Japanese Hospital Uses Miniature Sushi and Origami to Test Surgery Interns

Instead of testing potential interns’ surgery skills on real patients, a Japanese hospital devised an innovative examination process that involves miniature origami and sushi!

The Kurashiki Central Hospital, in southern Japan offers one of the best surgical internship programs in the country, but medical students who want to secure a position here have to prove their skills in a series of bizarre hand-on challenges. First, they have to use surgical instruments to fold a piece of paper into an origami crane. That sounds easy enough for someone with a bit of experience in creating origami, but did I mention the piece of paper measures only 1.5 square centimeters?


The second test sees applicants trying to reassemble a dead insect’s body. The dead bug is supposed to be around 35 mm big, but split into 13 different parts that the students have to put together again without damaging them. And finally, the third challenge has them making miniature pieces of sushi out of a single grain of rice – about 5 mm in size – and other traditional ingredients. The students have 15 minutes to complete each challenge as many times as they can in order to improve their chances of becoming interns at Kurashiki Central Hospital.

These tests may seem strange for such a prestigious medical institution, but they were chosen for a reason – all of them require an incredible amount of concentration, coordination and steady hands, invaluable qualities for any successful surgeon. Plus, they allow the judges to test applicants’ abilities under pressure. A more conventional written exam was also included as part of the entrance test, because, well, being a surgeon is about more than folding cranes and making sushi.


Only 40 students were allowed to apply for an internship at Kurashiki hospital this year. It’s not yet clear how many of them were accepted. I’m pretty sure that insect reassembling test got a few of them rejected.


Here is a cool presentation of the three hands-on challenges on the official Kurashiki Central Hospital website. Just scroll down and let the cool effects blow your mind.




Photos: AOL Japan, PR Times Japan

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