Japanese for Healthcare Professionals by Shigeru Osuka

Book cover Japanese for Healthcare Professionals by Shigeru Osuka
Japanese for Healthcare Professionals by Shigeru Osuka


“The only book of its kind in English, Japanese for Healthcare Professionals is a proficiency-based conversation textbook offering a complete Japanese language course that teaches Japanese grammar along with the vocabulary of medical care.

With nearly three million Japanese tourists visiting the United States last year, and another five hundred thousand expatriates residing in the US and other English-speaking countries, it is inevitable that many Japanese speakers find themselves in need of healthcare but unable to communicate. Important highlights of this book are:

  • Contains accompanying MP3 Audio Disc.
  • No prior knowledge of Japanese necessary.
  • For all professionals seeking to communicate in healthcare situations.
  • Includes an English–Japanese dictionary of medical terms, a glossary of common complaints, and a sample bilingual medical questionnaire.

Japanese for Healthcare Professionals offers a complete language course—for classroom study or independent learners that teaches Japanese grammar along with the medical Japanese vocabulary. The chapters cover every step of a patient’s interaction with care providers, from appointments and admissions to the physical examination, symptoms and illnesses, diagnosis, treatment, instructions to the patient, discharge, and follow–up. Chapters are devoted to the major branches of medicine as well as dentistry and to the corresponding bodily systems. There are also chapters on anatomy, infection and disease, and visits to the pharmacy. Each Chapter follows a natural progression designed to help the learner comprehend the new material and acquire the language as effortlessly as possible. Each includes: basic Japanese vocabulary, a situational dialogue, Japanese grammar points and key Japanese language and culture notes, exercises and practice drills, and a quiz to sharpen comprehension. The culture and language notes seek to help the provider understand better a Japanese patient’s cultural framework and patterns of belief, as well as the “ultraslatable” meaning conveyed by certain idioms.

The accompanying MP3 audio disc tries ties in core parts of each chapter, allowing learners to practice their spoken language skills outside a classroom setting. The book also includes thirty illustrations to help with vocabulary acquisition, a pronunciation guide, an English–Japanese dictionary of medical terms, a glossary of Japanese expressions for common complaints, a sample bilingual medical questionnaire, and answers to the quizzes.

Emphasizing the learner’s practical use of the Japanese language for healthcare settings is the importance of culture in understanding, Japanese for Healthcare Professionals reflects the national standards in foreign–language education set by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign languages (ACTFL).”

-From Amazon.com


This book is absolutely fantastic! So I am taking Japanese this year in University and this was the required book for the Japanese class and to say I was confused was an understatement. I mean, I am taking introduction to Japanese and I was getting a healthcare book. And my major has nothing to do with healthcare. Upon receiving the book I was quite impressed with how it was set out. It is simple to read but it has enough information each chapter to make you work. But I was still confused as to why I had to have this book. That was until I went to my Japanese language lab and met my professor.

It turns out that my professor is Doctor Osuka! I mean how awesome is that! The author of the book that I am using to learn one of my favorite languages is one of my professors!

So going into the class I was quite unsure about the book still. Very unclear as to why I was using a medical book. And that was destroyed the moment my professor explained the reason behind it. Apparently a lot of Japanese tourists come to America and not many people speak Japanese because they can all speak English. But they learn English to be able to survive, like we learn a language. So when they come here for an extended period of time and they get sick, they have serious issues communicating with the residents of America. So Dr. Osuka wrote this book to help Americans, and those who spoke English and wanted to communicate with the Japanese, to be able to help them in situations when they were sick or in danger because not many are able to communicate with them. It was a fun fact!

But this book does teach you the information you need to survive as well with basic phrases, grammar and cultural notes. The majority of the book is written in romanji but there is hiragana, katakana and kanji characters throughout the book so that native speakers who want to work on such things can work at it and so that one is able to learn the characters as well as learning how to speak the language.

Overall I find this book absolutely fantastic and it was worth the $30 that I paid for it as I will be learning it through my learning of the Japanese language.