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Fundamental Education Programs

Outline of the Curriculum

1) Premedical Education

From the 1st to 2nd year, students complete "premedical education subjects" at Higashiyama campus, where the headquarters is located. "Premedical education subjects" are divided into 3 areas. In the first and the second halves of the 1st year, students study basic subjects once a week, in seminar style, under the guidance of the academic supervisor of the School of Medicine. These subjects will serve as the basis for their professional education. It is an intensive small group education (approx. 12 students) where they learn specific themes, or such as literatures and reference materials, or they do field work and present their research result.
(It continues to the following.)

■The above-mentioned continuation
For liberal arts education, several issues that modern society faces are selected, so as to provide lectures and exercises appropriate to those themes, in cooperation with all faculties. With language and cultural subjects, students are encouraged to improve their skills in foreign languages, and a better understanding of different cultures, and will have sufficient knowledge for international society. With basic science subjects, we will give lectures and exercises on mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology in cooperation with the faculties of science courses. Among those subjects, biology has important role as a preparatory education for medicine. Biology is not necessary as an obligatory subject for the entrance examination, and we assume that students have not learned modern biology in depth so we give lectures on basic subjects such as biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, and cell biology by teachers of departments of basic medical sciences from the Graduate School of Medicine. More specifically, we will give lectures on elements that constitute an organism, namely the organization of cells, carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, nucleic acid and ions. We teach students to understand subjects such as metabolism, DNA replication, transcription, translation (protein synthesis), cell membranes, secretion, cell signaling, cell cycle and basic functions of cells.

2) Introduction to Medicine

In the introduction to medicine, a course is offered as a special subject by the School of Medicine, and is given once a week in both the first and the second semester of the 1st year. Lectures are given on an introduction to nursing care, on medicine and medical care, the mental preparation necessary to become a physician, and medical ethics. Students will experience the care of the handicapped, physically challenged or those at a nursing home, or undertake patients' care at hospices, to motivate them to study medicine and to make them prepare to become an independent physician in the future. Students are expected to write a report after the experience; and most of them clearly show that this had made a strong impression and served as their motivation to work as physicians. In the second semester of the year, basic lectures on the mechanism and functions of organisms are given.

3) Basic Medicine

From the 2nd year, lectures and practices mainly on anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, are given. From the third year, we introduce lectures and practices in pharmacology, microbiology, immunology and pathology, etc. As a special feature of our university, to foster medical researchers and physicians who can serve a leading role in the future, the second semester of the third year is dedicated to a training for medical reserach, and allows students gain research experience in basic or social medicine laboratories where cutting-edge research is being undertaken, removing them from the lecture room completely. 2 to 4 students are posted to each laboratory. There they will do research under the guidance of a teacher and attend seminars in class and read papers so as to master the scientific way of thinking. All students are expected to give either oral or poster presentation at the end of the seminar. Teachers and students will evaluate the result and select the best paper and the second best paper.

4) Social Medicine

The curriculum of Social Medicine is composed of four series of core lectures and a practice of social medicine. Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Health, Public Health and Health Systems, and Practice of Social Medicine are intensively given in the beginning of the 4th year, and Legal Medicine, Medical Law and Bioethics is given in the end of the 4th year after the lectures of clinical medicine. Through the systematic lectures and a practice of social medicine, students are expected to learn that health is closely related to various social activities and dynamic changes of the society, and develop their ability to think and act for achieving health of the people living in the society.
Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine is to provide a basis for epidemiologic studies and prevention of lifestyle-related diseases including cancers, vascular diseases, and infectious diseases. Introduction of biostatistics is also included in the lectures.
Occupational and Environmental Health is to study health issues attributed to environmental factors and labor activities. Students learn health risks of various environmental hazards, such as organic solvents, pesticides, and heavy metals, and the measures to manage and mitigate environmental risks.
Public Health and Health Systems is to give an idea of promoting population health domestically and globally and assuring health security to all citizens. Students learn various public health issues including maternal and child health, school health, community health, and long-term care of the elderly and handicapped, as well as legal frameworks of health systems.
Legal Medicine, Medical Law and Bioethics is to study forensic pathology and toxicology, forensic genetics including individual identification by DNA analyses, population genetics and molecular anthropology, and legal framework and ethical guidelines of medical practices. Students are expected to be able to write death certificates.

5) Clinical Medicine

The core of the clinical medicine curriculum for fourth year students consists of clinical PBL tutorial, mandatory lectures and core elective lectures.

(1) PBL tutorial
It was introduced for 27 weeks for fourth year students from April 2003. The objective is to allow them to gain the necessary knowledge, skills and attitude for self-learning and group-learning so that they can address issues, and find plans and solutions by themselves for problems they will encounter in the future.

(2) Mandatory lectures
The lectures are grouped into two categories: lectures by organ and lectures on clinical medicine. The object is to make students systematically master the basic knowledge of core clinical subjects. Teaching is offered in the form of intensive lectures.

(3) Elective lectures
More than 25 types of elective lectures (5 periods each) were introduced for fourth-year students. The objective of these lectures is to allow students to master up-to-date knowledge of each domain of clinical medicine and interdisciplinary knowledge according to their interests. It consists of 9 courses, where each course presents 2 to 3 themes in parallel. Students have to choose a minimum of 6 themes from them.

6) Bedside Learning

The basic objectives are for the student to gain the basic skills, knowledge and attitude necessary for clinical medicine. In the 5th year, students rotate through a variety of clinical departments for 1 to 2 weeks.

7) Clinical Clerkship (selective) I,II

The objectives are to gain practical knowledge, skills and attitude by choosing 2 subjects out of all the clinical medicine subjects and this is allied with the experience of clinical clerkship. More concretely, students select 2 subjects out of all clinical medicine subjects and get 7 weeks of clinical clerkship in each subject in the first semester of the 6th year.

8) Other Practices

(1) Basic clinical skills training
From April 2003, this was introduced for 4th year students and lasts 28 weeks (2 classes/week). The objectives are to gain the practical knowledge, skills and attitude as basic as basic clinical competences so that the students can participate as student in charge of the exercise in clinical clerkship.

(2) Lecture and practices on evidence-based medicine (EBM)
This was introduced from April 2003, for fourth-year students for 16 periods. For the PBL tutorial, our objective was to acquire basic knowledge and skills of EBM so that students became capable of collecting information based on the evidence.