This week’s Alumni Profile features, Dr. Masatoki Adachi, MSc, who graduated from the School in 2015 with a MSc in Global Health Policy. Dr. Adachi now works as Physician and Paediatrician for an international hospital in Japan. Additionally, Dr. Adachi serves as a Medical Advisor for the United States Consulate General in Japan, supporting foreign residents in the region.
Why did you choose to study at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine?
My physician mentor recommended the School while I was training as a resident at a university hospital in Japan and the name of the School stayed with me since. I also attended the British Service School in Hong Kong, which pulled me towards pursuing further education in the United Kingdom.
The School has a rich history. At first I feared that such long-standing history could lead to rigidness in the programs, but I quickly found that I was wrong. The school nurtured its pioneer spirit in sharing knowledge and serving the global community which is what I was most impressed about.
What challenges did you face while studying at the School and how did you overcome them?
It was a challenge to balance the work and study hours as I kept working as a full time doctor at the hospital. I had four to five years to complete the course which was helpful in managing the schedules.
How has your degree from the School helped you in your career?
While working at an international hospital, I was given the opportunity to work as a government appointed panel physician who provides health assessments to immigration applicants for different countries. This work involved working closely with different governments and public health specialists. As I met and communicate with people from different backgrounds, which made me realize that I needed to gain more structured knowledge of health policy from global standpoint. The Global Health Policy course at the School provided exactly what I was in need of.
What has been your greatest achievement so far in your career?
Over the past four years, my work has evolved into working more closely with the local international communities in Japan. I work with the United States Consulate in Japan to provide health related information and resources to foreign residents. I also work with local international schools and community members in providing healthcare and support. It is my passion to serve the international community in Japan and I am proud that I am able to have such partners who support my involvement with the community.
What would you like to go on to achieve?
I hope to continue pursuing my passion in working with international community, especially focusing on mobile populations in Asia. As globalization progresses further, people are traveling and immigrating to different countries even more. Some counties such as Japan and China, are facing an aging society at an accelerating speed. Understanding how such changes in the society impact mobile population require understanding of the local public health context as well as the global perspective. I hope to reach out to community healthcare providers in other countries to look at public health issues from global dynamics.
Any advice for current students?
I believe there are many reasons for each individual to choose a program, but I feel that there is a sense of common interest amongst students and teachers at LSHTM. Being a part of this common interest, regardless of the nationality or location, helped me view the world more openly. Completing the course does require commitment and focus on finishing academic tasks but I hope that current students will also take time to look around and communicate with other students. Sometimes finding out how others are dealing with difficulties is also helpful. For me, participating in interactive programs was the most helpful way to stay connected. I think this is important especially for those studying via Distance Learning.
Photo credit: Dr. Masatoki Adachi, MSc