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Japanese National Physician
Graduate Medical Education Program

 General Information


​Last updated: 30 April, 2018

Fellowship Program - General Information 

United States Naval Hospital Okinawa (USNHO) is the largest U.S. Naval Hospital outside the United States where122 physicians and 175 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, 2 caesarean-section rooms in labor and delivery, 14 labor and delivery rooms (now called Mother and Infant Care Center) 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 the main hospital, 6 branch medical clinics, family medicine clinics, and 4 annexes throughout Okinawa see more than 25,000 visits per year. USNHO also serves as the referral center for U.S. military personnel in the Western Pacific, including ships at sea.

A post-graduate medical fellowship will be offered at the United States Naval Hospital Okinawa from April 2019 to March 2020. The fellowship program is styled after transitional or family practice internship programs in the United States. After completing a 3-week orientation, fellows rotate through twelve clinical rotations that last four weeks each. The rotation will include seven core specialties (Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, General Surgery, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Pediatrics, and Neurology-Psychiatry) and five elective specialties. You can also choose to study overseas during elective months.

Japanese citizens who have graduated or will graduate by 31 March 2019 from Japanese medical schools are eligible to apply for a fellowship position. Applications must be received by July 7, 2018. Applicants should be fluent in verbal and written English. Incomplete applications WILL NOT be considered for interview. Applicants invited for an interview will be notified by July 14, 2018. Interviews will be required and will occur in Okinawa on August 25, 2018 followed by the casual dinner with current fellows on the same day. In the event of a typhoon or if other circumstances arise that preclude travel, interviews will be postponed until September 1, 2018.
Previous externship experience at USNHO is not required for application to the fellowship program.
A total of six to seven fellows will be selected. Successful candidates will be notified by e-mail following the interviews. All fellows must live off the military base at their own expense during the fellowship year.

Rotation Schedule
  • Core rotations
    Four weeks are spent in each of the following specialties: Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, General Surgery, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics/Gynecology or Public Health, Pediatrics, and Neurology-Psychiatry. 
  • Electives
    In addition to the seven core rotations, there are five elective rotations that may be spent in other medical specialties such as Ophthalmology, Orthopedics, Dermatology, Otolaryngology, Radiology, Urology and others. Fellows can also choose to repeat one or more of the core rotations. In addition, fellows may spend up to four weeks doing elective rotations overseas, and salary during the away rotation is guaranteed.
  • Continuity Clinics
    Fellows will be assigned an attending physician sponsor in their chosen specialty. The sponsor will act as the intern's advisor, advocate, and mentor through the year. Fellows will spend Friday mornings from 0800-1200 seeing patients with their sponsor in a "continuity clinic" regardless of their assigned clinical rotation.


Educational Conferences

There are daily, weekly and monthly educational conferences for interns. These include a daily morning report (case-based teaching round lasting 30-45 minutes), a weekly Friday afternoon lecture series, and monthly joint conferences with Okinawa Chubu Hospital and Nanbu medical center. The Friday afternoon series includes traditional didactic lectures, procedural skills, history and physical exam skills, evidence based medicine, and legal/ethical/cultural issues. Also available are CME (continuing medical education) lectures often presented by visiting specialists from the United States. Lectures are an important component of the fellows’ medical education.
United States Naval Hospital Okinawa (USNHO) is the largest U.S. Naval Hospital outside the United States with 122 physicians and 175 nurses providing a broad range of medical services. Physician specialists are available in Neurosurgery, Pulmonary Medicine, Neurology, Gastroenterology, Urology, Ophthalmology, Neonatology, Otolaryngology, and a wide range of other medical and surgical specialties.

Salary and benefit
  • Salary
    Fellows’ salary is approximately JPY 250,000 per month before taxes. There is no additional pay such as bonuses, overtime pay, or other allowances.

Salary maybe revised according to Japanese law ( possible pay revision )
  • Health Insurance
    Fellows are insured with health insurance for Japanese employees working on base.
  • Welfare Facilities
    Welfare facilities on military bases are available for fellows. These include on-base fitness centers and U.S. military recreational facilities on Okinawa.
  • Cost of Living
    No on-base apartment is offered to fellows. Current fellows with family rent 2DK flats near base for around JPY 65,000 per month.
  • Transfer fee
    All transportation, accommodations, and other expenses incurred while participating in this program must be borne by the applicants.


 How to Apply


​Last updated: 30 April, 2018

Fellowship Program - How to Apply

The following will be required for application to the Fellowship program:

  1. A completed application form (click here) with a recent digital photograph of yourself.
  2. A current curriculum vitae, written in English
  3. A personal statement, written in English, stating the reason for desiring fellowship training at USNHO and future goals for your medical career.  This personal statement is a major factor in the selection process. (500 words maximum) 
  4. A health certificate (click here)
  5. A English proficiency and USMLE score form (click here)
  6. A copy of medical license: This is required only for graduates.
  7. A recent digital (electronic, color) photograph data of yourself.
  8. A transcript of the medical school academic record, written in English.
  9. One letter of recommendation, written in English. The letter should be from the person as specified below explaining why the applicant is a good candidate for the fellowship program and highlighting the unique qualities of the applicant. Additional letters are welcome but not required.
    1. If a medical student: A letter from the Dean of the applicant’s medical school stating that the applicant is a student in good standing and is expected to complete all requirements for graduation. 
    2. If a resident: A letter from the Chairman of the residency program stating that the applicant is a physician in good standing and is expected to complete all requirements for residency completion.
    3. If a non-resident physician: A letter from a peer or supervisor stating that the applicant is a physician in good standing.


Documents 1-8 should be scanned and submitted together by an e-mail as PDF files.

Document 9 should be directly sent to the email address below by the recommender who writes the letter for the applicant. However, the letter submitted by the applicant is also acceptable. Both are handled in the same manner and whether the letter sent by the recommender or applicant never affects the fellow selection.

Please send us an email under the title “FELLOWSHIP APPLICATION (LAST, FIRST name)” to the address below. Include your full name and your telephone number to contact. Also, please do not forget to attach documents 1-8 (or 9) in this email, as mentioned above. DO NOT use your cellular/smart phones to send the email.

The application will be accepted starting June 1, 2018 and deadline for the fellowship program is July 7, 2018. If you are expecting to receive a letter(s) of recommendation from your externship rotation at USNHO this year, please contact us.

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

List of important dates:

Application deadline:      Saturday July 7, 2018.
Invitation for interviews:   Saturday July 14, 2018.
Interview date:                Saturday August 25, 2018

1In the event of a typhoon or other unexpected circumstances arise that preclude travel, interview will be postponed until Saturday September 1, 2018.




​Fellowship Program - Frequently Asked Questions 

Q: Where is the U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa located?
A:  It is located on Camp Foster, which is situated in Kitamae, Chatan-cho, Nakagami-gun, Okinawa, along Route 58. You may travel to Camp Foster from the Naha Airport via bus, taxi or privately owned vehicle. However, please remember that you will not be allowed on the base without proper photo ID(passport, driver’s license) and base pass. Applicants will be escorted in on interview day.
Q: Do I need to have a previous externship experience at USNHO in order to apply for the fellowship program?
A: No. Previous externship experience at USNHO is not required to apply.
Q: Do you offer open-house days?
A: No, unfortunately, we only offer externships.
Q: What is an average day for interns? 
A:  0700-0745   Morning report
     0800-1200    Rotation assignment
     1200-1300    Lunch
     1300-1630    Rotation assignment
     When you work in inpatients, you will be expected to pre-round before 0700.
Q: Do I have on-call duties?
A:  Yes, we do. Typically, interns are scheduled to be on-call once every six nights. Call duties include translating between English and Japanese for Japanese-speaking patients at USNHO, and coordinating patient transfers between USNHO and local Japanese hospitals for procedures not available at USNHO such as cardiac catheterization.
Q: How do I know that I’m invited to the fellowship interview?
A: By phone call from the current fellow by the date noticed.
Q: In case of typhoon, what should I do?
A: Fellow will keep update about the schedule for the interview. Unfortunately, this problem is case by case depends on where is the typhoon placed at and the course will be, so we will keep update.
Q: Should I open and scan the sealed medical school academic record written in English?
A: Yes, please open it and scan, then attach to the email.
Q: What would I have to write down in the blank space of Physical Examination?
A: If you do not have any findings, please write here so. (e.g. within normal limits/WNL)
   If you have specific findings, please write that down by the physician.
Q: Where should I contact when I have further questions about the application?