August 2001

From University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine establishes residency training program in Japan

PITTSBURGH, – The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and UPMC Health System have signed an agreement to assist Teine Keijinkai Hospital in Sapporo, Japan, to establish and operate a U.S.-style residency training program in internal medicine.

"This program is the culmination of two years of work and becomes one of only a handful of programs in Japan to use a U.S. model. It puts the University of Pittsburgh at the forefront of international medical education," said Arthur S. Levine, M.D., senior vice chancellor for the health sciences and dean, school of medicine.

Historically, the Japanese philosophy of educating and training physicians has been based on students learning both from didactic experiences and from closely observing the words and actions of a senior mentor and professor. This philosophy has extended into residency training, which tends to follow an apprenticeship model through which Japanese residents have relatively less direct patient care experience than their counterparts in the United States.

By contrast, U.S. programs work with a formal curriculum that identifies specific skills and knowledge areas that graduates must master, with a mandatory evaluation process. In addition, there is a greater expectation for direct hands-on learning. Progressive autonomy is encouraged by increasing patient-care responsibility, beginning in the first year of residency.

Under the agreement, the school of medicine and UPMC Health System will advise program facilitators at Teine Keijinkai Hospital on goals, staffing and teaching materials. The program will be co-directed by Asher Tulsky, M.D., assistant professor of medicine at Pitt, and Hironori Murakami, M.D., at Teine Keijinkai Hospital.

Six students will participate in the first year of the program. During and after completion of the program, they will have the opportunity to participate in additional residency training programs at UPMC member and affiliated hospitals.

“We are pleased and proud to be Teine Keijinkai’s partner in this educational voyage of discovery. We hope, and expect, that the students will develop skills that will directly be passed on to their patients in the form of better care and treatment,” said Mark L. Zeidel, M.D., professor and chairman of the department of medicine at the school of medicine and general consultant to the program.

The pilot program will run for three years, after which it will be formally evaluated by a team from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Dr. Levine and Jeffrey Romoff, president of UPMC Health System, signed the agreement on behalf of the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC. Hospital director Hiroshi Maekubo, M.D., Ph.D., signed on behalf of Teine-Keijinkai Hospital.

CONTACT: Kathryn Duda
PHONE: 412-647-3555
FAX: 412-624-3184

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