Medical professionals from Japan and the United States met last month in Bozeman, Mont., to discuss issues rural doctors and rural patients face in their respective countries. A similar meeting was held in Japan in June.
The Mansfield Center for Pacific Affairs sponsored the meeting. The center, based in Washington, D.C., and Missoula, Mont., is named for Mike Mansfield, former U.S. Senate majority leader and ambassador to Japan, and his wife, Maureen Mansfield.
The U.S. and Japan have vastly different health-care systems, but share several rural health services problems. Both countries have a shortage of rural obstetrical services, and both need a better distribution of family doctors to serve more sparsely settled areas. At the meeting, the WWAMI program was noted for its focus on community-based medical education and for encouraging students to consider practices in medically underserved areas.
Speakers at the conference included a representative from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, rural doctors from the U.S. and Japan, and medical school faculty members from both countries.