Seventy years since our foundation, we are always focused on the future
The University was founded as Wakayama Prefecture School of Medicine in 1945, making 2015 our 70th anniversary. When first established, the quota of students in the School of Medicine was 40, and for a long time thereafter it was 60, making us one of the smallest medical collages in the country in terms of student numbers. The quota of students in the School of Medicine has now risen to 100 and we form part of a public university corporation comprised of two Schools and a Course along with the School of Health and Nursing Science and the Midwifery Course. The School of Medicine has around 4000 graduates and we have produced talented professionals who have gone on to be active in Wakayama Prefecture, throughout Japan, and internationally.
We see our roots as lying with the so-called medical saint Hanaoka Seishu, who was born in Kishu.
Hanaoka Seishu performed the world's first surgery under general anesthesia using datura, and this flower is used for the school emblem, and a monumental inscription of “proper understanding of inside and out” and “study of the natural laws of living beings,” words left by him, has been placed in the campus.
The mission of the School of Medicine has been said to rest on three pillars: education, research, and medical treatment.
As our educational principle, we emphasize teaching and research of specialist knowledge and science, and nurturing capable physicians who are richly endowed with humanity and a high minded ethical outlook.
Recently, there have also been calls for a fourth pillar of local and international contribution. The University Hospital is the main institution in Wakayama Prefecture for almost every field of medicine, for example, it is a Designated Prefectural Cancer Care Hospital, an Advanced Emergency and Critical Care Center, a Maternal and Perinatal Care Center, a Core Disaster Base Hospital. We offer advanced medical treatment to large numbers of patients with various diseases, which enables us to provide students with thorough education prior to graduation from the School of Medicine and postgraduate training. Our matching system for postgraduate clinical training keeps us among the top of our field and has garnered attention from other universities.
Regarding international relations, we have had connections with Shandong University in China for 30 years, and we have made a strong international contribution through this and other connections with universities in Thailand, Hong Kong, the Czech Republic, and, more recently, Myanmar and Vietnam.
The University moved to its present Kimiidera Campus 16 years ago.
Some new buildings have been constructed since then, notably the Post Graduate Clinical Training Center, Advanced Medical Care Staff
Development Center, and Community Medical Support Center.
In addition to these new buildings, we have introduced the helicopter ambulance earlier than any other national universities in Japan, and established an Oncology Center and Children's Medical Center in the University Hospital.
Within the last year, we have kept our eyes focused on the future, and opened the new Department of Clinical Medicine and found the Clinical Study Support Center. The quota of medical students have risen as a result of measures taken in response to a shortage of doctors. This has lowered the quality of medical students throughout Japan. At this University, teachers and students work together to make our university what other universities aspire to be.
I look forward to the admission of young people filled with the desire to lead future medical care in Japan.
President of Wakayama Medical University