In pre-WWII Imperial Japan there were 18 university-based medical schools with high academic standards. Prerequisite for admission were 6 years of primary school, 5 of middle school and 3 years of special science in a higher school or a university preparatory school. After an additional 4 years of medical school, an M.D. degree was granted and recipients could begin practice without further training.
Graduates of ten 4-year technical colleges called Senmon Gakko (専門学校), requiring only middle school preparation, were also granted full licenses to practice medicine. During WWII the numbers of Senmon Gakko increased to 51 in order to meet the increased demand for wartime physicians.
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