A Message from the Dean
Greetings. My name is Hiroshi Ito, dean of the Graduate School of Medicine and the Faculty of Medicine. Please allow me to extend a warm welcome to the Akita University Graduate School of Medicine.
Founded in 1970, the Akita University School of Medicine was the first medical program to be established in Japan during the postwar period. It materialized thanks to the efforts of the people of Akita Prefecture, who banded together to improve the medical services of the region, which were notably lagging at the time, leaving the public wanting for better care. The fact that the national government allowed the prefectural central hospital, then occupying a core position in medical services in the region, to be transferred to the University to become the hospital of its medical program demonstrates the enthusiasm of the people of Akita at the time. Since then, for more than forty years, the Akita University School of Medicine has consistently lived up to the public’s expectations as the sole medical education institution in Akita Prefecture. In 2002 the University’s Medical Technology Junior College was reorganized as the School of Health Sciences and made a part of the Faculty of Medicine. Since that time it has striven to train nurses, physiotherapists, and occupational therapists, and also to pursue related research. The total number of graduates of the Faculty of Medicine—the medical science program and the health sciences program together—currently numbers over four thousand, and they are now working both inside Akita Prefecture and across the rest of the country.
Concurrent with the addition of post-graduate degree courses to the Medical School in 2009, the medical science and health sciences programs started afresh as independent specialized courses. Each now offers broad-ranging medical education to its students—from the first year of the undergraduate level through the doctoral programs.
The primary mission of the Akita University Graduate School of Medicine is to produce excellent researchers and high-level medical professionals. This goal is explained in detail on the medical school’s homepage, but what exactly are “excellent researchers,” and “high-level medical professionals”? Defining these, I think, is not as easy as it may initially seem to be. Also, the primary mission of the Faculty of Medicine is stated to be “the development of human resources,” but exactly what are excellent “human resources”? First, for both undergraduate and post-graduate students, it all has to begin with searching for answers to questions by themselves.
“Excellent human resources,” and “excellent researchers and advanced medical professionals”—each person would probably define these differently, but in my opinion having an exceptional sense of humanity is absolutely crucial. To say this differently, a robust sense of ethics and a strong love of others take priority over everything. An impressive research and publication record and spectacular medical skills—these have no meaning if the owner does not possess an exceptional sense of humanity. Knowledge and skills must be built upon a foundation of the finest sense of humanity, and research and medical techniques not based on such a solid foundation will certainly crumble and disappear at the slightest tremor.
At the Akita University Graduate School of Medicine and the School of Medicine, we are striving to produce researchers and healthcare professionals who are overflowing with a fine sense of humanity and who possess a combination of excellent medical skills, consummate knowledge, and superb cognitive ability. We appreciate your interest in our programs and efforts, and we humbly ask for your support in our endeavors.
Dean, Graduate School of Medicine and Faculty of Medicine.