Think you have it tough? Young docs in Japan work for no pay

After working a full week for free, they earn a living in the evenings and on weekends

If you think working conditions for doctors in Australia are tough, spare a thought for young doctors in Japan.

The country partly staffs its university hospitals with medical graduates who do a full week’s work for – absolutely nothing.

So, at least, allege the two authors of a letter published in the Lancet.

The bizarre situation is the result of limits on the the number of paid doctors working at university hospitals that are set by the nation’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, say the authors.

“To fill the gap in doctor supply, young doctors (mostly registered as graduate students) unofficially work full-time at university hospitals," write Professor Kenji Shibuya of the department of global health policy at the University of Tokyo and obstetrician Professor Nobuya Unno of Kitasato from the University,