When a big earthquake struck the Tohoku district on March 11, 2011, at 2:46 p.m, our graduation ceremony was being held at our university and our new alumni were about to launch out into society. Since then, all of us, both at home and abroad, have been keenly aware of the unprecedented danger resulting from disasters: the chain reactions of events that followed the massive earthquake, namely, the accident at Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. Moreover, we now realize the need for prompt nationwide medical and rescue operations in aid of disaster areas. This awareness leads us to appreciate the importance of our university that is symbolized in our motto, “the spirit of service in which one must live through the path of great value to society.”
Our forerunner Kansai Vocational School of Acupuncture and Massage was founded in May 1957 by Takeo Takeda on the above motto. The school’s goals were to cultivate excellent skill in acupuncture and massage and to develop these therapies in Osaka. In April 1985, the three-year Kansai College of Oriental Medicine was established; this , evolved into Kansai University of Oriental Medicine as a four-year university in April 2003. In April 2007, the name of our university was changed to Kansai University of Health Sciences, and at the same time the Graduate School of Kansai University of Health Sciences (Master’s Course) was established. Now our university has two faculties (five departments) and one graduate course, and aims to integrate conventional Oriental medicine like acupuncture and moxibustion with Western medicine, and to expand as a comprehensive medical university to nurture young talent in the medical profession to become capable of practicing holistic care.
We established various affiliated medical institutions to provide clinical education in high-level integrative medicine and to contribute to the local health care. The Attached Clinic provides specialized medical services based on Western medicine. The Attached Acupuncture and Moxibustion Clinic, the Attached Satellite Acupuncture and Moxibustion Clinic in Wakayama, and the Attached Judo Therapy Clinic offer medical care based on traditional Oriental medicine. These clinics also provide clinical practice, training, and research for students, graduate students, and medical professionals. Under the existing circumstances, we believe that it is important to help students develop into medical personnel with the requisite skills for emergency medical care at the scene of earthquakes, tsunamis, and other disasters.
Presently, Japanese society is rapidly ageing at a speed unprecedented in the world. Various diseases are seen in the elderly, and the metabolic syndrome and stress-related diseases such as depression that reflect modern society are rapidly increasing in number. Western medicine, which focuses on specialized and fractionalized medical treatment, is too analytical to cope with the structural change in diseases. We therefore consider it important to carry out our mission of producing medical professionals who will become leaders in the field of integrative medicine.
The Mayo Clinic in the United States is a world-renowned medical institution, and one we aim to emulate as an ideal health center. The Mayo Celinic aims to achieve “ultimate hospitality.” Its logo and mark feature the three shields, which represent the clinic`s three primary objectives: the largest and central shield represents “care of patients,” and the other two smaller shields represent medical research and education, respectively. The clinic’s motto, “The needs of patients come first,” is a century-old brand and announces the principle that guides all its medical practices. On the principle that “Medicine is a cooperative science, requiring collaboration and teamwork,” the Mayo Clinic practices the ultimate world-class medicine. At our university, under our founding motto, “Living through the path of great value to society,” we, too, stand firm by “the spirit of service” that puts the needs of patients first and commits us to producing medical researchers and practitioners who can observe the highest ethical standards and cooperate with their colleagues.
Sohei Yoshida, MD, PhD
Kansai University of Health Sciences