Tokyo Medical University Exchange Program experience

Máté Vanda V. évfolyamos orvostanhallgató képes beszámolója a TMDU csereprogramjáról.

About my experience regarding the accomodation and janitor

The dormitory which we were accomodated at is named ’Cosmo House’. It is situated in Nishishinjuku, close to the Tochomae Metro Station in the business district. The room I stayed at was equipped with all the basic necessities for one person. Every item is conveniently placed, so the two rooms make a nice little apartment with its own bathroom and mini kitchenette with a refrigerator. I also had a TV and WiFi in my room.

The janitor of Cosmo House is called Masa san, she helped me with all the problems I had. She showed me around my first day and took me shopping to a local supermarket, which is unknown to foreigners. She also let me use her bicycle, which was a great help in the spacious Shinjuku district, especially in getting to the hospital in the morning. She and her husband (who works as a chef) invited us for home-made dinner, which was amazing. Words can not describe the hospitality they displayed towards us. The last night I spent at Cosmo House, I also prepared some Hungarian food (bundáskenyér), which we had for dinner as a farewell.

About my experience of Tokyo Medical University Staff, social programs

The first person I got contacted by was Aya Nagata san. She organised all the details of our exchange, and helped us with all the quetions we had. When I was admitted to the hospital with an allergic eye reaction, she helped me with organising my visit to the doctor’s and all the administration process. She told us step-by-step what to do in order to fulfill our practise. I admired her organised work and wish to learn her well-working method. In the first week of our stay we were invited for lunch with Ms Nagata, Mr. Breugelmans and Mr. Barroga which was a very nice introductory event.

I was also invited for dinner by the diabetology team which I worked with. They took me to an authentic sushi restaurant, and I tried delicacies such as ankimo (monk fish liver) and fresh sake from Edo. They also took me to an owl café.


Because we were the first students from Semmelweis University, we had the privilege of having dinner at a Sushi Restarant at Ginza with President Usui of Tokyo Medical University and Chairman Suzuki of the Board of of Regents. They were both very kind and amicable.President Usui also bought us presents as well for which I am deeply grateful.

Students of Tokyo Medical University

Ms Nagata contacted the exchange students coming to Budapest to get to know each other. When I met Shiho, we went to a sento (traditional Japanese bath) together. She also made sweet marons for me as a gift. We also discovered the city with both of them and Rina, the other student on exchange from Semmelweis. We took a funny picture at a local photobooth and played electric drums together. My favourite experience with them was at a dinner made by Shiho, where she showed u show to make traditional Japanese tea, which she brought from Shizuoka, her hometown. I am a lucky person to call them my friends now.

About my experience in the field of medicine

I spent my first two weeks at the Department of Diabetes, Metabolism and Endocrinology.

I visited the ward and took part in the physical examination of patients. I also took part in the work of the Outpatient Clinic in both Diabetology and Endocrinology, learning about the medication of type 1 and 2 diabetes mellitus, hypothyreoidism, hyperthyreoidism.I was introduced to Masato Odawara, professor of Diabetology, who taught me about the differences of insuline regulation between the Asian and Caucasian population, which I found interesting. His field of interest in medicine is broad, he researches different diabetes treatments and pathologic disorders of pancreas. As a resourceful educator he is, I was very lucky to have him as my teacher. Thanks to my direct supervisor, Dr. Akiko Teshima, I tried out CGM (continous glucose monitoring) on myself , and observed the process of a continous insuline pumpglucose sensor (sensor augment pump) patient education.

Dr. Takahashi holding insulin (on the right), and Dr. Janagi

My senior supervisor Dr. Tomono Takahashi, whose speciality is Diabetology, also taught me about the examination and treatment of DM (diabetes mellitus). Not only did she teach me, but she organised visits for me in both Scintigraphy (of suprarenal gland) and an operation with the famous DaVinci robot in Urology (prostatectomy). It was fascinating to see them both. I also listened to a lecture about a nasal spray for allergic rhinitis in medical environment. My favourite procedure however was the adrenal vein sampling,in which I took part twice. I helped in putting the blood samples in the correct containers. I also learned how to insert a PICC (peripherally inserted central venous catheter) with ultrasound, which added a great skill to my medical carreer. Apart from professional work we went to eat out with the doctors of our team to a sushi restaurant, and we visited an owl cafe with two of the doctors, it was highly entertaining. I spent my last two weeks of exchange at the Gastroenterology Department. The least I can say is that these were one of the most amazing weeks in my life. I was honored to meet Professor Itoi, the head of the department, who is a skillful gastroenterologist and an inventor himself. He invented a unique shield for radiation used at ERCP, and several endoscopic methods.He explained a lot about ERCP and all the procedures I saw, even when WBS Television was filming him about the procedure. You might have seen him on TV on the 31st of October. My supervisor was Assistant Professor Dr. Sugimoto, who also happened to be an inventor, but of Hepatology: He has an ongoing research about the ultrasound use in NASH (non alcoholic steatohepatitis), and a fascinating research on RFA (radiofrequency ablation) and IRE (irreversible electroporation). He also honored me by teaching me about his methods, and was always there to answer all my questions. During my gastroenterology training I saw gastroscopies, biopsies, EVS (endoscopic variceal sclerotherapy), liver ultrasound examinations(which I also practised with Dr.Maya Suguro) and contrast enhanced ultrasound , colonoscopies, ERCP (endoscopic retrogade cholangiopancreatography),

MR fused ultrasound (which is cutting edge, high-end technology!). It was amazing to see where worldwide leading medicine is born, and learn from world-famous doctors. The most amazing phenomena was their mentality: they were humble, kind and always willing to educate us.

Gastroenterology team with Assistant Professor Dr. Sugimoto  in the middle

I have to highlight that there was another person who made these two weeks managable for me with her endless patience and help, and this person was no other than Nagata san. I would like to thank her, and all the staff of Tokyo Medical University for making my trip so special and unforgettable.

Vanda Máté

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