IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Specialty choice and physicians' career paths in Japan: An analysis of National Physician Survey data from 1996 to 2006

Listed author(s):
  • Koike, Soichi
  • Matsumoto, Shinya
  • Kodama, Tomoko
  • Ide, Hiroo
  • Yasunaga, Hideo
  • Imamura, Tomoaki
Registered author(s):

    Objectives To investigate trends of specialty distribution and physicians' career paths in Japan, and to discuss potential policy implications.Methods Distribution of main area of practice, relation between board-certified specialists and reported main area of practice, and migration of main area of practice by career stage were analyzed in data from the National Physician Survey, collected between 1996 and 2006.Results The percentages of physicians involved in internal medicine, surgery, neurosurgery, pediatrics, ophthalmology, obstetrics and gynecology and otorhinolaryngology decreased from 1996 to 2006. Overall, the numbers reported for the main area of practice matched the number of board-certified specialists. Among physicians who began their careers as internal medicine physicians in the 1996 registration cohort, the proportion of those engaged in internal medicine fell from 82.5% in 1996, to 43.6% in 2000, to 37.0% by their 10th year. Among five registration cohorts analyzed, 9.1-16.8% of the surgical specialties group switched their main area of practice to internal medicine within 10 years.Conclusions While there is a general trend toward specialization, it is important to balance between general practice and specialization to strengthen health care systems. Developing a certification system and maintaining the quality of specialist physicians are also crucial.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Health Policy.

    Volume (Year): 98 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 2-3 (December)
    Pages: 236-244

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:hepoli:v:98:y:2010:i:2-3:p:236-244
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    1. Starfield, Barbara & Shi, Leiyu, 2002. "Policy relevant determinants of health: an international perspective," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 201-218, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:hepoli:v:98:y:2010:i:2-3:p:236-244. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

    or ()

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.