Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, originally founded in 1955, was reorganized in 2017 in order to send out the manpower flexibly to respond to the changing needs of society. Through this reorganization, the "Graduate School of Medicine", which had integrated educational and research organizations, was divided into two organizational entities: the " Graduate School of Medicine ", to which graduate students belong, and the "Faculty of Medicine", to which faculty members belong. This enabled us to create a global graduate education system that can organically respond to society and students. As a result, the educational approach has become possible where faculty of multiple graduate schools, research institutes, or others can take part in the education of the Graduate School of Medicine and the redistribution of educational resources has been realized without being confined to a research domain. By virtue of this new system, we can promptly respond to a changing society and establish a flexible educational organization without a need to carry out the reconstruction of faculty organization, if requested by the society to implement a new type of education.
Under the philosophies of the Graduate School of Medicine “to lead the world with cutting-edge research in medical science” and “to equip the next generation of medical researchers and medical professionals with a strong sense of ethics and a well-rounded character to contribute to the health and welfare of humanity”, the Graduate School of Medicine sets its educational objective to help students develop advanced levels of knowledge and research skills in the fields of medical and life sciences and gain profound insights that will help them meet the needs of society.
The Doctoral (PhD) Program provides one major (medicine), three courses. It places importance on the education beyond the boundaries of academic disciplines as well as setting the curriculum so that high degree of specialty would be secured at any course. Specifically, we offer “Basic Medicine Course” to train medical researches and physician scientists, “Social Medicine Course” to nurture human resources who will work actively in the field of social medicine and public health, and “Clinical Medicine Course” to nurture human resources who will execute high-level of clinical research.
In 2009, we introduced MD-PhD Program to foster young basic medical researchers and educators with medical licenses, which number is concerned to be decreasing. The program allows 6th-year students at the School of Medicine to take required subjects of the Doctoral Program of the Graduate School of Medicine while learning under the curriculum for 6th-year students in the School of Medicine. With this program, students can complete the graduate school's program in just three years, if they meet the requirements for completion. In addition, the Clinic and Research Combination (CLARC) Program was launched in 2013, which allows students in the 2nd year of Clinical Training to enroll in the Graduate School of Medicine and pursue the study of evening doctoral classes while still undergoing clinical training. Through this program, early admission to the Graduate School of Medicine has become possible by taking a combination of Clinical Training and Doctoral Program for a certain period of time. Obviously, it functions as an attractive system for clinicians who aim to become physician scientists.
The Master’s Program (Medical Science) was inaugurated in 2002, ahead of many other medical universities in Japan. This program aims to promote to unite the knowledges of different fields and train researchers and highly specialized professionals with creativity and comprehensive viewpoints thorough providing students who have completed undergraduate studies other than medicine with the knowledge and information of the latest medical science and medical care. In 2017, the Public Health Course was newly established, where educational system to acquire Master of Public Health is introduced. In addition, with the aim to expeditiously send out human resources to the society, who can cope with regional problems including Hokkaido’s, such as the aging society and declining population, Public Health Course (One-Year Course) has been established. This course is intended for medical doctors, dentists, pharmacist and other professionals with a certain amount of practical experience to complete the course in one year.
Students who learn the latest medical research at this graduate school are expected to take the initiative in implementing highly creative knowledge and solving various problems based on a high ethical standard as members of outstanding scientists, and to contribute to the demands of society. Up to now, the Graduate School of Medicine has been developing its capabilities and systems that would sufficiently meet the expectations of the admitted students. Although we are currently in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic disaster, we are advancing this effort by working on a variety of hardware and software measures to maintain our educational practices. As a matter of urgency, we believe it is important to build an educational system that can cope with the COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 crisis on a long-term basis. We welcome students with great ambitions to support the future of medicine and medical care.
April 1, 2021
Shigetsugu Hatakeyama, M.D., Ph.D.
Dean, Hokkaido University Faculty of Medicine