Message from the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine

The history and traditions of the Kyoto University Faculty of Medicine stretch back for over 100 years since its establishment in 1899. Since that time, young students from throughout Japan and around the world have been drawn to the faculty and motivated by the university’s culture of academic freedom. Honing their skills and knowledge through good-natured competition and mutual encouragement, many of the faculty’s students have become world-leading scholars and researchers in medical fields, providing patients with innovative treatments and sharing their discoveries with society.

The faculty is devoted to seeking remedies and developing human resources that can bring hope and relief to those suffering from ailments and illnesses. This mission entails the cultivation of broad perspectives, profound knowledge, and advanced technology. The Faculty endeavors to cultivate human resources with deep intellectual curiosity, who can develop new values through practices based on astute perception, and who have the insight required to cast light on issues that are not yet understood. I believe that it is necessary for such people to maintain an attitude of sincerity, and not to be deterred by failures and setbacks, but persevere with conviction to address unresolved issues.

The faculty comprises the Medical Science Division and Human Health Sciences Division.  The Medical Science Division cultivates medical scholars, researchers, and doctors, and the Human Health Sciences Division cultivates nurses and other healthcare professionals. While respecting the faculty’s philosophy and traditions, we have revised the curricula of both divisions and tailored them to the cultivation of medical human resources for the present and future. The Medical Science Division now offers new classes in which students can study medicine in English, as well as systematic curricula (lectures and coursework) in basic medicine and clinical medicine, which are required for all medical and healthcare practitioners, and a 73-week clinical training program.

The division also offers several unique education programs, such as its MD researcher program, in which students engage in research at various laboratories in the faculty from their first year. The “My Course Program” is another unique offering in which fourth-year students engage in various forms of independent study with an emphasis on research for approximately four months (including the summer vacation). The types of study undertaken include laboratory research and short-term periods of study at overseas research institutions.

The faculty offers an MD/PhD course for students with a strong aptitude for cutting-edge research. Students on the course have two options:

  1. Students can enroll in the Graduate School of Medicine directly after completing their fourth undergraduate year. Then, after obtaining their PhD, they return to the Faculty of Medicine for clinical training. After passing an examination set by the faculty, they graduate from the university and are awarded two degrees: an MD and a PhD. They can then take the National Medical Practitioners Qualifying Examination (NMPQE) and obtain a medical license.
  2. Students who have completed the MD researcher program during their six-year undergraduate program can enroll in the Graduate School of Medicine to obtain a PhD.
In 2016 a special admission system was instituted for students with high aptitude for research. In keeping with the traditions of Kyoto University, the Faculty of Medicine values students’ autonomy and encourages them to participate in seminars and research at laboratories of interested when they have time outside of their classes. The faculty’s programs have been developed based on this tradition, and aim to encourage students to take classes in accordance with their own personal interests.

Previously, the Human Health Sciences Division trained nationally certified medical and healthcare practitioners, such as nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and clinical laboratory technologists. In response to the rapid development of medicine in recent years, however, the division has reorganized its curricula into the three courses: the Advanced Nursing Sciences Course, Advanced Rehabilitation Sciences Course, and Multidisciplinary Medical Sciences Course.

The entrance examination for all of the courses is the same, and students can select their preferred course after enrolling at the university and experiencing some of the work entailed for each course. Students who already have a clear idea of their intended career path can enroll in their preferred course directly through a special admission system. The Multidisciplinary Medical Sciences Course provides fourth-year students with opportunities to engage in research at laboratories affiliated with the Graduate School of Medicine, including the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA).

The most important mission of the Kyoto University Faculty of Medicine is to cultivate world-leading medical and health practitioners in a way that respects the students’ autonomy. Through their studies and their interactions with faculty members, the Faculty of Medicine hopes that students can enhance their skills and abilities to become world-leading human resources. In keeping with the faculty’s long-standing traditions, we will spare no effort in providing the support our students need.