Message from the Faculty of Health Sciences Dean
The Graduate School of Health Sciences is a relatively new graduate school that was established in 2008 as the 17th graduate school in Hokkaido University. On the back of the corresponding divisions of the undergraduate disciplines, i.e., nursing (N), radiological technology (RT), laboratory technology (LT), physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT), the graduate school aims to cultivate human resources that possess not only the basic knowledge and advanced expertise of each discipline but the practical capacity to respond to interdisciplinary and comprehensive scientific technologies. The master’s program also encourages leadership abilities in health professionals while ingenious and novel research outcomes for publication are required in the doctoral course.
In our graduate school, there are two courses: Health Science Course (HSC) and Nursing Course (NC). In addition to the research fields (majors) corresponding to the undergraduate disciplines, a new one containing various majors (environmental health, human ecology, functional brain study and health informatics) is allocated in HSC, while NC offers three collateral fields of nursing: advanced public health nursing, advanced midwifery and advanced practice nursing. Besides these courses, a double degree system has also been introduced into the master and doctoral courses since 2009, which has enabled the 2nd year students to proceed to the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program alongside the Graduate School of Commerce, Otaru University of Commerce. By this system, students can earn two degrees (the master degree of our school and the MBA of Otaru University of Commerce) in only three years. Moreover, the Hospital Management Administrator program for nurturing administrators in hospitals has been put into practice since 2018. Furthermore, students can join the JICA Development Studies Program to support developing countries in cooperation with other graduate schools on campus.
Today’s medical sciences and health care are directed to a broad range of subjects, such as transplant and regeneration medicines, gene therapy, measures against infective disease and life-style related disease, provision of aging society, etc. Modern medical care was ushered in from the West in the Edo Period. Western medicine worked treating the wounded in civil war at the end of this period and led to measures against previously untreatable diseases on the scientific bases of anatomy and bacteriology. As it were, treating injuries and illnesses might be a major dynamic of medical development. However, critical issues have recently emerged in advanced countries such as the prevention and prognosis against diseases, health maintenance (including mental care), posttreatment and handling of senile changes. Envisaging these contemporary subjects, “Health Science” forms an academic area emphasizing tasks of medicine for a large majority of people in contrast to the conventional medicine mainly conducted in hospitals.
Hokkaido University has many institutes and facilities, and is one of the leading universities attaching the most importance to graduate programs. Our graduate school will call upon a great amount of expertise to innovate the Health Sciences. The basic philosophies of Hokkaido University (Frontier Spirit, Global Perspective, All-round Education and Practical Learning) must be strongly evoked in research and education of this area.
We should gain appreciation of a saying that “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do”. Looking ahead to the future and observing world trends, let’s advance health and human sciences together!
Dean of the Graduate School of Health Sciences,