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Feeling about Shizuoka Children’s Hospital

By Dr. Shi Xucong, from Thoracic Surgery Department

I came to Shizuoka Children’s Hospital to have two-month training since October 2017  .Shizuoka Children’s Hospital ranks No. 7 Children’s Hospital in Japan with 279 beds. The president of this hospital Dr. Sakamoto is a very famous cardiac surgeon, who is the chairman of pediatric circulatory association in Japan. This is a very wonderful opportunity for me to communicate with such a famous professor and his excellent team.


In Japan only severe patients will be introduced and transferred to this hospital because of their strict hierarchical medical system. Almost every case in their cardiac center is complex congenital heart disease. Usually only one operation every workday is performed , but it must be very classic and complicated. There are several cases that I have never seen before. Such as a dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) patient with ventricular assistance devices (VAD), who is waiting for heart transplantation.


Dr. Sakamoto’s team has seven surgeons, including young members at my age. They are all very nice and excellent in their expertise. A special character of Japanese is very careful and patient. Everyone does everything carefully. The operation may cost more time to do, but every procedure is perfect. Surgeons will introduce the whole process to the parents. Usually one cardiac operation may continue from morning to night, but all surgeons at the operating table will stand all day without eating or rest.


Dr. Ikai, the group leader, is a very lovely professor. He came to this hospital half year ago, but he is also a very famous professor in university hospital. Doctors in Japan often change their hospital about 5~6 years, under the demand of university. Dr. Ikai is good at English speaking. At the first several weeks, I can only watch the operation because the government hasn’t permitted my medical license. When Dr. Ikai finished his operation, he will introduce the whole case to me by English and let me ask questions and discuss the problems with me. After my temporary medical license was  permitted, Dr. Ikai invited me to participate in the operations. This was a wonderful learning experience for me.  I can get more information of their operation and clinic strategy.


The culture is so different from Japan to China. Government will cover all the patients’ cost and the doctors’ high salary. Without the fetters of money, all medical strategy will be made from disease itself. So complex cases may have 2 or more times operations, which is easily accepted by Japanese parents. The doctors in Japan have high social status. They worked with their dream and their interest, without stress of life. The pace of life and work is slowly in Japan. Maybe aging populations is the mainly factor. The hospital is very nice to us. Considering it is difficult for us to prepare three meals everyday, the hospital offers us three meals every workday. It solves our main life issues.


Shizuoka Children’s Hospital also has a facility dog employed as staff. The dog is trained in special institution and obtained the license. Every workday the dog will go around the whole hospital and accompany with several patients, who need care and love. It can play with child and sleep with them. The hospital pays more attention to the humanistic care of patients.

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