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The president greeting

New Start as a Comprehensive Medical University!

Wakayama Medical University has made a fresh start as a comprehensive medical university with establishment in April this year of the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences to give the university three Schools: the School of Medicine, the School of Health and Nursing Science, and the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences. With this added momentum, the university will work as a whole to be "a university that spreads its wings across the world, together with the local community" working to enrich and enhance high-level education for medical professionals, cutting-edge medical research, highly advanced medical care, and community healthcare.

High-level education for medical professionals

To bring out the strengths of a comprehensive medical university with three Schools, we expect to enhance our high-level education for medical professionals by jointly delivering education that teaches the importance of care across the Schools. We will also improve our systems for the implementation, evaluation, and improvement of uninterrupted education before and after graduation across the entire university. In postgraduate education, establishing a new Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences reflects the university’s intention to prepare for establishment of a Graduate School of Comprehensive Medicine (tentative name), which will cross the boundaries of three Graduate Schools: the Graduate School of Medicine, the Health and Nursing Sciences and the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences. In 2020, the spread of COVID-19 forced the University to deliver most lectures remotely. The University will continue delivering lectures remotely, but we will incorporate the advantages of this mode into our new education systems and enhance educational environments by improving educational software and the communications environment between Schools.

Cutting-edge medical research

The four-story Next Generation Medical Research Center on the Kimiidera Campus has been completed to make best use of the combined strengths of the three Schools, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmaceutical Sciences, to drive research. The University will continue to develop the Center as a hub for cutting-edge medical research through collaboration between the Schools and as a research base for industry, government, and academia. The University has in fact already commenced work in line with next-generation medical research, including the Biomedical Science Center, which will serve as a center for genomic medicine and drug discovery research, and will manage and provide patient biological samples and medical information linked to those samples, joint research courses with drug discovery venture companies, collaboration with the Basis for Supporting Innovative Drug Discovery and Life Science Research (BINDS), and open labs being made available to the private sector. We will also further consolidate the bodies that assist in invigorating our research activities, such as URA (University Research Administrator), so as to further strengthen our research effort.

Highly advanced medical care and community healthcare

The University Hospital will enhance its capabilities as the only advanced treatment hospital in Wakayama Prefecture, delivering highly advanced medical care and training highly skilled medical professionals. At the same time, the Hospital will continue adopting state-of-the-art, minimally invasive medical equipment, such as the da Vinci surgical support robot, to provide patient-friendly treatment, and at the same time, we will step up Patient Flow Management (PFM) to ensure smooth patient care from outpatient consultation to hospitalization and discharge. In addition, we will push ahead with genomic medicine, the treatment of cancer by finding genetic mutations in each patient, aiming to become a key hospital for cancer genomic medicine. In establishing a Pancreatic Cancer Center and a Stroke Center, the Hospital is further progressing highly advanced medical care, with the relevant departments joining forces to treat patients.
Kihoku Hospital, a branch of the University Hospital, will continue to fulfill responsibilities to society by providing community-based medical care and fostering the human resources required for community healthcare.
The main University Hospital and Kihoku Hospital will also continue working in unison to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by applying their cross-disciplinary strengths. The University is committed to community healthcare, an important mission for this institution, and will strengthen its role as a support for community healthcare facilities, primarily through allocation of doctors to community healthcare facilities, and will carry on consolidating efforts toward implementation of systems for remote diagnosis and treatment.

April 2021
President of Wakayama Medical University