School of Medicine, Hokkaido University

Curriculum Policy of the School of Medicine

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Curriculum Policy

In the School of Medicine, in order to achieve the educational goals, we have established Faculty of Medicine to study medicine, and Department of Health Sciences to study nursing, radiological technology, medical technology, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. We implement a systematic educational approach to train professionals and researchers. The undergraduate curriculum (six-years in the Faculty of Medicine, four-years in the Department of Health Sciences) consists of “subjects of general education” and systematic series of “specialized subjects”. For specialized subjects, each faculty defines curriculum policy and designs curriculum to meet their objectives.

Curriculum Policy of the Faculty of Medicine

In the Faculty of Medicine, we design and implement the following curriculum aiming to nurture individuals who satisfy degree requirements. First-year students study subjects of general education in “Liberal Education Course for Medical Students”. From the second-year, students study specialized subjects for five years until graduation. Students are required to take all three courses: “Basic Medicine Course”, “Clinical Medicine Course”, and “Clinical Clerkship Course” in this order.

1. Liberal Education Course for Medical Students
Curriculum in this course is designed for the first-year students to acquire the knowledge and skills required for all students regardless of major, such as high communication skills, understanding of human and social diversity, critical and creative thinking skills, and social responsibility and ethics.
2. Basic Medicine Course
This course lasts for one and a half years from the 1st semester of the second-year. Students learn the normal structure and functions of human body (anatomy, histology, imaging anatomy, physiology, biochemistry), disease development mechanism and basic principles of treatment (microbiology, immunology, pathology, basic application of oncology, pharmacology) and health and disease from the viewpoints of population, environment, social system and prevention (hygiene, public health, forensic medicine) as well as the foundation to study medicine (introduction to medicine, history of medicine, genetics, medical English practice).
3. Clinical Medicine Course
This course lasts for one year from the 2nd semester of the third-year. Curriculum is designed to learn the basics of internal medicine, surgery, and specialized medicine while getting a multi-dimensional view of various diseases, understanding the patient as a person, and learning the basics of examination, inspection, diagnosis, and treatment. This course includes one-month medical research practice to learn the research methods and thinking skills in the laboratory required for a basic medical researcher or physician scientist. On completion of the course, students take common achievement tests and are evaluated for their knowledge and techniques acquired. Students must pass these tests to proceed to the Clinical Clerkship Course.
4. Clinical Clerkship Course
From the 2nd semester of the fourth year, Clinical Clerkship starts and students are trained in all clinical departments in actual clinical settings. Along with the training, students review problems and questions that arose during training or in the lecture. For six months from the 2nd semester of the fifth year, students are required to begin their clinical clerkships in core clinical departments. In the 1st semester of the sixth year, students participate in clinical clerkship in medical departments of their choice. MD-PhD course students may perform basic research in basic science departments of their choice. Students may choose to undertake this training overseas. Before finishing the course, students attend lectures in clinical pathology, and interprofessional/simulation trainings, to acquire practical skills that will be useful after graduation. At the end of the course, students take the National Examination for Medical Practitioners. From the fifth-year, the MD-PhD course is offered for those who want to become a basic medical researcher or physician scientist in the future.