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School of Medicine

Our educational philosophy is that students will acquire comprehensive and specialized knowledge in basic and clinical medicine. They are expected to grow into holistic persons-with ethical and humanistic values-who contribute to the develop-ment of medicine not just in the local community, but also in the global community.

Curriculum outline

Wakayama Medical University School of Medicine has changed its curriculum from the traditional curriculum that relied heavily on knowledge to the one that provides opportunities for a well-balanced acquisition of knowledge, skills, and attitude (ethics).One of the most recent changes in the curriculum took place in 2006, in which each field is more horizontally integrated according to the structures, functions, and types of organs involved as opposed to being vertically integrated according to the areas of specialty, such as internal medicine and surgical medicine. This change has enabled the University to produce more highly skilled doctors in both clinical and research fields.

Taking the levels of skill acquisition at the end of each year into consideration, critical materials are covered multiple times to ensure mastery of the materials in a step-by-step fashion. In our curriculum, students take mostly liberal arts and basic subjects in their freshman year; for example, natural science, pre-med, and ethics. In the sophomore and junior years, the emphasis shifts to basic medicine, which serves as the basis for clinical medicine. Two months of research experience in the assigned field is required for the students to become familiar with research methods. Students will learn basic clinical medicine and have the opportunity to practice their skills in their senior through the sixth years in the program. Throughout the curriculum, conventional Lectures are used in combination with more practical problem-identification/solution-type education.

During the clinical training, students will have the opportunity to work with simulated patients and simulators to increase their practical skills at the Clinical Skills Training Center.

We understand the need for psychological care of the patients and of those in vulnerable situations. We also understand the need for social support systems. To prepare our students to be able to cater for these needs, we try to expose our students to a variety of on-site experiences throughout the curriculum: early clinical experience and visits to welfare facilities in the freshman year, visits to day-care centers and programs for the physically and/or mentally challenged in the sophomore and junior years, and training opportunities in the palliative care in the fifth and sixth years are part of our curriculum.
Role playing on medical issues is intended to give our students a chance to solve real-life-like issued in preparation for solving real-life issues.

Through these crucial experiences, we expect our students to become medical professionals with advanced levels of general and specialized skills and highly moralistic and ethical minds, so they can go out into the world and become contributing members of the global society.