Japanese Association of Medical Communication
Vol. 2, No.1 2023 (The First Number)


The second conference and symposium of the Japanese Medical Communication Association

Keiko Sakakibara1), Kazuhiko Fujisaki2), Takeo Nakayama3), Miho Iwakuma4),Makiko Haragi5)、Takahiro Kiuchi6)

1)Department of Social Psychology, Faculty of Sociology, Toyo University 2)Medical Education Development Center, Gifu University 3)Department of Health Informatics, School of Public Health, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine 4)Department of Medical Communication, School of Public Health, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine 5)School of Health and Social Services, Department of Health Sciences (Behavioral Sciences), Saitama Prefectural University 6)Department of Health Communication, School of Public Health, the University of Tokyo

The Japanese Association of Medical Communication was established in FY2021 as a forum for academic discussion of communication among medical and healthcare professionals. The main research areas of the society are media communication (distribution of academic information and dissemination of knowledge to medical professionals) and interpersonal communication (communication for interpersonal education and training among medical professionals). In FY 2022, the Society held an academic meeting and symposium, "Mentoring in Healthcare Professionals," at Health Communication Week 2022, Nagoya, Japan. In cooperation with the other related academic societies of Health Communication Week Organization, we would like to deepen our knowledge of communication related to health and medical care and develop activities with the aim of contributing to all people including medical professionals, patients, and society.

<Special Issue>

What is mentoring? Its definition and effects

Keiko Sakakibara

Toyo University

As society undergoes major changes , people must be more proactive and independent in their work and lives. Mentoring is an important resource in that approach. Mentoring provides career support, psychosocial support, and role modeling, which all promote the growth, learning, and development of the recipients (mentees) and givers (mentors). This study elaborates on three aspects of mentoring. First, while many studies have focused on mentoring’s benefits for career development, recent studies have examined its role in maintaining and improving well-being. Second, major social changes have altered the concept of mentoring from that of an intra-organizational, hierarchical, one-to-one relationship to that of an intra- and inter-organizational, diverse relationship occurring within multiple networks. Third, mentoring should be seen as a resource for dealing with challenges not only in the early stages of one’s career but also in the middle and late stages, such as in achieving a work?life balance and transitioning to the next phase of life. This study recommends recapturing mentoring as a resource for enriching life, and it recommends examining mentoring’s practical effects .

Practical Tips for Mentoring:Making a positive difference in the lives of others

Richard Toshiharu Kasuya

University of Hawaii

Strong mentor-mentee relationships have been shown to be beneficial to both personal and professional growth of the mentee, and rewarding and satisfying to the mentor. As the value of mentorship becomes increasingly recognized in the workplace, it is important for professionals to appreciate and develop the qualities of effective mentors.

The current status of mentoring in medical education in Japan

Haruo Obara

Division of General Internal Medicine, Okinawa Prefectural Chubu Hospital

Mentoring has gained increasing attention in Japanese medical education in recent years. Since mandatory postgraduate training was introduced about 20 years ago, awareness of the importance of mentoring has risen. This is because of changes in career development for physicians and concerns about stress among residents. Recently, mentoring has been discussed for inclusion in clinical training guidelines for physicians and books for mentors, and more training hospitals are introducing formal mentoring programs. However, there is still insufficient understanding of mentoring among mentors and residents. Although practical initiatives have been implemented, there is little quantitative or qualitative research exploring the characteristics of mentoring among Japanese physicians. From the limited available information, many physicians evidently have mentors, but power distances are relatively large compared with mentoring in the West. Japanese mentoring relationships tend to be associated with cultural traits such as collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, and long-term orientation; differences with mentoring characteristics in Europe and the United States have become apparent. Consideration is needed on how mentoring can be adapted to Japan’s conditions and culture rather than directly importing Western mentoring approaches. Practical experience must be accumulated, and new research must be promoted to achieve this.

Copyright © Japanese Association of Medical Communication