This news has been reported by many Japanese news sources.



Tokyo Medical University discriminated against female applicants by lowering entrance exam scores: sources Kyodo, Staff Report


Tokyo Medical University deducted points from the entrance exam scores of all female applicants to keep the ratio of women studying at the university at about 30 percent, sources familiar with the matter said Thursday.


The practice likely began around 2010 and was apparently aimed at avoiding a shortage of doctors at affiliated hospitals. The medical college believed female doctors often resign or take long leave after getting married or giving birth, leading to a shortfall, according to the sources.


The university deducted 10 to 20 percent of the points scored by female applicants, the sources said.  (from the Japan Times)


To me at least, the second paragraph of the article sounds like “the university deducted points because many female doctors won’t stay at their jobs after they get married or give birth.” Maybe it is true. Many female doctors in Japan leave their jobs after they get married or give birth, but here is my question:


Do they WANT TO leave their jobs?


I think many of them choose to leave their jobs because it is difficult for them to come back to work and catch up. Think about it; they studied, did research, trained, etc. so hard for so many years to become doctors, and do you think they want to give up on their dream just because they get married? Or just because they give birth? I don’t think so. I think they want to come back, but they CAN’T. THAT IS the truth.


According to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, only 20 % of the doctors in Japan are female. (Sorry, the data is in Japanese.) Don’t you think this figure is low? A Japanese female TV star and a cosmetic surgeon, Ayako Nishikawa, claims that’s just the way it is because female doctors cannot carry a patient with a severe dislocated hip or perform surgery if they are pregnant…



According to the data collected by OECD, more than 50% of the doctors in some countries, such as Finland, Portugal and Spain, are women. Furthermore, more than 70% of the doctors in Latvia and Estonia are women. How is this possible if Dr. Nishikawa is correct?


Some critics say that the ratio of male doctors to female doctors is controlled by the government in those countries, so it is not appropriate to compare these figures with Japan… Really? Are you saying this is happening in all countries where more than 50% of the doctors are female? It is hard to believe.


OK. Fair enough. Let’s say it is true. Then my question is “Why don’t we do the same thing? Or why don’t we at least investigate what the countries are doing to control the ratio?” Since Japan’s ratio of female doctors is so low, and the government says it is trying to improve the female employment rate, I think they should start by doing something to increase the number of female doctors.