Tokyo Women’s Medical University, Faculty of Medicine

Tokyo Women’s Medical University, Faculty of Medicine

by Sayumi Nozaki, fifth year medical student at Tokyo Women’s Medical University

Tokyo Women’s medical university (TWMU) which located in Shinjuku prefecture is the only women’s medical school in Japan and one of the only two women’s medical schools in the World. Students at TWMU have been learning medicine under spirit of “sincerity and to love” ever since it was founded by the late Yayoi Yoshioka in 1900.  

Our university was given a high score by the Association for Medical Education in the Western Pacific Region (AMEWPR) in 2012. ( It is mentioned that our university’s educational level is world class.

One of the especially educational programs is the “Tutorial,” which is based on Problem Based Leaning (PBL), a style of learning that is now imperative to medical education at any medical school. In fact, TWMU was the first university that introduced it. Through PBL students can find not only the symptoms that patients have noticed but also those that patients may potentially have. Furthermore, students go through the training of thinking about the reasons behind these symptoms.

Specifically, during the “Tutorial,” a group of about six to eight students are first given a certain topic. Then, students come up with as many questions as they can that are related to that topic. For instance, if the topic is “brain death,” a group may come up with questions like “why was the concept of brain death introduced in the first place?” or “how is brain death diagnosed?”. Then, they come up with answers to the questions they came up through self-studying and discussion with their group members. In addition, a physician or a professor joins the group to give the students advice when the discussion stagnates. Through this education, students are able to improve communication skills as well as their problem-solving abilities.

Moreover, almost all of students join a club. They can choose from tennis, basketball, picture, ballroom dancing, oriental medicine, equestrian, and so on, many of which are among the nation’s best, with the clubs winning many competitions. By participating in these club activities, students can cultivate the mentality that is needed in a doctor.

Ultimately, through its education and club activities, TWMU provides its students world-class. Its graduates have not only the knowledge and skills but also the mentality that is required to become a skilled physician.

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