|Japanese students visit to study physical therapy|
September 8, 2003
San Francisco State University hosted 51 physical therapy students from Japan last weekend, giving the visitors a chance to participate in labs and hands-on training exercises.
City College of San Francisco and SFSU's physical therapy program collaborated in creating the customized weekend program for the students from Osaka College, a Japanese college specializing in occupational and vocational training.
City College has been working with Osaka College since 1999, said Kit Dai, City College's project manager of contract education. To meet Osaka College's request for a physical therapy program, City College turned to SFSU.
At the jointly sponsored program held at SFSU, students attended physical therapy workshops that included overviews of physical therapy in the U.S. and at SFSU, a visit to California Pacific Medical Center, and methodologies for treating specific kinds of patients such as athletes suffering from shoulder injuries.
Like physical therapy students in the U.S., the Japanese visitors expressed a desire to help those who have been injured in accidents and those who suffer from such other medical problems as strokes.
"This experience at SFSU will help broaden my perspective and see how things are done outside of Japan," said Tadayoshi Kanai, 27, who with his classmates continued on to Los Angeles as part of the program.
Though here only for a short time, the students noticed many differences in the practice of physical therapy between Japan and the U.S., particularly in the laws governing the profession.
"In Japan, it is impossible to open a legal private practice," said Kumiko Miyamura, 19. "Everyone must practice at a hospital or treatment center."
The educational exchange was enjoyed not only by the visiting Japanese students but also by the local instructors and faculty, comprised of professors from the graduate physical therapy program, clinicians from the Bay Area physical therapy community, and second-year physical therapy students.
"Our goal is to provide these students with hands-on learning experience of how neurological and orthopedic patients are treated in the United States," said Linda Wanek, director of SFSU's physical therapy program. "We are thrilled and honored that they are here."
The physical therapy program at SFSU is an intensive 27-month graduate program offered jointly by the University and the University of California, San Francisco.
-- Christina Holmes with Public Affairs Student Writer Javier Jimenez
1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132 (415)