Teruto Hashiguchi, M.D., Ph.D.
Dean, Faculty of Medicine,
Kagoshima University

A greeting from the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine

The Kagoshima University Faculty of Medicine aims to provide comprehensive training for medical professionals, and consists of two schools, the School of Medicine and the School of Health Sciences, with the School of Health Sciences itself offering three courses: Nursing, Physical Therapy, and Occupational Therapy. The School of Medicine has existed for 80 years since the establishment of its direct predecessor, the Kagoshima Prefectural Medical Vocational School, while the School of Health Sciences has witnessed 25 years pass since the Kagoshima University School of Allied Medical Sciences was dissolved and reorganized into the Faculty of Medicine’s School of Health Sciences. As such, 2018 is to be a memorable year for the Kagoshima University Faculty of Medicine.

Under such circumstances, our faculty cultivates highly qualified professionals and has made substantial contributions to the advancement of medical science and to the health and welfare of people across Japan. It aims to foster personnel who possess well-rounded character, contribute to the local community, are highly studious, and hold an international perspective on medicine and health care.

The history of training doctors in Western medicine in Kagoshima dates back to 1868, when the Satsuma Clan asked William Willis, an English doctor, to treat their wounded in the Battle of Toba Fushimi. That same year, the Satsuma Clan established a medical school and hospital, and the following year William Willis, who was the first principal at the Tokyo Medical School & Hospital (now the University of Tokyo Faculty of Medicine), was invited to Kagoshima by Saigo Takamori and Okubo Toshimichi. He valued the unique British style of clinical empiricism in medicine, and is said to have employed bedside-teaching (using actual patients) when instructing his medical students. He is also famous for training Japan's first medical doctor, Takaki Kanehiro, who founded Jikei University School of Medicine, and others, and was also committed to public health education, including providing guidance on banning the consumption of dead cattle. The medical school, which was called Akakura Hospital, later became a prefectural medical school and was temporarily abolished in 1888, but hospital functionality in Kagoshima survived in various forms, and in 1943 was taken over by the Kagoshima Prefectural Medical Vocational School, the direct predecessor of the Kagoshima University Faculty of Medicine’s School of Medicine. In 1947, it became Kagoshima Prefectural Medical College (under the old system), and in 1955, it became the Kagoshima University Faculty of Medicine when its jurisdiction was transferred from the prefectural to the national level. As the only medical education institution in Kagoshima Prefecture, it has fulfilled a consistent mission up to the present day, acting as it does in accordance with the strong demand for the training of physicians responsible for medical and healthcare activities in southern Kyushu, especially the vast area ranging 600 km north-to-south including outlying islands.

Traditionally, the Faculty of Medicine had three important roles: education, research, and medical care. However, since becoming a National University Corporation, the need to respond to the demands of society has led to education being provided by the Faculty of Medicine, research by the Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences and the Graduate School of Health Sciences, while medical care is provided by Kagoshima University Hospital.We are healthy only when we are physically, socially and mentally sound.Therefore, a so-called bio-psycho-social approach is necessary. Consequently, highly advanced medical care is insufficient, and an all-embracing, holistic medicine is increasingly considered important.To provide such medical care, basic researchers and medical officers (public employees) are also called for in addition to clinicians.Society requires medical professionals who can act in the interest of community in any situation and thus become worthy of the title ‘professional’. We do our best to have these three different professional groups work closely together, win support of the local community, and develop well-qualified human resources.

We at the Kagoshima University Faculty of Medicine sincerely hope you will honor us with your support.

(April 2023)