work as a medical doctor is a different story.
Therefore, on your journey to become a medical doctor in Japan you will need to learn this language thoroughly.
Reason is that you will need it to study as well as pass the medical examinations required for acquiring a medical license.
#2. Study in Japanese Medical schools
Next is to apply to Japanese medical schools.
Studying medicine in Japanese medical schools is the most straightforward path on how to become a medical doctor in Japan.
Becoming a doctor in Japan usually takes 6 years if you’re studying in a Japanese medical school.
In the first two years, medical students are devoted to studying general courses.
However, in the next 2 years, med students will start taking courses on applied medical sciences.
Years 5 and 6 are set aside for a clinical clerkship at the university hospital.
In the clinical internship, medical students will study a variety of topics pertaining to their area of specialization.
At the end of 6 years, you must have been thoroughly trained in your field of expertise.
#3. You Must Pass the Japan Medical Examination
On your journey to become a medical doctor in Japan you will need to pass the Japan medical examination.
Is that compulsory?
Absolutely. It is very important.
To take the final medical license exams in Japan, you must have to apply for them first.
However, you will only be allowed to apply if you meet all the requirements.
Not only medical students who have been trained in a Japanese medical school can apply.
You can also apply for the final licensing exam in Japan if you are a foreign medical student graduate from a program similar to those available in Japan (6+ years).
To apply based on the above reason, you must be licensed in the nation where you graduated or studied.
Kindly note that before you apply for a Japanese medical examination, you must know the Japanese language.
The exam coordinators must assess your language skills before you can take the exam.
Judging from the language assessment, you must at least have an N1 level to qualify for the exams.
Although the N1 level is considered barely competent enough to apply to medical school in Japan, you will need more than that to stand a better chance.
#4. You Must Complete a Residency Program
Another step to take while becoming a medical doctor in Japan is to complete a residency program.
All medical doctor wannabes in Japan must complete a two-year residency program before working as a regular doctor in Japan.
This is what you have to do before beginning your clinic or finding a job in a hospital.
You must do your residency in a university or a university-affiliated hospital.
In these designated regions all medical doctor wannabes in Japan can choose a course from a broad area that interests them.
This area is where they may choose to practice during their residency.
But just before you forge ahead, it’s of great importance that you know that medical students who want to do their residency outside Japan often find it extremely difficult.
The reason is that you will need links with Japanese colleges as well as reputable letters of recommendation to have that happen in an instant.
Therefore, we often recommend you follow through with residency programs within Japan to become a medical doctor.
#5. Get Your Medical License
To practice as a medical doctor in Japan after going to either of the Japanese medical schools is to get your medical license.
To get your license to practice medicine in Japan, you must pass the National Medical Practitioners Examination.
The National Medical Practitioners Examination is what determines whether or not you get a medical license to practice in Japan.
In fact, this license is a necessary devil.
It’s a must-have on the list of how to become a medical doctor in Japan.
Knowing how important this license is, it’s also important to know that passing this exam is not easy at all, especially for foreigners.
We don’t mean to scare you but it’s ideal you know what you are going to face.
Although it is not tougher than any other final medical exam, if you have the appropriate language skills and technical knowledge it’s a whole lot easier.
Passing this exam is a pass into becoming a certified medical doctor in Japan.
Once you are certified, you can become a certified medical doctor in Japan.
#6. Obtain a Work Visa
Yes, you will need a work visa to work as a medical doctor in Japan.
In Japan, Medical practitioners are usually covered by Japan’s regular Working Visa.
Obtaining your work visa in Japan is usually easy and straightforward.
What you have to do is to visit a local Japanese consulate or embassy in your country.
Complete a Japanese visa application form.
To apply for a Japanese work visa here is the requirements you need;
- Recent photograph
- Certificate of Eligibility (COE).
- Written letter from your company detailing your position and expected income.
Using these documents, getting your work visa is guaranteed.
Once you have a work visa, you are almost set to become a medical doctor in Japan.
#7. Get a Job as a Medical Doctor
Once you have undergone the six processes above, it is best to get a job as a medical doctor.
Also, once you’ve received a medical license, you are free to open your own practice or seek to work in a Japanese hospital.
However, this must be after you must have completed the two-year required residency requirement.
One area where you can focus on as a private practitioner in the field of psychiatry.
Psychiatrists are really very scarce in Japan.
Opening a private practice in that field will not just guarantee your satisfaction to become a medical doctor in Japan, it will bring more finances to you.
However, if you want to work in a hospital, you can use any popular job-search platform on the internet.
But note that you will have a hard time finding a job in Japanese hospitals if you’re applying online with little to no experience in the medical field.
It would be a lot easier for you if you are well-connected or have someone that can recommend you.
Once you have your path straightened out, your journey to become a medical doctor in Japan is now a reality.
Frequently Asked Questions About How to Become a Medical Doctor in Japan
How Long Does It Take To Become A Medical Doctor in Japan?
Usually, Japanese medical education takes a total of 6 years to complete.
First two years for basic science courses, the second two years for applied medical courses and the last two years for internship.
Can Foreigners Be Doctors in Japan?
Yes, if you’re a foreigner seeking to become a doctor in Japan, it is very possible.
Currently, Japanese hospitals have doctors from the U.S., the U.K., France and Singapore practising.
Some Japanese medical licenses are under bilateral agreements with those nations.
What this means is that they can only see patients of their own nationality.
They cannot treat Japanese unless they have a Japanese medical license just like we explained above.
How Can I Become A Doctor in Japan?
Actually, there are two major ways to become a medical doctor in Japan.
One is to finish medical school in Japan.
The other one is to finish medical school elsewhere, and then take a Japanese medical exam in the Japanese language.
Can a Foreigner Study Medicine in Japan?
International students have a slot to study medicine in Japan.
In fact, Japan is considered one of the most hospitable countries in the world for foreign visitors.
International students who wish to study medicine in Japanese medical schools can do so because there is no exception.
How Much Are Doctors Paid in Japan?
According to a 2019 survey, medical doctors employed at Japanese hospitals belonging to medical corporations in Japan earn about 16.4 million Japanese Yen in a year.
To become a medical doctor practising in Japan is possible for all, even for international students.
Following the steps, we listed above, your journey to becoming a medical doctor whether or not you attended Japanese medical schools is made easy.
We wish you luck!!!