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Message from the Dean

Suganuma Narufumi
M.D., Ph.D.
Dean, Kochi Meducal School

  It has now been 40 years since the first student was admitted to the medical department of Kochi Medical University, the predecessor of Kochi Medical School which was founded in 1976. During that period, we established our nursing course in 1998; and by the end of 2017, our school had fostered the development of thousands of doctors, hospital nurses, public health nurses, and midwives (3,374 through our medical course and 1,153 through our nursing course). After integrating with the former Kochi University in 2003, the following year we incorporated to become the National University Corporation Kochi Medical School, which is what we are known by today.

 Kochi Medical School inherited two founding philosophies from its predecessor: “Revere Heaven, Love People” and “Search for Truth.” Taken together, these maxims mean that medical professionals should always maintain respect for the universe and seek out the truth while feeling compassion for the patients in front of them. This includes the desire to cultivate physicians who have the proper attitudes as both human beings and scientists. These two expressions indicate that the ideal doctor must be capable of implementing both medical treatment and medical science, which are actually two sides of the same coin—similar to the minds and bodies of people.

 Medical treatment involves a combination of medical science and the practitioner's personal attitude toward the patient. William Osler stated this concept thusly: “The practice of medicine is an art, based on science.” At Kochi Medical School, a National University Corporation, we aim to fortify the twin pillars of local treatment and advanced medicine—in other words, art and science. While local treatment and advanced medicine may appear incongruous at first glance, the treatment we implement is based on utilizing the latest and most advanced medical knowledge and giving our all to the patients around us. And as we strive to find the optimal treatments for our patients, we encounter genuine clinical conundrums which themselves become the seeds of medical research. Diligent application is required for the development of both medical science and medical treatment, and the Kochi Medical School and Hospital are places where this happens.

 The elite members of our school gather at the Center for Innovative and Translational Medicine (CITM), where researchers engage in cutting-edge medical research. Here, students in their second through fourth years can learn about medical research experientially in a real lab setting by way of courses in advanced medical science. By immersing themselves in true medical research that generates new knowledge rather than lab experiences prepared merely as teaching aids, students have the opportunity to make fresh discoveries. It is essential that students learn the scientific principles behind the treatments they will administer in the future. But as they go on to become doctors and encounter the limitations of various medical treatments, those who also learned how those scientific principles were determined often return to graduate school because they want to acquire further knowledge that can be used to develop new medical technology for overcoming the current limitations. We also cultivate the leaders who will be instrumental in changing the future of medical treatment through our MD-PhD course, a continuation of our Master of Public Health (MPH) and Innovative Medicine courses in which students can learn about clinical research and the tools they need to solve local treatment challenges.

 Our nationally renowned Family Medicine Training Program is a place where students can study the health of local residents is being protected as they learn about the connections between primary care (treatment at facilities within communities), secondary care (treatment at regional medical centers), and tertiary care (treatment at medical school hospitals). Treatment involving the art of medically examining people is conducted in a wide range of settings, from primary care facilities to advanced treatment centers. We foster the development of medical professionals who can provide treatment in each of those locations via training programs at the Kochi Medical School Hospital, where training in all of the specialist fields is possible.

 It has already been 40 years since we first opened our doors to students, and our school is now transitioning to a period of maturity. Kochi Medical School will continue to cultivate individuals who are versed in medical treatment, to generate new medical treatments based on cutting-edge medical science, and to utilize local treatment to solve the health problems of people around the world.