Nurturing excellent doctors with a rich sense of humanity
We teach the importance of health care with a rich sense of humanity by letting students learn from doctors who practice patient-centered medicine in real medical settings.
For a doctor, having a rich sense of humanity means providing medical care with the consideration to see things from the patient's standpoint, and with a sense of awe regarding life itself. At Kitasato University School of Medicine, we have a system that provides a broad education, going beyond just medical knowledge to encompass psychology, anthropology, and other disciplines as well. In order to foster a rich sense of humanity, we find it necessary to provide broad knowledge, foster close communication with instructors, and teach approaches to medicine based on what doctors do in actual medical settings. We have created a system that affords numerous opportunities for communication between students and teachers, creating an environment with class leaders for each year of study so that students can discuss their careers and livelihoods with their instructors. We have also introduced tutorial teaching with small group sizes so that students can learn how to solve problems on their own. From the fifth year onward, our program includes a Bed Side Learning program comprised of small groups with 6 to 8 students to provide clinical training conducted at Kitasato University Hospital and Kitasato University East Hospital. By seeing how doctors in the real world provide "patient-centered medical treatment" at Kitasato University Hospital and Kitasato University East Hospital, students learn what it's really like to practice medicine as a doctor, including the importance of working as a team with nurses, pharmacists, and other specialists who work at the hospital, while gaining important clinical experience.
Promoting interdisciplinary medical research
Interdisciplinary efforts both inside and outside the university are vigorously promoted.
Medicine encompasses both the applied sciences and the humanities. Thus, in order to make advancements in medicine, it is vital to take an interdisciplinary approach that promotes cooperation with a variety of different fields that relate to medicine, including not only biology, chemistry, physics, and engineering, but ethics, psychology, law, medical economics, and other disciplines as well.
At Kitasato University School of Medicine, rather than dividing up our curriculum between general educational courses and specialized courses, we have emphasized an interdisciplinary approach that transcends traditional fields, as seen in the nationwide advanced practice of comprehensive education involving the systematic study of organ-based comprehensive curriculum. We have taken advantage of the fact we are a university to partner with other faculties, including the School of Nursing, School of Veterinary Medicine, and School of Pharmacy, in order to promote joint research using the facilities of our own department. We have also been actively involved in advanced interdepartmental research efforts, including the establishment of the Kitasato University Graduate School of Medical Sciences as a joint undertaking with the School of Allied Health Sciences.
We have also signed an agreement for academic exchange with Aoyama Gakuin University College of Science and Engineering in order to combine medicine with science and engineering fields, including medical electronics, robotics, visualization technology, ergonomics, kansei engineering, IT, and materials engineering. This arrangement has allowed us to make steady progress in experimental research in order to develop even more advanced medical treatment.
Promoting international contributions and cooperating with local health care
We foster a global perspective that considers the place of Japanese health care at the international level.
The modern phenomenon of globalization has had a great effect on medicine and on medical treatment at the ground level. This can be seen in the decoding of advanced medical information that arrives in English from overseas, in the reporting of research results at overseas conferences, and in the treatment of foreign patients at Japanese hospitals. In order for our students to be active in the medical field, it is also incredibly important to adopt an attitude that considers Japanese health care from a global perspective. At Kitasato University School of Medicine, the sixth year of training includes a system that allows students to study for up to nine weeks at a university in Canada, Germany, or the US as part of our clinical clerkship curriculum. Students who participate get to see firsthand some outstanding overseas medical education systems and develop a broader perspective toward Japanese health care. Students also take English classes taught by native-speaking instructors in their third year. We have developed courses that enable students to learn how to communicate in English effectively in medical settings.
Additionally, there is no municipal hospital in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture, where Kitasato University is located. It falls to Kitasato University Hospital and Kitasato University East Hospital to provide local health care for Sagamihara, and we continue to improve our services and facilities, including those available at our Hospital Emergency Center.
Promoting preventive medicine
Prevention is the best medicine. We work together with the community and government to prevent illness before it occurs.
The “deadly quartet” of obesity, diabetes, smoking, and high blood pressure is responsible for a wide variety of serious illnesses today. However, being aware of the effects of lifestyle and diet, like the fact that quitting smoking will reduce one's chances of getting cancer by two-thirds, can result in less disease and enable the prevention of illness. At Kitasato University School of Medicine, we have partnered with Kanagawa Prefecture and local health care centers in community-oriented efforts at improving health and preventing illness, with our Department of Public Health and Molecular Toxicology as the center of these efforts.
Examples of this include our promotion of mental health in the workplace — a problem that has come to the fore in recent years — and the hosting of seminars on industrial health education in order to improve work environments and prevent work-related respiratory illness caused by metals and air pollution. We are also working to advise people of the importance of medical checkups to prevent adult diseases. Furthermore, we conduct studies and research on what effect particular toxic organic substances can have on human development and mental activity, and try to have our findings reflected in government health-related projects. It is said that prevention is the best medicine. Going forward, we will continue to actively promote better health and the prevention of adult diseases.