Since we have recently been covering the topic of health insurance, it seems logical to follow up with information about the various types of services you can get for your hard earned insurance money. Today, we will look at the medical specialities in Japan.


Unlike the UK and US, Japan lacks anything like a general practitioner (GP) or family doctor. People simply go to whatever specialist suits them. The most basic type of doctor is internal medicine (内科 naika) which is the closest thing to a GP. Almost every doctor has at least this one qualification and many doctors in private practice have several specialities, although they usually advertise one in particular. The various specialties are listed (for the first time in English) below:

内科 naika Internal Medicine
小児科 shonika Pediatrics
神経内科 shinkeinaika Neurological Internal Medicine
リウマチ科 riumachika Rheumatology
消化器科 shoukika Gastroenterology
臨床検査科 rinshokensaka Laboratory Medicine/Clinical Pathology
耳鼻咽喉科 jibiinkoka Otorhinolaryngology/Ears-Nose-Throat
性病科 seibyoka Sexual Transmitted Disease Specialist
歯科 shika Dentistry
東洋医学科 toyoigakuka Eastern Medicine
乳腺外科 nyusengeka Mammary Surgery
胃腸科 ichoka Gastro-intestinal Medicine
腎臓内科 jinzonaika Nephrology
心療内科 shinryonaika Psychosomatic Medicine
小児外科 shonigeka Pediatric Surgery
放射線科 hoshasenka Radiology
気管食道科 kikanshokudoka Broncho-Esophology
肛門科 komonka Proctology
矯正歯科 kyoseishika Corrective Dentistry
予防医学科 yoboigakuka Preventative Medicine
不妊治療 funinchiryo Infertility Treatment
血液内科 ketsueki naika Haematology
外科 geka Surgery
呼吸器外科 kokyuki geka Chest and Respiratory Surgery
形成外科 keisei geka Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
麻酔科 masuika Anaesthesiology
アレルギー科 arerugika Allergist
産科 sanka Obstetrics
小児歯科 shoni shika Pediatric Dentistry
審美歯科 shinbi shika Aesthetic Dentistry
呼吸器科 kokyukika Pulmonology
神経科 shinkeika Neurology
整形外科 seikei geka Orthopedic Surgery
心臓血管外科 shinzo kekkan geka Cardiovascular Surgery
美容外科 biyo geka Cosmetic Surgery
内分泌科 naibunbika Endocrinology
皮膚科 hifuka Dematology
婦人科 fujinka Gynecology
歯科口腔外科 shikakoku geka Oral Surgery
インプラント inpuranto Medical Implants
循環器科 junkankika Cardiology
リハビリ科 rihabirika Rehabilitation
胸部外科 kyobu geka Thoracic Surgery
病理科 byorika Pathology
内視鏡科 naishikyoka Endoscopy
泌尿器科 hinyokika Urology
眼科 ganka Ophthmology
スポーツ科 supootsuka Sports Medicine
予防歯科 yobo shika Preventative Dentistry

Note: Obstetrician and Gynecology (婦人産科 fujin sanka) are often practiced by the same doctor much like a Western OBGYN, although in bigger clinics they may be divided into separate sections.

Typically, a doctor's main field of specialization will be in the name of the clinic (i.e. Taka Internal Medicine Clinic) or the specialities of a given practice will be listed after the clinic name. In the case of large hospitals, various out patient specialities will be divided by section, floor, and sometimes even by building.


That about does it. But what good is a list without an explanation of how to handle going to the Japanese doctor? No worries, next week: "Going to the Doctor's Office in Japan"!

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