Musings of a Gaijin MD

Life in Japan as a Foreign Doctor

Attack of the Crows March 26, 2012

Filed under: Daily Life — GaijinMD @ 7:13 PM

On a recent trip to one of the city’s parks, I encountered a truly fearsome creature: the crow- believe it or not.  On initial arrival to the park, my friend got fascinated by the immense size of the crows in the park; they looked to have had excellent sources of nutrition to have grown to their 1 foot size with their prominent beaks.  This fascination in turn led to multiple camera shots.  Before long, the crow also reciprocated our fascination by starting to hop towards us.

At this time, I made the unfortunate decision to take out my bag of cookies from my purse because I was hungry.  It was this movement along with the wrinkling sound of the plastic wrap that further attracted yet another crow.  I, therefore, had 2 giant crows start to hop and fly menacingly towards me and trying to usurp my cookies.  By that time, I was already backing away with my friend’s yelling at me to throw them a cookie.  After 1 thrown cookie toward a crow, the other “neglected” crow continued to hunt me down until I threw another one (which he caught in mid air).

With the crows occupied by their new-found loot, I made a quick escape.  Needless to say, I didn’t bring out that bag of cookies again in the park.


Graduation/Reunion Party March 25, 2012

Filed under: Hospital — GaijinMD @ 1:36 AM

Several weekends ago featured the residency graduation reception party along with the 10th Anniversary of the hospital’s collaboration with the American hospital in providing a full time American faculty at the Japanese hospital in order to bring a more Americanized teaching style to Japan.

As with most parties, the highlight lay in the preparation and primping before the actual event.  The party was held at the hotel with everyone dressed up in cocktail attire; it was quite refreshing actually to see people out of scrubs.

The R3’s (3rd year residents) filed up on stage to receive their certificates of graduation from residency.  The R2’s also received certificates for completing the Japanese mandatory 2 years of post-medical school “transitional years” training.  Afterwards, all of the 30+ graduating residents of the current year and of years past proceeded to give speeches a la the Academy Awards with the running time also rivaling the esteemed awards show.

Since all of the speeches were in Japanese, I decided just to focus on the 10 course Japanese meal to my great enjoyment.  The night was also made more amusing by having my visiting American friends sitting next to me and trying to mock/tease each other into trying the more “exotic” foods, such as shark’s fin soup.

After the plethora of speeches, I made a quick trip up the stage (all the while trying not to trip over my feet or have a wardrobe malfunction) to announce the awards for the best intern and best teaching resident.  I must say that I’m quite grateful that I didn’t fall flat on my face although I did have some moments of stuttering that I hope was not too noticeable, at least to the mainly Japanese audience (wishful thinking).

After the main hospital party, everyone relocated to a lounge for the after-party which provided a more convenient venue to mingle as the hotel party was more of a scripted program where the audience just sat quietly while eating and paying attention to the stage.

Overall, I’m glad to have attended such an event (and feel quite proud of the graduates and glad that I’ve had a chance to contribute to their education) although I wouldn’t mind for a little more liveliness.