Jul 3, 2019

Sylff@Tokyo: Multitalented Erika Mitsui Transitions from Social Science to Music and Now to Medicine

Erika Mitsui as a violinist.

Erika Mitsui, a Sylff fellowship recipient in 2015 while attending the Juilliard School as a violinist, visited the Sylff Association secretariat in Tokyo on Tuesday, June 18, 2019.

After graduating from Juilliard, Mitsui performed at various venues, ranging from concert halls to public places of all kinds. One such venue was an inpatient ward of the Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City. This turned out to be a life-changing and inspiring experience, as she realized that music can help heal even the most seriously ill patients.

Seeing the reactions of the patients who were helped emotionally, Mitsui made up her mind to transition to a career in medicine, and she will start her studies in the MD program at the Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University, this coming August.

She feels that becoming a medical doctor will allow her to integrate her background in East Asian studies at Columbia (undergraduate) and music at Juilliard (master’s) with her desire to make a direct impact on patient’s lives and on the community. In addition to practicing clinical medicine, she hopes to pursue a career in research and health policy.  

Mitsui, standing second from left, during her visit to the Sylff Association secretariat.

She is currently working on projects to perform music in hospitals in New York and in Japan. We wish her much success in whatever field she chooses to pursue.