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Dolphin Tales

Studying Medicine in Tokyo

Yoko, class of 2018, after graduating from Johns Hopkins in the US is now enjoying her time at TMDU in Tokyo balancing her studies and her private time.


Where are you now?
I graduated one year early from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, USA in May 2021, and I am now attending the School of Medicine at Tokyo Medical and Dental University(東京医科歯科大学医学部医学科)in Tokyo, Japan.

What are you studying? What is your field of study/major?
I majored in neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University, and I am now studying medicine at Tokyo Medical and Dental University.

What was your favorite class so far?
I just started medical school in April 2023, so I have only finished three classes, but my favorite class so far would be “Introduction to the Human Body”! It was interesting to learn about the development of human organ systems and think about what would happen if certain mechanisms in the developmental process did not occur normally. 

What was your least favorite class so far?
This is a difficult question because I have genuinely enjoyed all my classes at TMDU so far, but if I had to choose, it would be “Introductory Neurophysiology”. I had already learned all the material at Johns Hopkins, and the course also involved quite a lot of physics, which I am not a huge fan of.

What part of university life do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy studying with my classmates the most! My classmates are extremely smart, collaborative, and friendly, and we all take turns creating and sharing review materials with the rest of our year to help everyone pass all the courses. Everyone is always happy to help each other understand difficult topics as well, which makes studying much less stressful. The upperclassmen are also always willing to share resources and advice on how to do well in courses, so it feels like we are all a big family. Overall, I’m really enjoying my time as a medical student at TMDU! 

Outside of your studies, what’s the one thing that you are really enjoying or most excited about these days?
I recently joined the futsal team at TMDU, which has been a lot of fun! We practice once a week and participate in a couple of tournaments against other medical schools every year. My teammates are all very kind and helpful, and I’ve been able to become friends with upperclassmen in the School of Medicine and students studying dentistry, nursing, and medical technology. I’ve also always wanted to play soccer or futsal again after graduating from NIS, so it feels great to be able to play again!

What’s the one thing you miss most about NIS? 
I miss the teachers at NIS the most! Not only were they knowledgeable, but they were also very encouraging and caring. My teachers were always happy to explain difficult topics to me outside of class and challenged me to learn more, which I think was a huge part of what helped me succeed academically. I also experienced many rough times during high school, and I am grateful for all the encouragement and advice my teachers gave me during those difficult moments.

Lastly, what words of wisdom do you have for your schoolmates still at NIS?
1. Study, but don’t study too much! One thing I regret about my high school experience was devoting too much of my time to studying. Although I actively participated in extracurriculars and exercised regularly, I wish I had spent some more time hanging out with friends.

2. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. The teachers at NIS are all there to help you succeed, and they are always happy to answer any questions you may have. I never hesitated to ask questions to my teachers, which really helped me improve my understanding of topics covered in class. Also, your questions don’t always have to be about coursework; you can talk to your teachers about personal struggles, too.

3. If you are going to college soon (congratulations, by the way!), remember to keep an open mind and explore your interests. When I started college at Johns Hopkins, I thought I needed to have everything figured out (I made a huge spreadsheet with all my classes planned out from freshman to senior year). However, I ended up switching majors at the end of my first year and trying a lot of new hobbies and activities that I didn’t even think about when I first arrived on campus. College is a great place to branch out and figure out what you want to do in the future, so take full advantage of that opportunity!









  1. •    勉強は大切ですが、教科書以外何も手に取らなくなるほど勉強しすぎるのもよくありません。ひとつ、私が高校時代で後悔しているのは、勉強に没頭しすぎた事です。課外活動に参加したり運動もしていましたが、もっと仲間と一緒の時間を過ごせば良かったと思っています。
  2. •    質問することを恐れてはいけません。NISの先生方は皆あなた方の学習成果が上がるようサポートしてくださいますし、どんな質問にも答えてくださいます。私は質問するのを躊躇ったことはありませんし、それが良い成績を修めることができた大きな要因のひとつだと思っています。それに、質問は授業の内容や課題についてだけじゃなくてもいいのです。個人的な悩みなども相談したっていいのです。
  3. •    これから大学に進学するのなら(おめでとう!)、常に柔軟に、興味を追求する姿勢を忘れないでください。私はジョンズホプキンズ大学に入った当初は全てきちんと計画すべきだと思い、自分のクラスと参加したい課外活動を書き込んだ壮大なスプレッドシートを作りました。ところが結局1年めの終わりには専攻を変更し、入学当初は思いも寄らなかった新しい趣味や活動に精を出していたのです。大学は、新たな分野にも手を伸ばし、人生の目標を見つけるのに最高の場所なのですから、その機会を十分に活用してください。