Father became trilingual to practice medicine

Father became trilingual to practice medicine Typical day for the doctors Discrimination for Nisei doctors Recalls seeing her father off on a business trip with his surgery nurse Finding out about her father's case Making patients feel comfortable by using patient's regional dialects

Transcripts available in the following languages:

Well, he couldn't practice medicine, 'cause he had to take the state board. And he couldn't take the state board 'cause his English wasn't fluent enough. So he, his English was self-taught, but somehow or another he passed the state board in a year or so. And back in those days, to go to medical school in Japan, aside from Nihongo, you had to know German, 'cause most of the professors were German. And so my dad was quite proud that his German was quite good. And he'd spout out things to us, his kids, you know, never heard that kind of language before. But he was quite... of course, being Issei, your hatsuon, your pronunciation didn't have to be that sharp like in English. You could mumble something in German. Anyhow...

I*: But he was trilingual, so he was Japanese, German, and English.

Eventually, yeah. So all the Issei doctors had to take the test in English. In fact, my youngest son, when he was doing some research, he found, came across, there used to be a doctor named Isamu Sekiyama. My youngest son came across his papers for the state board, and it was all in English, beautiful handwriting. And so I guess they all made an effort to pass the state board. If they were alive now, it'd be a piece of cake, I'm sure.

* "I" indicates an interviewer (Tom Ikeda)

Date: September 21, 2009
Location: California, US
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda, Martha Nakagawa
Contributed by: Denshō: The Japanese American Legacy Project.

doctors issei japanese hospital medicine

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