About Us

Japanese National Physician Graduate Medical Education Program

Last Updated: April 28, 2023

Fellowship Program — General Information

United States Naval Hospital Okinawa (USNHO) is the largest U.S. Naval Hospital outside the United States where122 physicians and 175 nurses provide a broad range of medical services. The hospital consists of 64 active beds (expandable to 175 beds), 11 operating rooms, an Emergency Room, 2 caesarean-section rooms in labor and delivery, 14 labor and delivery rooms (now called Mother and Infant Care Center) averaging 1,200 deliveries per year, 8 ICU beds, and a 12 bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Our specialty and primary care clinics, located at the main hospital, 6 branch medical clinics, family medicine clinics, and 4 annexes throughout Okinawa see more than 25,000 visits per year. USNHO also serves as the referral center for U.S. military personnel in the Western Pacific, including ships at sea.

A post-graduate medical fellowship will be offered at the United States Naval Hospital Okinawa from April 2023 to March 2024. The fellowship program is styled after transitional or family practice internship programs in the United States. After completing a 3-week orientation, fellows rotate through twelve clinical rotations that last four weeks each. The rotation will include seven core specialties (Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, General Surgery, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Pediatrics, and Neurology-Psychiatry) and five elective specialties. You can also choose to study overseas during elective months.

Japanese citizens who have graduated from medical school and finished the 2 years of junior residency are eligible to apply for a fellowship position (who has SOFA status cannot apply for this position). Previous externship experience at USNHO is not required for application to the fellowship program. Applicants should be fluent in verbal and written English.

The application package (refer to “How to Apply”) must be received by July 20, 2022. Incomplete applications WILL NOT be considered for interview. Applicants invited for an interview will be notified by July 26, 2022. Interviews will be required and will occur at USNHO on August 5, 2022.

A total of six fellows will be selected. Successful candidates will be notified by e-mail following the interviews. All fellows must live off the military base at their own expense during the fellowship year.


Rotation Schedule

  • Core rotations. Four weeks are spent in each of the following specialties: Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, General Surgery, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics/Gynecology or Public Health, Pediatrics, and Neurology-Psychiatry.
  • Electives. In addition to the seven core rotations, there are five elective rotations that may be spent in other medical specialties such as Ophthalmology, Orthopedics, Dermatology, Otolaryngology, Radiology, Urology and others. Fellows can also choose to repeat one or more of the core rotations. In addition, fellows may spend up to four weeks doing elective rotations overseas, and salary during the away rotation is guaranteed.
  • Continuity Clinics. Fellows will be assigned an attending physician sponsor in their chosen specialty. The sponsor will act as the intern's advisor, advocate, and mentor through the year. Fellows will spend Friday mornings from 0800-1200 seeing patients with their sponsor in a "continuity clinic" regardless of their assigned clinical rotation.

Educational Conferences

There are daily, weekly and monthly educational conferences for interns. These include a daily morning report (case-based teaching round lasting 30 minutes), a weekly Friday afternoon lecture series, and monthly joint conferences with Okinawa Chubu Hospital, Nanbu medical center and Nakagami Hospital. The Friday afternoon series includes traditional didactic lectures, procedural skills, history and physical exam skills, evidence based medicine, and legal/ethical/cultural issues. Also available are CME (continuing medical education) lectures often presented by visiting specialists from the United States. Lectures are an important component of the fellows’ medical education.


United States Naval Hospital Okinawa (USNHO) is the largest U.S. Naval Hospital outside the United States with 122 physicians and 175 nurses providing a broad range of medical services. Physician specialists are available in Neurosurgery, Pulmonary Medicine, Neurology, Gastroenterology, Urology, Ophthalmology, Neonatology, Otolaryngology, and a wide range of other medical and surgical specialties.

Salary and benefit

  • Salary. Fellows’ salary is approximately JPY 250,000 per month before taxes. There is no additional pay such as bonuses, overtime pay, or other allowances. Salary maybe revised according to Japanese law (possible pay revision)
  • Health Insurance. Fellows are insured with health insurance for Japanese employees working on base.
  • Welfare Facilities. Welfare facilities on military bases are available for fellows. These include on-base fitness centers and U.S. military recreational facilities on Okinawa. Excluding the main exchanges and the commissary.
  • Cost of Living. No on-base apartment is offered to fellows. Current fellows with family rent near base for around JPY 50,000-1000,000 per month.
  • Transfer fee. All transportation, accommodations, and other expenses incurred while participating in this program must be borne by the applicants.

Fellowship Program — How to Apply

Applicants to the Fellowship must be PGY-2 or higher and complete junior residency prior to starting the Fellowship.

Fellowship Program Application Package; please refer to number 8 on this PDF.

In addition to sending required documentation to the Labor Management Organization, please send an email with the following documents to the USNH Okinawa fellowship at

  1. A current curriculum vitae, written in English (the same one which you sent to LMO)
  2. A personal statement, written in English, stating the reason for desiring fellowship training at USNHO and future goals for your medical career. (the same one which you sent to LMO)
  3. Two letters of recommendation, written in English. (the same one which you sent to LMO)
  4. A recent photo of yourself. (do not need to send to LMO)

Documents 1-2.4 should be scanned and submitted together by an e-mail as PDF files.
Document 3 can be directly sent to the email address below by the recommender who writes the letter for the applicant. However, the letter submitted by the applicant is also acceptable. Both are handled in the same manner and whether the letter sent by the recommender or applicant never affects the fellow selection.

Please send us an email under the title “FELLOWSHIP APPLICATION (LAST, FIRST name)”. Include your full name and your telephone number to contact. Also, please do not forget to attach documents 1-2 .4 (or 3) in this email, as mentioned above. DO NOT use your cellular/smart phones to send the email. 

The application will be accepted starting from June 26, 2023. Deadline for the fellowship program is July 20, 2023. If you have further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.

List of important dates:
Starting date for application: June 26, 2023 
Application deadline: July 20, 2023   
Interview date: August 4, 2023

Fellowship Program — Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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