Father and son serve as Rebun doctors across two generations. Akio returns to his island roots.

Clinic doctor Akio Masuda. The islanders have big expectations of him.

In the Rebun Town National Health Insurance Funadomari Clinic, on the remote island of Rebun off northern Hokkaido, Akio Masuda returned to his hometown and started working as a full-time doctor this year. Akio’s father Tetsuzo Masuda was formerly the only full time doctor on the island. Since Tetsuzo plans to retire in the spring of 2022, Akio decided to return to the island.
Akio spoke of his decision, “I want to do whatever I can through medicine to help make living on this island a pleasant experience.
Akio left the island in 1998 in order to attend a Sapporo private junior high school. Afterwards, he attended Asahikawa Medical University and graduated with a major in surgery. After graduating in 2010, he served at several hospitals. But when he learned that his father would be retiring, he decided to take over the medical care of people on the island. He was hired as a municipal employee in April of this year, and has been actually practicing medicine alongside his father since August.
Working at the clinic means being directly in charge of the care for many different patients. It also means responding to medical emergencies at any time, day or night. However, Akio reports, “The feeling of motivation is more intense than the difficulties.” And Tetsuzo smiled as he said, “The fact that Akio polished his skills off the island before returning to us is immensely reassuring.”
Akio says his inspiration to become a doctor was, “From an early age, I watched my father intently studying all sorts of medical books and the like to help the people on our island.”
Regarding the spreading of the novel coronavirus, Akio reports, “We expect people on our island to become infected at some point, and we are preparing to take in coronavirus patients.” He expressed his strong desire to help, saying, “I want to continually increase my skills and advance the medical service level here in order to be able to provide services that the islanders will be satisfied with.”


Rebun Town National Health Insurance Funadomari Clinic