Message from the Chancellor and the President
The origins of Iwate Medical University go back to 1897 when founder Shunjiro Mita established Iwate Private Hospital and, subsequently, Iwate Medical School at his own expense. At the time, medical education in Hokkaido and throughout the Tohoku region had long been at a standstill, and community healthcare had fallen into disarray. Noteworthy here is the fact that when Mita established the Iwate Medical School he also founded the Iwate Midwives and Nurses Training School, too. During the Meiji Period (1867-1912), he foresaw the importance of “team treatment”as he put it, “Medical treatment will not improve if physicians are the only ones that we train”and put it into practice.
Today, we have become a comprehensive, treatment-focused university. We strive to train medical specialists who make “preserving community medical treatment” their priority, offering the only campus in Japan where the medical, dental, pharmaceutical, and nursing faculties all share the same space. In the fall of 2019, we also opened a new 1,000-bed affiliated hospital together with our Uchimaru Medical Center which uses the facilities of our former affiliated hospital to provide outpatient support of the highest order. The unique features about our affiliated hospital are the facts that it is known for being especially kind to its patients, and that it provides advanced care thanks to a full lineup of medical instruments that is cutting edge on a global scale. Our hospital also encourages joint research with various leading Japanese medical instrument manufacturers. For example, we have become one of the world’s leading centers of research in the area of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Looking ahead, as a university that has the ability to maintain its community-focused healthcare approach while also producing research worthy of a global interest we will continue our work of training the next generation of medical specialists. Our undying hope is that our graduates will develop the skills at this university with its diverse faculty and student body that will enable them to become the motive force to provide medical care in the northern Tohoku region generally and Iwate Prefecture in particular.
In 2002, we decided to turn ourselves into a comprehensive institution, which involved establishing the new Yahaba Campus as an addition to the existing Uchimaru Campus located in Morioka City. We accordingly established the School of Pharmacy and the Center for Liberal Arts and Sciences in 2007 and moved the basic courses of the School of Medicine and the School of Dentistry to Yahaba in 2011. Having subsequently founded the School of Nursing in 2017, we then “restarted” ourselves as a comprehensive medical university that offers faculties of medicine, dentistry, pharmaceutics, and nursing. In an educational environment with no barriers between disciplines, we are able to cultivate the core elements of our team treatment approach among students from all four faculties starting from their time here at this institution. Additionally, in the course of their studies our graduates gain first-hand experience when it comes to the practice of community medicine, which has served as the foundation of our university since it was established. Each faculty offers on-the-job experience, on-the-job training, and practical training to go along with an education based on collaboration among the four faculties related to team treatment.
On September 21, 2019, at the Yahaba Campus we opened the Iwate Medical University Hospital (“Yahaba New Hospital”), which serves as a world-class 1,000-bed facility drawing on a combination of cutting-edge medical instruments and top-notch medical staff. Meanwhile, the former university hospital at Uchimaru in Morioka City has become the Uchimaru Medical Center and serves as a primarily outpatient treatment hospital (with 50 beds). We have developed an operating structure linking the two hospitals, thereby enabling them to handle medical care not only for Iwate Prefecture but also the northern Tohoku region in particular and the entire region generally.
We will make the most of the unique features of these two large medical institutions. For our students, they will serve as extraordinary campuses for on-the-job experiences and on-site education. What’s more, for medical residents, practicing physicians in training (senkoi), and dental residents, the two institutions will serve as exemplary centers for clinical training. Amid the natural splendors of Iwate, in an environment harmonized with nature we are training medical specialists who understand the ills and pains of people who are ailing whether in body or spirit and who will have a gentleness of spirit that can bring them closer to their patients.