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Possible careers with medical degree in Japan

HeyDave

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I'm about to complete a life long goal of starting a Medicine degree in the UK as a mature student. I was wondering if anyone knew of opportunities that may be available to work in Japan?

After doing some research I can see you need to be fluent in Japanese (I presume up to N1), and then pass the national medical practitioners exams, like with most other countries, before being able to apply for Doctors roles. However, I was wondering if there were any other medical, research or even pharmaceutical roles that may be available with a medical degree? Would these likely require the same level of proficiency/examination?

I previously worked and studied in Japan as part of my undergraduate degree, Neuroscience with Japanese (5 years ago now though), so although I know I love living in the country (with or without the xenophobia most people experience and warn about), my language ability is only about N3 of late. I've longed to go back and live in Japan, but have been saving to self fund my second degree while working in pharmaceuticals instead, which I didn't see as feasible if returning to Japan.

So, does anyone have any tips or first hand experience for finding work in Japan with a Medical degree?

Thanks for any help!
 
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If you're willing to work outside of medicine proper, companies like Takeda and Astellas might be interested in you. They do a lot of biz with Pfizer, etc.
 
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Note that as one of the event qualifications to enter:
"A minimum of conversational ability in both Japanese and English"
 

Mike Cash

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I previously worked and studied in Japan
I know I love living in the country (with or without the xenophobia most people experience and warn about)
How long did you work and study in Japan that you're unable to assess for yourself how much this xenophobia you hear about from "most people" is a factor or not?

It has been my impression that the vast bulk of xenophobia turns out to be a way of shifting the blame for one's own failure to make efforts to assimilate.
 
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After doing some research I can see you need to be fluent in Japanese (I presume up to N1), and then pass the national medical practitioners exams, like with most other countries, before being able to apply for Doctors roles. However, I was wondering if there were any other medical, research or even pharmaceutical roles that may be available with a medical degree? Would these likely require the same level of proficiency/examination?
If you just want to be an academic researcher I'm sure it's possible to get a job without even conversational Japanese. I know of a few scientific researchers who are working in Japan semi-permanently and can hardly string a sentence together. Given the amount of time it'll take you to complete a medical degree though, your ability now is kind of irrelevant.

Anyway, if you're going to the effort and expense of a second degree and it's your "lifelong goal", it sounds to me like you really want to practise medicine rather than do research or work in pharmaceuticals. Or at least you're looking for a specific career that you couldn't get to with just your pharmaceutical experience or neuroscience degree. Am I right...? Well I don't know much about the medical field in particular, but I would urge you not to compromise your dream career for something that just makes it easier to get a job in Japan.
 
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If you just want to be an academic researcher I'm sure it's possible to get a job without even conversational Japanese. I know of a few scientific researchers who are working in Japan semi-permanently and can hardly string a sentence together.
It would behoove you to describe their circumstances, especially since you call their work semi-permanent.

Spousal visa?
Internship visa?
Dependent visa?
Intracompany transfer visa?

What sort of work in science over here doesn't require conversational level Japanese at a minimum?
Working at a foreign branch?
Working on a US military base?
 

Mike Cash

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If one's scientific skillz are leet enough, no Japanese skills are required. It is easy to tell if you fall into that category, because somebody will be actively trying to get you to come here despite your lack of Japanese skills. For everybody else.... learn the language.
 
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It would behoove you to describe their circumstances, especially since you call their work semi-permanent.

Spousal visa?
Internship visa?
Dependent visa?
Intracompany transfer visa?

What sort of work in science over here doesn't require conversational level Japanese at a minimum?
Working at a foreign branch?
Working on a US military base?
As I said it is academic research, not for a company but at a university or associated research facility e.g. J-PARC or the Kavli Institute. They have some variety of work visa, I never asked them much about it. They are working on physics experiments in Japan and I know one of them has been there for more than 2 years. My former supervisor just moved there in April for an indefinite amount of time. He was certainly far from fluent in Japanese.

Anyway it doesn't sound to me like this is really the type of work that OP wants to pursue. Just thought I would mention it as an option.
 
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