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Release: March 28, 2001

UI medical student chosen for Japanese exchange

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A University of Iowa College of Medicine student has been chosen as an exchange student at Aichi University in Japan this summer.

Elena Wahmhoff, a first-year medical student from Bettendorf, will travel to Japan for eight weeks this summer.

The exchange program between the UI and Aichi is in its fourth year. In addition to choosing UI students to send to Aichi, the UI College of Medicine has hosted two Aichi students and faculty members.

Japanese medical schools differ from their American counterparts in the amount of practical experience students receive, which may involve shadowing doctors more than working independently.

"Medical schools in Japan tend to let students practice less than we can here," she said. "So it will be more observation and study than practice."

To be selected, Wahmhoff submitted an application and was interviewed. Speaking Japanese is not required to take part in the exchange program; although Wahmhoff studied the language for four years in high school. In fact, Wahmhoff's experience with the Japanese language was one of the reasons she decided to apply to the program.

"I'm planning on doing some review, and hopefully the rest will come back through immersion," she said.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.