One woman’s suicide shines a harsh light on the plight of Japan’s doctors
On May 31, the Niigata Labor Standards Inspections Office (Rokisho) certified the suicide death of a 37-year-old physician as having been caused by overwork. This is known as a karō jisatsu, or suicide due to overwork.
Having no certification whatsoever to begin with, Aya Kimoto started her career as a nursing assistant. While working, she studied hard and was able to get into medical school at Niigata University. After six years she graduated and started doing internships. For her second internship as a digestive system surgeon beginning in April 2015, she had to move to the Niigata City General Hospital, and it was there that her work environment changed dramatically. Her emergency on-call hours skyrocketed, and there was an increase in graveyard and holiday shifts.
ちなみに“day shift”は「昼間勤務，昼番」、“swing shift”は「午後交代制」で午後４時から深夜12時までの労働のことを言います。