EHC Newsletter #1
February 18, 2017
Message from the Director
Greetings from San Francisco and welcome again to the 2017 Exploring Health Care (EHC) Program! We are four weeks away from the start of your journey into the exciting world of comparative medicine. With that in mind, the staff team and I are working hard to create a challenging, culturally enriching, and unforgettable experience that will help you grow as medical students and future doctors. Over the course of two intensive weeks, you will deepen your knowledge about a variety of topics ranging from clinical English and organ transplantation to creative medicine and virtual reality technology, among others!
Please carefully read the remainder of this newsletter. It contains important information and reminders to help you successfully prepare for joining the program in March. Between now and your arrival in San Francisco, you will receive several communications from our team, so don't forget to check your email regularly, including spam and junk folders!
We look forward to meeting you in person in the near future! Should you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me (email@example.com), Assistant Program Director Cira Ortiz (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Operations Director Melissa Golden (email@example.com) for assistance.
Medical Programs Director
James Thomas, MD, Faculty In Residence
James is a UK-trained physician currently working in Tokyo, Japan. As a medical student, he participated in a clinical clerkship in Hokkaido and became interested in Japanese healthcare, language and culture. After graduating as a doctor, he underwent clinical training in Sheffield, England, and worked in primary care and pediatrics before moving to Japan in April 2012. He now devotes the majority of his time to medical education and teaches students and junior residents within Keio University and Hospital.
Outside of medicine James enjoys rock climbing, photography and language study. He is excited to be given the opportunity to be a part of VIA and is looking forward
supporting, contributing, and learning from everyone else involved in the program.
Cira Ortiz, Assistant Program Director
In her spare time she likes to knit, draw and bake! She looks forward to meeting all of you and to having interesting conversations with you.
Chia-Ying Lee, Global Health Fellow
Chia-Ying graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a bachelor of science in Neuroscience and Ecology, Evolutionary Biology. She is interested in global medicine, virtual and simulation medicine, and medical education. She was born in Taiwan and immigrated to the United States to join her family. Her initial challenges navigating through medical and education systems sparked her interest in international medicine and education.
In her free time, Chia-Ying enjoys spending time with her family, reading a good book, writing, and exploring new cultures. Chia-Ying is looking forward to participate in the Global Health Fellow Program to explore the different perspectives of medicine, share her experiences with the American and Taiwanese health system, and to broaden her medical horizon.
Yuki Enomoto, Nichibei Fellow
Yuki Enomoto, a past participate of VIA MED 2015, experienced a lot of change in many ways. She felt that her world broadened after meeting other active students who studied hard. She really felt that Design Thinking helped her explore new topics and ways of thinking and therefore participated in DSI - Design Thinking Social Innovation Program last spring with a few medical students.
Yuki is the manager of her school's Sumo club. She enjoys supporting the team members and is happy when they achieve their goals. Therefore, she looks forward to supporting all of you and helping you to achieve your goals! She also enjoys Japanese calligraphy and speaking to new people.
Yamato Suemitsu, Nichibei Fellow
Yamato Suemitsu joined the EHC 2015 program and returns to the San Francisco Bay Area as a Nichibei Health Care Fellow. He is honored to support the 2017 cohort on their medical journey this spring. When Yamato participated in the program two years ago, it provided him with a unique chance to evolve from a slightly passive student into a highly motivated and ambitious one. As a senior medical student, he views his role here as not only guiding participants and ensuring that everyone has a meaningful, exciting, and safe experience in the Bay Area but also as sharing specific insights he obtained through his experiences with Japanese and US medical education. In this way, he hopes to be a model student that others can refer to in their medical school years to come. He looks forward to seeing and getting to everyone very soon!
In addition, the orientation website is home to a lot of useful information such as packing tips, program policies, emergency protocols, etc. Give it a look!
Please sign into Crew to confirm your VISA or ESTA Approval by March 3rd!!
You must purchase travel insurance prior to your trip. Please upload the proof of travel insurance to Crew also by March 3rd!!
Please provide us with your flight information so that we can update our records. The due date is March 3rd!
Make sure you have not missed any deadlines such as:
Please complete your San Francisco Travel Quiz by March 3rd!
Advanced Track students must submit their Immunization Documents by Februrary 26th to be eligible to participate in the Shadowing Program. If you are concerned about meeting this deadline, please email Ellison directly to discuss alternate arrangements. Thank you!
- Upload Photo & Bio to Crew
- Agreement Forms
- Pre-Program Survey
Don't forget to register for a Pre-Departure Orientation!
The Kansai orientation session will be held on Saturday, February 25th from 13:30 - 16:30 at the Osaka Medical College Nakayama International Center.
The Tokyo orientation session will take place on Sunday, February 26th from 12:00 to 16:30 at the Keio University School of Medicine Center for Integrated Medical Research.
Please indicate your plans for joining a pre-departure orientation session by completing this brief survey by Sunday:
Participants attending the Tokyo session can also join a casual gathering over dinner following the event. Details to follow shortly.
During the first week of the program, you will introduce yourself to the group so that we can get to know you better. Your presentation should include a brief overview of your personal interests, interest in health care and motivation for joining the program and becoming a doctor in the future. Your presentation will be in English. We are interested in communication, not perfect English. Personal pictures are encouraged.
You can see the full guidelines at this link:
We are using this new platform to communicate with you and keep you informed about the program before you depart from Japan. The Crew platform contains import information and files that need to be completed prior to joining the program. Don't forget to check off completed tasks!
Also, it's a great place to meet the participants in the program! Read each other's bios, look at each other's profile pictures and build community before you even fly across the ocean. (If you haven't done so yet, now is the time to finish this step!)