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A greeting from the Dean

Hideo Sumimoto, M.D.,Ph.D.Dean, Faculty of Medicine, Graduate School of Medical Sciences and School of Medicine, Kyushu University  Kyushu University School of Medicine was founded here, in Maidashi (which was called Katakusu Higashi Matsubara at that time), in 1903 as Kyoto Imperial University Fukuoka Medical School. Following the establishment of Kyushu Imperial University in 1911, it was renamed Kyushu Imperial Medical University, and, in 1947, it was renamed again as Kyushu University School of Medicine (see Notes at the bottom). Since its foundation, the school has consistently devoted efforts to education in medical sciences and practice, the development of medical research and the practice of medical care.

   Kyushu University School of Medicine has three departments: the Department of Medicine, the Department of Biomedical Science and the Department of Health Sciences. At the school, students study general academic subjects at the Ito Campus for one year from their enrollment. Subsequently, through education in their respective specialized courses, students will be fostered as (prospective) professionals on whose shoulders the future of medical sciences and practice rests. Professionals are people who continue to learn during their entire lifetime without being content with the status quo. In particular, the Kyushu University School of Medicine aims to foster medical researchers and practitioners who can not only digest and absorb the medical sciences and practice cultivated by their predecessors around the world but also open a new frontier in their respective areas of expertise in the future. However, as undergraduate students, you should not overly work yourselves up. First, study and play well (engage in club activities) and read books. You should not only be engrossed in medical sciences but direct your thoughts to various matters while reading books in a wide range of fields. That is the best shortcut to developing thinking skills. Meanwhile, if you are interested in research or if you want more than just classroom lectures and exercises, don’t hesitate to visit your teachers’ offices (labs). You should try a variety of things. That is one of the pleasures (one of the important elements) of campus life. When I was an undergraduate student, I frequently visited my teachers’ offices. I learned various things from them and was sometimes treated to meals by them. I want undergraduate students to roam around the campus freely.

   The Kyushu University Graduate School of Medical Sciences has five courses: the Graduate School of Medical Sciences (Master Course), the Graduate School of Medical Sciences (Ph.D. Course), the Master Course of Health Science (Master Course), the Doctoral Course of Health Science and the Department of Healthcare Administration and Management (Master Course). In these courses, unique world-class research activities are conducted. In the field of research, graduate school students, even though they are not yet fully experienced professionals, are treated as experts. For example, while their research results may be published in English-language journals as original papers, no journal gives lenient treatment to their papers in evaluation for publication out of consideration for their graduate student status. Conversely, even graduate students may win global acclaim if their research achievements are outstanding. It is fresh in our mind that, last year, Dr. Amano and Akasaki were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for their joint work conducted when the former was a graduate student and the latter was close to reaching the mandatory retirement age (Yes, Dr. Amano won the Nobel Prize for the research he conducted as a graduate student). Some graduate students have joined our graduate schools immediately after finishing undergraduate studies, while others have come after engaging in medical practice. Such diversity is one of the notable features and strengths of Kyushu University Graduate School of Medical Sciences. I hope that graduate students will engage in free-wheeling discussions and unique research activities.

   Students of the School of Medicine and Graduate School of Medical Sciences need teachers who can give them support at times and who move forward with them at other times. The teaching staff of Kyushu University Faculty of Medical Sciences are willing to make efforts to do so. Meanwhile, the teaching staff need to improve themselves through excellent medical research and practice. To that end, all members of the teaching staff of Kyushu University Faculty of Medical Sciences are making patient efforts. In Japan, which has recently lost some of its vitality, we believe that now is the time for Kyushu University Faculty of Medical Sciences to implement conscientious education, highly unique research and meticulous advanced medical practice so as to support the future of medical sciences and practice.

Note) Kyushu University introduced the Graduate School/Graduate Faculty System in 2000. The Faculty of Medical Sciences is an organization that centrally oversees teaching staff members responsible for education as well as medical science research and practice, which forms the foundation of education. Therefore, the Faculty of Medical Sciences is inseparably related with the School of Medicine, which provides education to undergraduate students at the Departments of Medicine, Health Sciences and Biomedical Science; the School of Medical Sciences, which provides education to graduate schools in medical fields; and Kyushu University Hospital, which is the place of education for School of Medicine students as well as medical practice.

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