In April 2003, the Okayama University Graduate School of Health Sciences established the Graduate School of Health Sciences Master’s Course (major in Health Sciences: Nursing (14 students), Radiological Technology (6 students) and Medical Technology (6 students)). Then in April 2005, the Graduate School established the new Graduate School of Health Sciences Master’s Course (major in Health Sciences: Nursing (14 students), Radiological Technology (6 students) and Medical Technology (6 students)) and the Doctor’s Course (major in Health Sciences: total of 10 students in Nursing, Radiological Technology and Medical Technology).
The graduate school views “health promotion” as the target principle of its master’s course, with “holistic care” and “team care” as its educational principles. Viewed globally, the pursuit of such principles and other activities for scientific and practical development and enrichment of such principles are, in an academic sense, still in their early stages. Thus it is urgent that graduates be nurtured with even more advanced skills and expertise to serve as leaders in practice, research and education in this area. To meet these social needs, the graduate school aims to create an advanced curriculum that pursues these principles. It aims to nurture educators and researchers who can contribute to establishing a highly specialized medical profession and expertise.
The Doctor’s course nurtures educators and researchers able to carry out research and development on programs, systems, equipment and technologies related to health, medicine and welfare, based on expertise in each area of nursing, radiological technology and medical technology. Another aim of the Doctor’s course is for these independent researchers to achieve “health promotion based on inter-professional work.” “Inter-professional work” is coordination and cooperation between professionals from different fields who join forces to work together, transcending the confines of their own profession. Students go through a process of exploring issues and learning from each other, on their way to the common goal of health promotion. Nurses, radiological technologists, medical technologists and other students with different educational backgrounds, such as medicine, welfare studies, engineering, science and social science, learn the significance and methodology underlying inter-professional coordination and cooperation.
Okayama University has been a key contributor in the “Regional Training Program for Oncology Professionals in the Chugoku-Shikoku Area: Training of Oncology Professionals in Charge of Team Medical Care,” a Training Plan for Oncology Professionals under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), which was adopted in FY2007 following a joint application submitted together with eight universities in the Chugoku-Shikoku Area. At the Graduate School of Health Sciences, students actively participate in co-medical training courses related to cancer treatment (Certified Nurse Specialists in Cancer Nursing, Medical Physicists, etc.).
The Graduate School of Health Sciences also highlighted “Training of Co-Medical Professionals with Clinical Research Skills” as an education and research project. In particular, we help working graduate students to improve their clinical research skills. In addition, every autumn, the Graduate School of Health Sciences organizes an “Open Forum” to present domestic and international trends and policies concerning the health sector, and to introduce distinctive research and education being carried out by teaching staff and graduate students.
Open Forum at Okayama University Graduate School of Health Sciences
Open Forums launched in 2005 with “Okayama University Health Seminar 2005: Health Policies for the 21st Century” sponsored by the Faculty of Health Sciences. They were subsequently held under the title “Okayama University Faculty of Health Sciences Open Forum,” and then since 2007 as the “Okayama University Graduate School of Health Sciences Open Forum”. Every year, the Open Forums are attended by representatives from agencies such as the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW), who give talks on topics that suit the occasion. In 2008, marking the tenth anniversary of the start of the Faculty of Health Sciences and the fifth anniversary of the inauguration of the Graduate School of Health Sciences, a talk titled “Commemorating the 10th Anniversary of the Faculty of Health Sciences: A Decade of Progress and Future Strategies” was given. This drew attention to the previous achievements of the Faculty of Health Sciences and the Graduate School of Health Sciences, as well as to strategies to meet future social needs.