To All High-School Students
Are you thinking of applying to the University of Tokyo Faculty of Medicine or considering a career in medicine or health sciences? If so, then we will make every effort to help you excel, with our school's long tradition and complete educational system. In terms of the number and the quality of our teaching staff, as well as the University of Tokyo Hospital’s medical facilities and the level of care it provides, we aim to be the best in Japan. We will have an open campus for high school students in the first week of August, and we will also provide information in meetings with high-school students all across the country.
The University of Tokyo Faculty of Medicine's tradition and history
The University of Tokyo Faculty of Medicine has a 150-year history. It was the second medical school founded in Japan, and it grew out of the Kanda Otamagaike Vaccination Center, which was set up in response to outbreaks of smallpox that were common in Japan during the Edo period. This was the stage for "Jin," a recently popular television series. It is said that Koan Ogata and more than a dozen other doctors who had studied medicine from Dutch sources invested their own private fortunes to establish that vaccination center. They did that during a time, the Ansei and Manen eras, when some people superstitiously believed that vaccinations "turn you into a cow." Looking back at our history, we can now sense how foresighted our founders were in bravely conducting vaccinations, saving many lives, and seeking to train young Japanese in human anatomy and physiology from the very beginning of Japan's modernization.
Since then, our Faculty of Medicine has produced many great graduates who became the core cadres of health care and medicine in this country. For example, Katsusaburo Yamagiwa, who was the first to prove that chemical carcinogens exist by establishing that cancer can be caused by tar, Tomozo Yoshida, who was the first to induce cancer in internal organs, and Setsuro Ebashi, who proved that calcium can make muscles contract, are graduates of the University of Tokyo Faculty of Medicine whose achievements were worthy of a Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine (although they died before they could receive that award). Of course, many prominent medical researchers are working at the University of Tokyo now. Among them are Kimishige Ishizaka, who discovered Immunoglobulin E (IgE) and laid the groundwork for the study of allergy, and Masao Ito, who demonstrated the plasticity of nerve cells and the functions of the cerebellum. Please refer to our website to find out what a wide variety of research projects are now being done by our Professors and other faculty members.
The two departments in the Faculty of Medicine
The University of Tokyo Faculty of Medicine consists of the Department of Medicine and the School of Integrated Health Sciences. I would like to give you a brief summary of both.
The School of Medicine trains students to be medical doctors, and a major aim is to train medical researchers. Our goal is to make new discoveries and inform the world about them in the following fields: basic medical sciences (cancer research, research on allergies and the immune system, research on the brain, etc.), social medicine (medical ethics, biostatistics, medical economics, public health, etc.), and clinical medicine (new treatments for intractable diseases and new modalities of treatment).
In the School of Integrated Health Sciences, students learn about health maintenance, disease prevention, nutrition, nursing, and care for the elderly and disabled. People all over the world want to live each day with vitality, in high spirits, and in good health. Do you know why Japanese are among the longest-living people in the world? Part of the answer is that health sciences have helped us understand, and then helped us solve, many problems regarding health. We need to approach those problems by working in a variety of fields on the frontiers of science. Students in the School of Integrated Health Sciences can study all the latest in the health sciences, across the full spectrum from fundamental research in the life, behavioral, social, and information sciences to nursing and other clinical sciences that foster patients’ innate potential for self-healing and recovery.
In their first two years University of Tokyo students are at the Komaba campus, where they take general-education classes (history, languages, pedagogy, natural sciences, psychology, etc.). Only after those two years do medical students come to Hongo. There are not many Japanese medical universities in which students begin in a liberal arts program like ours. Those two years give our students a chance to get a basic college-level education, to come into contact with the social sciences and humanities, to get a firm grounding in foreign languages, and to make good friends. The School of Medicine will accept 97 students from the 100 who are in Science 3, 10 students from Science 2, and 3 students from all other departments, for a total of 110 students. The School of Integrated Health Sciences accepts up to 40 students from the various humanities departments and sciences at Komabas. Students can also transfer from the School of Integrated Health Sciences to the School of Medicine if they want to be medical doctors and if they have excellent academic records in their 4 years.
Medicine and health sciences shed light on the phenomena of life, and their importance will only increase as our society ages. The University of Tokyo Faculty of Medicine is looking for high school students who have outstanding abilities and a strong will to do research on medicine and health sciences. If you think that describes you, we want you to apply.