YASUFUMI KANEDA Project Promotion Representative / Dean, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine
Osaka University has been engaged in the development of medical equipment, regenerative medicine, and treatment for intractable diseases through the Department of Medical Innovation, which was established at an affiliated hospital as a hub of translational research. In 2013, we established the Center for Global Health in the Department of Medical Innovation in an effort to promote Japanese pharmaceutical products, medical equipments, and medical systems in the global market as well as to provide medical care for patients from outside Japan. The need for global expansion of our medical technologies has rapidly increased especially in this year. For example, we concluded an academic exchange agreement on the joint development of medical technologies with Hamad Medical Corporation of Qatar in April, aiming to provide advanced medical care to the people of Qatar in the future. We have many similar requests from other countries as well, which make us realize that our approach to the medical innovation is attracting growing interest worldwide. On the other hand, promotion of global-scale medicine requires a wide range of health care specialists with adequate knowledge of medicine and medical care. For example, medical interpretation is an indispensable service in the promotion of global-scale medicine, and a medical interpreter should understand both physical and psychological state of patients in addition to having expertise in linguistic communication. High-quality medical service is ensured only when the medical care is properly supported not by mere language-conversion interpretation, but by communication that encompasses both heart and mind. I believe the same is true in the fields of law and economics as they relate to medical care. Unfortunately, however, we do not yet have such trained individuals nor have we developed the environment for training in Japan.
In 2013, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology adopted our program as the Translational and Clinical Research Human Resources Center Creation Project. We took this opportunity to establish a novel chair, “Global and Innovative Medicine”, for both undergraduate and graduate education. The education course in this chair is epoch-making because it offers a cross-functional, common, and university-wide program available to all faculties, not only in science but also in liberal arts. As a research-intensive institution, we have long attracted a wide variety of individuals, notably after merger with Osaka University of Foreign Studies, and now we are confidently able to teach almost all languages in the world. The unique contents of this program include both basic and clinical medicine, focusing on the themes which are relevant to global and innovative medicine, and we believe even beginners can study comprehensively with great interest. Moreover, we will use the opinions and evaluations of the students enrolled in this program to further improve it. Since this chair differs from conventional Main chairs in the Faculty of Medicine and the Graduate School of Medicine, we have termed this a “Specific chair”, for the first time in our history. I sincerely hope that this course will inspire many students to have an interest in medical science, develop skilled individuals in global and innovative medicine, and finally provide Japanese medical care and technologies to the world. Thank you very much for your understanding and cooperation.
* Osaka University established its International and Translational Medical Program in the Graduate School of Medicine as a comprehensive human resource base for training and education on translational research (TR) and international medicine.
* The Health and Medical Innovation Program was launched to foster the development of human resources for next-generation TR and international medicine.
We have the full cooperation of the Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine (medicine major, health sciences major), the School of Human Sciences, School of Foreign Studies, Studies in Language and Society, and International Public Policy, and we have constructed a dynamic education system through coordination with external institutions as well. Our goal is to foster global human resources through total education, research, and application of international medicine.
Therefore, our interdisciplinary Health and Medical Innovation Program integrates liberal arts and sciences at a high level as a common university-wide program. To contribute to international clinical testing and international medicine, and to create global medical innovators who will drive Japan's medical innovation, we also make this cross-functional common university-wide program available to faculties other than the Faculty of Medicine.