Keio University, Faculty of Medicine

Keio University, Faculty of Medicine

by Mariko Morioka, fifth year medical student at Keio University

Welcome to Keio University School of Medicine, where you’ll find the most intellectually and physically talented students from all over Japan. Ever since it was founded by Shibasaburo Kitasato in 1917, it has remained one of the top private medical schools. Celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, Keio University School of Medicine keeps on growing as an ideal place for education and research, producing well-balanced global leaders as well as entrepreneurs in the field of medicine.

In the first year, students spend their school life in the Hiyoshi campus with chances to engage in whatever liberal arts class they wish. This environment enables medical students to interact with students from other departments and pursue their interests before moving on to their professional studies. Nonetheless, all students have an opportunity to develop their views as a healthcare professional in the Early Exposure Program (EEP), a one-week shadowing program based in various care facilities in the Kanto area. Another unique aspect of its curriculum is the “Inter-professional Education”. Students have three sessions, each in their first, fourth, and sixth year, to discuss team medical care in small groups consisting of students from medical, nursing and pharmacy departments.

Medical studies start in full swing in the second year. At the Shinanomachi campus, students receive iPads for active learning and start with basic medicine, gradually onto clinical medicine. “Self-directed learning” in the fourth year enables students to be part of any laboratory they wish, some with opportunities to write articles and participate in research society meetings inside and outside of Japan. Clinical clerkships start in the fifth year, where students rotate around specialties and receive one-on-one bedside training, observe surgeries, and encounter outpatients. If you think moving on to Shinanomachi means a life apart from reality crammed with studies, you’re wrong; stroll along the neighborhood and you’ll find Omotesando with the latest trends, Jingu Stadium with the hot baseball game in season, and what’s more, the site for Tokyo Olympics 2020.

Aside from the studies, over 90% of its students engage in extracurricular activities. From baseball and tennis to skiing and ice hockey, there are 24 club activities aimed to develop the physical and mental strength as well as the perseverance needed in becoming a doctor. The friendship and unity last forever; there is a vast network of alumni worldwide, enabling the students to find role models which they can rely on for their future career.

In commemorating the school’s 100th anniversary, the hospital buildings are now being reconstructed, ready to be equipped with the latest technology and the finest care. With the Tokyo Olympics coming up in just three years, Keio University and School of Medicine and Hospital are getting ready to greet the world with open-minded students and doctors.

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