OPINION: A productive visit in CASPS: A personal view

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CASPS themes: Transparency, Health and Society

Keywords: International collaboration, Medical Governance Research Institute, The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, Japan, Patient organisations


In this blog post, I reflect on my study abroad at the University of Bath  as a research visitor in  the Centre for the Analysis of Social Policy and Society (CASPS). My stay at Bath is kindly supported by the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation and forms part of the longstanding collaboration between CASPS and the Medical Governance Research Institute (MEGRI) based in Tokyo, Japan.Since February 2024 , I received intensive guidance from on conducting elite interviews by Dr Piotr Ozieranski. leader of CASPS’s ‘Transparency and Policy’ research cluster.  I also attended classes on covering the organisation of welfare in various European countries,  including the UK, led by Dr Theo Papadopoulos, CASPS co-Director.

At the University of Bath entrance


In particular, my research project is requires  the conduct interviews on the financial relationships between patient groups and pharmaceutical companies in Japan. As part of my visit I received guidance on conducting qualitative interviews, including elite and expert interviewing. By thoroughly reviewing the materials provided, I have learnt crucial aspects for conducting interviews, emphasizing the importance of being respectful to interviewees, providing them with all necessary information for requesting their consent, and asking questions that draw out exclusive information known only to elites, thus making them feel special and eliciting unique insights. I am very eager to apply this advice very soon in my own interviewing practice.

With Dr Theo Papadopoulos, CASPS co-director


In Dr. Papadopoulos' class, I gained insights into social security systems which are not extensively covered in Japanese medical schools. Although as a medical student I learnt briefly about Japan's public health sector I was not exposed to international debates and theories regarding welfare systems including the organisation of pensions, health and social care. It was a highly beneficial class where I discovered differences in pension systems between Japan and the UK and engaged in discussions about issues related to ageing societies and the challenges for health policies, gaining valuable insights into how British peers perceive these challenges.

Despite the short duration of my stay at Bath, I have experienced and utilized invaluable opportunities not available in Japan and learned a great deal, which I believe will greatly benefit my future career as a physician. I express my gratitude to everyone who supported me throughout this research study abroad. Thank you very much.

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