Japan tests medical students for approachability
Japanese medical students must prove that they are approachable before they can qualify. This reflects the Japanese medical profession's objective to move away from just expecting students to acquire knowledge toward effective interaction with patients.
From April 2005, all of the 108 Japanese universities that have a medical or dental school will have to implement the Common Achievement Test (CAT) for their students. The examination will test students' communication skills through a mock consultation with a patient.
All students in their fourth year, their final preclinical year, will take the computer based test, consisting of mainly multiple choice questions, and an objective structured clinical examination. Students who fail can retake the exam, but should they fail twice they will be advised to seek different work.
“This will be an important step toward fostering doctors who will be able to provide high quality, patient centred medical care,” an official at the