Medical Licence

Healing Art for Tomorrow Part Ⅱ
Written by Mokichi Okada, 1943

Regarding a medical licence, I would like to point out the great fault in its qualification system, which we cannot overlook. Everyone knows that a person requires their educational background, experience and thesis to become a physician at present. However, I think that they are not enough. The most important requirement is lacking. Then what is it? It is a practical examination of curing disease. In other words, the first condition to become a physician should be the skill of curing the disease more quickly and better. If a person doesn’t have such a skill, we cannot say that they are qualified as a physician no matter how excellent their educational background, experience and thesis are. As I repeatedly described, medicine has a mission to cure the disease and promote human health, which is more important than anything. Educational background, experience and thesis would be needed. However, they are, needless to say, just fundamentals for the purpose but not the method itself of curing diseases after all. For example, if we build a plane, it is meaningless that it doesn’t fly no matter how theoretically we can explain its device and structure. It is the same as what I described above.  

Therefore, as I said, I think that a physician should be qualified by the skill of curing disease. Their educational background, experience and thesis would become naturally incidental conditions. By doing so, medical therapy would truly progress. In that case, I think that a person first gets a bachelor’s degree with their educational background, experience and thesis. If they further take doctors of medicine, I think that they should be given as a result of the strict examination of the skill of curing diseases as I described above.

I have one more thing to say. That is why patients have to pay the same medical fees regardless of whether they are cured or not. It is unreasonable. Needless to say, it is difficult to calculate medical expenses at a reasonable price because there are differences in treatment results. Some patients are completely cured but some are not. Even if they are cured, some are cured quickly but some are late. Furthermore, some get worse instead of curing diseases. Therefore, I think the following method would be fine to calculate medical expenses at present. I will show them for your reference as below;

  1. When the disease is completely cured, the patient pays twice as much as current medical expenses. When it is not cured, they pay half of them.
  2. The patient is informed of the period of treatment until they are cured at the first visit. They pay double the current fees during that period. However, if it is exceeded, they pay half of them from then.
  3. The whole cost of treatment is also determined and the patient pays all in advance. If they are not completely cured until the determined day, half of the fees they paid are refunded. The treatment fees may vary depending on wealth or grade.

I heard that the Chinese asked the physician first how much it would cost to cure the disease at the first visit. Some Japanese people laugh at them when hearing that. I think that they are rather advanced and reasonable in a sense. It is because it suits their financial situation. As for doctors, they are fairly judged whether they are superior or not.

If such an idea is put into practice, you will clearly see that medicine will truly progress. However, the doctors might feel that their dignity is offended. Even so, they just feel it ostensibly. They will rather feel dignity internally or will be sincerely respected. It is because patients want nothing but to cure the disease, to be free from pain and to get their health back as quickly as possible. If their wish come true, they naturally feel gratitude and respect for doctors. They won’t care about anything. I heard that skilled physicians gained a reputation by curing incurable diseases during the Edo period. That story agrees with my theory.

Translated by N.H.