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Message from Director of International Exchange Center

Takashi Miyazaki, DDS, PhD
Director of the International Exchange Center of the Showa University

On behalf of International Exchange Center of Showa University, I cordially welcome all of you to visit to our new English website.

Showa University is the largest medical school in Japan and is headquartered in Hatanodai, Shinagawa, Tokyo. Along with the main medical school, which originally started in 1928, we also have a dental school, pharmacy school, and school of nursing and rehabilitations. Our university has eight teaching hospitals and two clinics in the Tokyo metropolitan area, which provide the best medical care to patients as well as the opportunity for education of students from all schools and training of medical care for postgraduate staff.

We have been focusing on the practice and education of comprehensive team-based medical care in our university. All first-year students from our four schools stay in a dormitory in the Fujiyoshida campus near Mount Fuji for the entire year. They live in the same dorm room with four classmates from each of the different schools. We have continued this unique system for more than 50 years and have strong confidence that it is an effective system for educating medical related professionals. We teach basic medical curriculum through problem-based learning (PBL) methods using small tutorial groups, and later, provide early exposure practice at local medical facilities and nursing homes.

After moving to the Hatanodai campus for the medical, dental, and pharmacy schools and the Yokohama campus for the school of nursing and rehabilitations from the second year, students continue to get together for PBL classes using the topics directly related to the clinical situation, where the students from different schools can deepen the discussions based on both the experience of their specialized fields and a common medical field.

Final practice of team-based education is performed as clinical training at the ward. Seven to eight students from the different schools make a team and engage in ward practice by drawing from the knowledge and experiences from each student’s different background and then as a group suggesting the ultimate patient care for the individual patient. This is a very unique education system in our university and no example exists in Japan or even in the rest of the world.

Besides team-based education, we encourage our students to experience a wide range in elective practice courses, including facilities in foreign countries. During 2015, we sent 85 students to different facilities, including an international medical cooperation program in Madagascar. In addition to undergraduate students, 59 post-graduate students and 586 faculty and medical staff visited foreign countries to attend conferences and engage in collaborative research.

In addition to the dispatch our students and staff to foreign countries, we also received 61 foreign students, post-graduate students, and research fellows from 19 countries in 2015. We have a unique scholarship system of providing both scholarship and free housing in the main Hatanodai campus for post-graduate trainees staying in our teaching hospitals and research fellows engaging in collaborative research in our university laboratories. This scholarship is available for 6 months to 1 year. For foreign students interested in entering the PhD courses at Showa University, we also have a system for another scholarship that can support tuition. We provide information about this scholarship on our website. Although the budget is limited, I hope that many foreign students apply to our programs.

We at Showa University International Exchange Center are located on the first floor of the #15 building at Hatanodai campus. We support the operation of exchange programs related to both the dispatch of our staff and acceptance of foreign guests. Members from our center are very kind and respond to any questions. In addition, we support foreign guests so they can stay in Japan safely and enjoy our culture. I hope many people in the world are interested in our international exchange program and find any chance to spend valuable time with us in near future. 

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