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Japanese National Physician
Graduate Medical Education Program

 General Information

​​Externship Program - General Information 
Last updated: 24 JUNE 2020
We apologize for the delay of the announcement about the 2020 Externship program.
U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa is the largest overseas U.S. Naval Hospital.  In March 2013, U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa relocated to a new state-of-the-art medical complex on Camp Foster.  Physicians and nurses provide a broad range of medical services.  The hospital consists of 64 active beds (expandable to 175 beds), 11 operating rooms, an Emergency Room, labor and delivery rooms (now called MICC) averaging 1,200 deliveries per year, 8 ICU beds, and a 12 bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.  Our specialty and primary care clinics (located at U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa, 6 branch medical clinics, family medicine clinics, and 4 annexes throughout Okinawa) see more than 25,000 visits per year.  U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa serves as the referral center for U.S. military personnel in the Western Pacific, including ships at sea.
An externship program will be offered at the U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa from 13 July 2020 to 4 Sep 2020 for selected medical students and graduates of Japanese medical schools.  The program is intended to provide exposure to western-style medicine.

 How to Apply

Externship Program - How to Apply 
Last updated: 24 JUN 202020
Due to the dynamic nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals may get a last-minute cancellation. The document screening process also takes into account the infection situation in the area of migration. Please understand that you may be rejected due to these concerns.
Medical school graduates and medical students in their 5th or 6th year at medical schools may apply. You do not have to be a Japanese citizen to apply, but you do need to be fluent in Japanese. Japanese medical school is preferred but not required. Applicants should be reasonably fluent in written and verbal English.
Please understand that while unlikely, the externship program could be canceled or postponed suddenly if there is an unexpected emergency (such as a typhoon or an international crisis).  Summer is typhoon season in Okinawa, and externs will be sent home from the hospital once severe typhoon conditions are imminent.  Externs should be prepared to alter lodging and /or transportation arrangements in the event of a typhoon.
The following credentials will be required: (Each should be written in English.)
  1. A completed application form (click here, then print) with a recent FORMAL photograph of yourself (American passport size 5×5 cm, color). This includes the signed statement at the bottom of the application regarding the treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the USA and Japan.  While TOEFL (or other English language exam) is not a prerequisite for acceptance into the program, please include your score, if available.
  2. Completed form (click here, then print) which states your top 3 choices for rotation dates and rotation specialty.
  3. Curriculum Vitae.
  4. Background check sheet (click here, then print).  Please see the "FAQ" to fill the sheet.  Signature should be written in KANJI. Please “HANDWRITE” initials for item 29 and 30.
  5. A photocopy of government issued id that includes the individual’s picture which proves your nationality.  For instance, photocopy of your passport. 
Please send an email (do not use your cellular/smart phone to send the email) under the title of “EXTERNSHIP APPLICATION (Your name)” to: with your full name, your preferred time for the telephone interview, and the documents (1-5). All these documents (1-5) should be scanned and attached to the email in the PDF format. Please also attach a recent photograph of yourself in this email.
Incomplete applications will disqualify you from selection as an extern.  Up to 8 applicants will be selected for each weekly session.  We basically handle applications on a “FIRST-COME, FIRST-SERVED BASIS”.
※ We have decided to cancel the telephone interview before the externship program this year.
We will call you for a brief telephone interview (5-10 minutes) in English.  These interviews will be held on 13 MAY 2019 and 14 MAY 2019 from 1 to 3 pm. Applicants whose English language skills are deemed unsatisfactory or substandard will not be selected.

Notification of selection will be sent by email within 2 weeks after the telephone interview.

If you have further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us in English. (English)

* IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING E-MAIL ADDRESSES: Unfortunately, the Department of Defense often blocks emails from Yahoo and Cellular/Smart Phone carriers. E-mails from GMail and Hotmail should not be blocked.


Externship Program - Frequently Asked Questions 
Last updated: 19 JUN 2020 
Q: Where may I stay during the Externship program?
A: Unfortunately, we are unable to provide you with housing on Camp Foster.  You are responsible for providing your own accommodations. There are several hotels and guest houses located in Chatan near Camp Foster.
Q: When is the Externship Program at the U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa, Japan offered this year?
A: The Externship Program is being offered for 8 weeks from 13 JUL 2020 to 04 SEP 2020. Sorry, we cannot accept any individuals for the program outside of this time period.
Q: What is the usual duration of a rotation?
A: In order to accommodate a large number of applicants, each person may only rotate one week.  Our aim is to provide you with a worthwhile exposure to western-style medicine.
Q: Where is the U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa, Japan located?
A: It is located on Camp Foster, Chatan-cho, Nakagami-gun, Okinawa, along Route 58.  You may travel to Camp Foster from the Naha Airport by bus, taxi, or privately owned vehicle.  However, please remember, you will not be allowed on the base without a proper photo ID and/or the necessary paperwork.
Q: May I travel to Camp Foster in my own privately owned vehicle?
A: The use of private vehicles is prohibited for security reasons. Please use on base taxi (Okitou Taxi: 0120-235-477).
Q: How will I know I have been selected to participate in the Externship Program?
A: After meeting application requirements and screening from the public health department, we will notify those selected by email.
Q: Besides the necessary grooming products, toiletry items and money, what medical equipment should I bring?
A: Participants should bring professional dress wear (i.e., men-slacks, dress shirt and tie; women-dress/slacks and shirt), a white medical/lab coat, and a stethoscope.
Q: Do I need to be vaccinated for the hepatitis B virus?
A: Given the particular risk of health/medical professionals acquiring hepatitis B, it is generally recommended that you receive the hepatitis B vaccination. In the United States, medical students, health professionals and certain high-risk individuals/groups, receive the hepatitis B vaccination. Now, the hepatitis B vaccination is given to the U.S. population during childhood. While recommended, you are not required to receive the hepatitis B vaccination prior to attending the Externship Program.
Q: How should I fill the block for home phone and Fax number in the Extern Application Form when I don’t have either of them?
A: Please fill the block with "N/A".
Q: Should the explanation for why I’m interested in the externship program be limited to the three rows provided in the Rotation Preferences?
A: There're only three rows allotted to keep this simple. You can also use the margin area to write more if needed.
Q: Is there any specific form or guideline that I should follow for Curriculum Vitae?
A: There's no specific form required for  the Curriculum Vitae.
Q:How many forms of identification are required to be filled out for block 14-19 in the Background Check sheet?
A:  You don't need to fill all of them but you must fill one row with your I.D. information.  For blocks 14-19, we strongly recommend using your passport information rather than your driver's license. If you use your passport as a valid I.D., please fill in row 3 and in block 16 should be filled with the name of the "prefecture" listed in your issued your passport. 
Q: How should I fill the block 24 when I don’t have a home phone number in the Background Check sheet?
A: Please fill the block 24 with your cell phone number.
Q:How should I fill the blocks 25-28 in the Background Check sheet?
A: For item 25, please delete the default information and write "CDR Steven P. Praske, Program Director" for the BASE SPONSOR'S NAME and "646-7533" for the SPONSOR PHONE. For the blocks 26 and 27, please leave them blank. For the block 28, check 0600-1800 for WORK HOURS, and check all the boxes from Monday to Friday for WORK DAYS.
Q: For the date, which format is preferred?  For example, it should be written as 5/17/2017, 17 May 2017, or in a different way?
A: Either format is fine unless it is indicated specifically like "ddmmyyyy". "17MAY2017" is commonly used and clear understood.