Discussion Café
Discussion Café

Discussion Café

DCafé brings together students from diverse cultural and educational backgrounds for the purpose of networking and
learning new perspectives on global health challenges.

OVERVIEW

In cooperation with affiliated universities, Discussion Café (DCafé) brings together students from various cultural and educational backgrounds to discuss solutions to complex global health issues in English. DCafé is a chance for students to network with other future global leaders, as well as practice their discussion and debate skills and enhance their knowledge about the health sciences.

Diverse Learning Environment

Because our medical curriculum and national board exams are conducted in Japanese, there are few foreign exchange students at medical universities in Japan. This makes creating a culturally diverse learning environment difficult. Yet varied perspectives, in particular those outside the biological sciences, are necessary to generate solutions to complex global health issues. In order to analyze issues in the health sciences and then consider interventions and ways to innovate, it is essential to work together with individuals from diverse cultural, professional and educational backgrounds. In addition, when students from diverse backgrounds work together, they gain additional respect and understanding for their various perspectives and ways of life. In order to further develop these important skills among our students, we have collaborated with affiliated universities to create Discussion Café.

Challenging Global Health Issues from Diverse Perspectives

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Because global health challenges are formed through the interconnection of biological, political, economic and cultural factors, their root causes cannot be discovered from within the natural sciences alone. These challenges are also by no means limited to developing nations. In order to investigate and then take purposeful action in the global health arena, researchers who have a variety of cultural as well as disciplinary perspectives must be brought together.

With this in mind, DCafé topics have included such diverse issues as the globalization of medical care, the migration of skilled health care workers to developed nations, the buying and selling of organs for transplant, the declining Japanese birth rate, and healthcare inequities both inside and outside Japan. To tackle such challenges, our students can practice applying their communication, leadership, critical and logical thinking skills.

Student-Centered

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DCafé is led entirely by a student volunteer taskforce that is responsible for all the necessary planning and running of the event. In addition to organizing and leading the discussion, the taskforce is also responsible for selecting the topic, recruiting participants, arranging for the venue, and setting up on the day of the event. We guide our students through this process, and consider it an additional learning opportunity that allows them to prepare for their future leadership roles.

During DCafé, participants join in a lively student-led debate about the selected topic and within small groups discuss solutions to the challenges presented. In order to take full advantage of this unique learning opportunity, it is important for students to take the initiative and make an effort to contribute their opinions. With everyone’s active participation during discussion, students can also practice their English communication skills in an informal and friendly atmosphere.

Global Networking

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As DCafé creates a way for our students to interact with both foreign medical exchange students and students in different disciplines from affiliated universities, it connects them to perspectives from different cultural contexts and fields of study. While solving complex problems together through discussion and debate, these students build a strong sense of confidence and community; the networks they form will become a valuable asset for their future career development. We believe DCafé is a very valuable and positive opportunity for students!

Skill

  • Global Perspective

    To develop the ability to look at things from a wide perspective by distancing yourself from your own regional, cultural values.

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