Workshop on new e-learning materials using authentic doctor-patient consultation videos
Kay Mito, Jane McDonald

17 October 2007

A major problem in medical school education not only in Japan, but also in almost all countries in the world, is that there is no standard for education in ability to communicate in English.

Based on a wealth of experience and an extremely generous educational grant from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), the International Medical Communications Center (IMCC) of Tokyo Medical University (TMU), in conjunction with the clinical staff of the three TMU hospitals in Nishi Shinjuku, Kasumigaura and Hachioji, has developed a unique medical English course that is embedded in the organ system-based clinical education program.

For example, when the students are studying the circulatory system, they study English needed to be able to read and discuss about the circulatory system. The system is based on six small classrooms, all with 2-way audiovisual connections with a monitor room where a clinical specialist in the organ system being taught that week is available to handle clinical questions about the materials being taught by the medical English specialist language teachers in each of the class rooms.

In addition to the organ system-based educational materials developed by TMU staff, many selected articles from the New England Journal of Medicine, one of the worldfs top-level medical journals, are available in its Reading Materials section. The Video Materials section features many authentic doctor-patient interviews filmed for the program through the University of Leicester in the U.K. for the training of English conversational skills necessary in doctor-patient consultations.

With a wish to repay the generosity of the taxpayers of Japan, whose funds have made this possible, the entire set of educational materials developed for this program is available on the Internet so that not only medical schools throughout Japan but also anybody in the world can access these materials at any time and at no charge.

We hope that this new system will contribute to the development and standardization of the teaching of professional communications in English in medical schools throughout Japan and in the world.

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