Faculty of Medicine Kyoto University has a long history that spans well over a century. Since it was founded in 1899 as the Kyoto Imperial University College of Medicine, the Faculty has always attracted many young students from all parts of Japan, full of energy and aspiration, striving hard in their pursuit of learning and excellence. We have produced numerous world leading scholars and researchers of medicine and a continuous stream of medical treatment and research findings of great originality. There are too many achievements to list here; however, our centenary album, Konoecho Mubanchi will make inspiring reading to any who may be interested. The subtitle, Curiosity, Challenge and Continuation, comes from the favorite phrase used by Professor Emeritus Tasuku Honjo, the then Dean of the Faculty. He often referred to the 3C’s, a simple and apt expression of the spirit espoused by the Faculty.
The world around us today is changing at a remarkable speed. Yet, there is no fundamental change in what we are expected to accomplish. That is, our mission is to do our utmost to overcome the many disorders and intractable diseases that afflict people and to acquire the knowledge necessary for this endeavor. The up-to-date knowledge and skills of medicine and healthcare must be learned through experience. However, this does not go far enough. Why? Indeed, it is because medicine and healthcare still encompass a great deal of the unknown. You may study a vast number of textbooks and start work at the frontline of healthcare armed with a huge volume of medical knowledge; nonetheless, the day will come when you are stunned by the fact that so many unknowns still remain to confront us. At our Faculty, what we need to do is to nurture students who can face the fascination of this unknown with curiosity, boldly take up the challenge of discovering a solution, and persist resolutely in continuation of our pursuit.
The Faculty offers unique programs to our students, in addition to the systematic curriculum (lecture and practical coursework) in basic medicine and clinical medicine essential to medical and healthcare practitioners. For a designated period in Year 1 and Year 2, students are offered the Lab Rotation system so that they can experience different areas of research. Students can join the diverse laboratories belonging to the Graduate School of Medicine that are engaged in advanced studies of basic or clinical medicine. Students will thereby gain firsthand experience of frontline healthcare. In Year 4, students are offered the My Course Program, in which they undertake a wide range of projects over four months including the summer recess (i.e. research, clinical experience in healthcare establishments either at Kyoto University or elsewhere, short-term foreign exchange study at overseas research institutions, various field studies). For students who have the ambition of pursuing higher-level research, the Faculty offers the MD/PhD Course. Students can proceed to the Graduate School after finishing Year 4. Upon obtaining their higher degrees, they can return to clinical training and complete their qualification in medical training. The MD/PhD program is well known in medical schools of the West as a course for the elite, aimed at training medical researchers of high caliber. Our Faculty was the first in Japan to institute this course. All these special programs are not imposed upon our students. They are options that primarily and ultimately serve students in self-starting and developing their own interests. The Faculty has always had the tradition that students can freely join research laboratories that interest them and participate in seminars and research during their free time between formal lectures. The programs mentioned above are an extension of this tradition.
The most important mission of Faculty of Medicine Kyoto University is to educate internationally active human resources who can lead the world and contribute to the progress of medicine and healthcare of the future. The fulfillment of our mission depends entirely on the enthusiasm and motivation of our students. My message to you is, students who endeavor to drive themselves forward with tireless passion will be provided with our guidance and support to the very end of the road. Let the Faculty’s long history and tradition bear witness to this.
( October 01, 2014 )