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New Family Doctor for English Speaking Community - Nakamura Azabujuban Clinic

Nakamura Azabujuban Clinic is a brand-new facility, but Dr. Mitsuyasu Nakamura spent two decades as a topflight physician at Keio University Hospital and department head at Kawasaki Ida Municipal Hospital before opening his clinic in Tokyo’s fashionable Azabu-Juban neighborhood.

“In a big hospital you have lots of facilities and space, but patients complain about waiting so long, and say they can’t talk much to doctors,” Dr. Nakamura notes. “So I wanted to get closer to my patients, and to treat more foreign patients. I chose Azabu-Juban primarily because the area has a lot of embassies and expat residents.”

Dr. Nakamura speaks English fluently and is quite comfortable interacting with foreign patients. One reason is that he spent four years as a postdoctoral fellow investigating the hepatitis C virus under world-renowned viral disease expert Stanley Lemon at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. He enjoyed his time in the States, and traveled frequently to both coasts when he had the chance.

Although he is a board-certified specialist in internal medicine, gastroenterology, gastroendoscopy and hepatology, Dr. Nakamura also considers himself a family physician/GP. He gained wide experience in the necessary skills for that role during regular stints in the emergency room of one of Japan’s biggest hospitals, the Tokyo Medical Center.

The clinic is ready to deal with a variety of conditions that include the common cold and flu bugs, both seasonal and chronic allergies, and more serious illnesses such as liver disease and intestinal problems such as polyps.

“I treat a lot of people suffering from hay fever,” Dr. Nakamura says. “There are lots of good medicines for this, like in the United States. I also treat asthma, and can check for food allergies.”

He can also perform the following types of exams and procedures onsite:

The doctor places great emphasis on wellness and preventive medicine, which includes blood screening, cholesterol and blood sugar checks, and various aspects of internal medicine. He also administers vaccinations, does various types of health screening, and deals with metabolic diseases—checking cholesterol levels, for conditions such as a fatty liver and so on.

Since he’s a gastroenterology specialist, Dr. Nakamura offers a gastroenterological health screening course in addition to the standard and premium courses. The special screening includes gastroenteroscopy, colonoscopy and abdominal echo/ultrasound in addition to the usual chest X-ray, echocardiogram, blood tests and eye test. The premium test adds T-marker tests to check for tumors and a fecal blood test.

The clinic also offers antiaging programs. Dr. Nakamura was a research member at Doshisha’s University’s antiaging center, and works with a professor of antiaging at Doshisha. Antiaging checks are designed to check the functional age of a person’s bones, muscles, blood, nerves and so forth. If the results are below average in these areas, Dr. Nakamura and his colleague offer advice on ways to become younger in the functional sense and live longer, including taking supplements, exercise and dietary changes.

Dr. Nakamura plans to add gene testing to his service menu very soon. Gene testing involves looking for single nucleotide polymorphisms—frequently called SNPs (pronounced “snips”)—the most common type of genetic variation. According to the doctor, certain “snips” can signal a health risk, including future diseases.

The clinic has the newest colonoscopy and gastroscopy equipment, including a gastroscope with fiber thin enough to go through the nose rather than the mouth, which is much more comfortable. “We also have an ultrasound machine, and can do abdominal echo checks and blood Doppler echo checks in the neck,” Dr. Nakamura says, “as well as bone density and pulse wave testing.”

The clinic has two exam rooms—including one for testing such as abdominal echo and antiaging checks—and a recovery room for patients to relax in after endoscopy tests. The clinic's doors and walls are thick to ensure patient privacy during all consultations and treatments.

Dr. Nakamura asked the clinic’s designer to create a place where patients can relax fully, and got what he asked for. The counter and doors, for example, are natural wood, not veneer. The wallpaper in the waiting room is washi—Japanese paper—and the natural fiber curtains are from Switzerland. There are also two large restrooms—a rarity in a private facility like this.

Nakamura Azabujuban Clinic is just a one-minute walk from exit 4 of Azabu-Juban Station on the Nanboku and Oedo lines, and is located on the second floor of the new Azabu-Juban Square building. The clinic is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 to 6:30 p.m., and from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays, and closed on Thursdays, Sundays and public holidays. Notes: Walk-ins are allowed, but please make a reservation to ensure that we can help you as quickly as possible. There is also an English-speaking receptionist who can handle inquiries and reservations from foreign patients.

Tags:Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology, Gastroendoscopy, Hepatology, Family Physician/GP