The six-year undergraduate program at the Keio University School of Medicine is conducted entirely in Japanese with the objective of training students to pass the Japanese National Medical Licensing Examination at the conclusion of the sixth year. There are three semesters in each academic year, which begins in April. After the first year of liberal arts education, students proceed to five years of medical and clinical education including clinical rotations during the final two years.
In the first year, students take premedical courses such as chemistry, mathematics, and physics. Students devote themselves not only to theoretical study, but they also engage in hands-on laboratory work. Coursework in the first year also includes subjects in the humanities such as social sciences and foreign language. Students also foster professionalism through the Early Exposure Program and medical professionalism coursework.
In the second year, students begin taking fundamental medical courses such as histology, anatomy, embryology, physiology, and biochemistry, with first-hand practical training in each subject. In order to facilitate this practical training, we have developed several innovative initiatives utilizing information and communications technology. One example is 3D anatomical imaging developed by the Department of Anatomy, which students can view anywhere using iPads issued to each student in the second year.
In the third year, students broaden their knowledge of basic medical science through courses such as immunology, molecular biology, and social medical science. From the third semester, lectures and clinical training in surgery and internal medicine begin.
During the fourth year, students mainly take lectures in clinical medicine and begin to prepare for clinical rotations. All students take part in Laboratory and Field Studies, which allows students to plan and conduct a research project of their choosing. Students must pass CBT (Computer Based Testing) and OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) examinations in order to proceed to clinical rotations beginning in the fifth year.
Clinical rotations begin in the fifth year at Keio University Hospital and other affiliated hospitals. Students are divided into small groups and take part in clinical clerkships. This allows students to deepen their knowledge and elevate their skills, while at the same time heightening their senses of responsibility, leadership, and cooperation. Through direct interaction with patients, students are able to develop their clinical reasoning skills from an early stage.