In today’s society, health services are increasingly advanced and diversified, with rapid progress being made in cutting-edge scientific technologies such as regenerative medicine and genetic diagnosis. As the population is aging and the birthrate is declining, changes in the healthcare environment require attention.
While the Master’s program nurtures highly skilled health professionals equipped with specialist knowledge and skills, the Doctor of Philosophy program is designed to nurture teachers, researchers, and future leaders who can flexibly adapt to drastic changes and who have the ability to solve problems through advanced knowledge and scientific thinking as well as a high level of ethical sensitivity.
Research, educational objectives, and educational goals
In the light of the university’s philosophy, “Our creativity for the people.(DOKUSOUICHIRI),” the objectives and educational goals of the Doctor of Philosophy program, health sciences major, Graduate School of Health Sciences are to nurture teachers, researchers, and leaders who have acquired the advanced academic basis of healthcare and hygiene studies that span the health sciences. Successful candidates will have research skills and mature personalities that allow them to lead the next generation in various areas of health sciences and thrive in the areas listed below.
1. Teachers, researchers, and leaders in the discipline of clinical laboratory studies at universities and research institutes who have creative research and development skills in the area of biological information laboratory science
2. Teachers, researchers, and leaders in the discipline of clinical radiology at universities and research institutes who have creative research and development skills in the area of radiological sciences
3. Teachers, researchers, and leaders in the discipline of rehabilitation therapy science at universities and research institutes who have creative research and development skills in the area of rehabilitation therapy science
The health sciences major, Graduate School of Health Sciences (Doctor of Philosophy) seeks the following types of talented individuals:
1. Those who will conduct research based on clinical laboratory studies, medical radiology studies, and rehabilitation studies, with the aim of building scientific evidence in the relevant area
2. Those who have a passion for new discovery related to knowledge and techniques relevant to their chosen research themes, as well as exploration of facts
3. Those who are keen on becoming teachers, researchers, and leaders
4. Those who are highly motivated to present research outcomes and contribute to the development of the health sciences
The health sciences major, Graduate School of Health Sciences (Doctor of Philosophy) comprises three fields: clinical laboratory sciences, radiological sciences, and rehabilitation therapy science. In the first year of each program, students learn the important health sciences concepts that span the areas through courses such as “an overview of health sciences and research theory in health sciences,” and build the academic basis related to advanced theory and the practice of their chosen field of research. Additionally, through a study of advanced theory, students further deepen their specialization in terms of knowledge and techniques for health professionals and acquire the latest theories and insights in their chosen field. Practice subjects are designed to help students broadly explore issues to be addressed in their chosen area and develop critical thinking. Special research efforts are designed to help students improve creative thinking and proactive problem-solving skills for conducting research through the exploration of cutting-edge insights related to their chosen field of specialization. Participants in the health sciences major will further hone these skills by resolving issues related to theory building and technological development. Because advanced research subjects require the continued implementation of research skills and the accumulation of results, students take them continuously throughout the first, second, and third years of study. To prevent the development of a closed research supervision system, the special research program includes a system for interdisciplinary research and joint research seminars led by supervisors from all three areas. These systemic tools help postgraduate students examine research questions and research methods for use in different areas. Students finalize a research plan in the first semester of the first year and start research activities based on the research plan during the second semester of the first year. In the third year, they contribute to the development of the health sciences by submitting papers to academic journals as a primary author. These academic papers may investigate research topics in any area of the Health Sciences or relevant multidisciplinary area.
In order for students to receive a degree in the health sciences major, Graduate School of Health Sciences (Doctor of Philosophy), they are required to be enrolled in the program for at least the minimum required number of years, complete the required number of units (as set out by the educational objectives), and pass the dissertation assessment and the final examination. The criteria for completion of the program require students to acquire the following skills:
1. Skills to conduct analysis and raise issues through a unique approach based on preceding studies
2. Skills to select and implement appropriate inquiry and analysis with a view toward solving problems
3. Skills to propose discoveries, new techniques, and theories to improve the process of specialization in the relevant area
Disciplines and areas
In recent years, there have been drastic changes in health sciences, such as the advent of genomic and regenerative approaches to medicine. Clinical laboratory examinations are indispensable for the development of diagnoses and treatment in these areas. These rapid changes have been accompanied by increasing demand for laboratory scientists who can flexibly deal with clinical laboratory examinations, which are continuously advancing in the degree of specialization. The clinical laboratory sciences program aims to nurture highly skilled laboratory scientists who can understand biological information based on the foundation of education and research acquired in the Master’s program, can address changes in health services, and can become teachers, researchers, and leaders. Students will learn to develop the latest examination techniques and examination devices. Students will also conduct etiological and pathological analyses employing biochemical analysis methods for biological substances at a molecular level, quantitative gene amplification methods, morphological examination methods, and cytological diagnostic methods. Finally, students will conduct research (e.g., biological analysis) from the perspectives of environmental physiology and psychosomatic medicine.
The main subjects in this area are: advanced theory of clinical laboratory sciences, clinical laboratory sciences practice I (examination implementation studies), clinical laboratory sciences practice II (molecular pathological analysis studies), clinical laboratory sciences practice III (clinical laboratory sciences and physiology), and special research in clinical laboratory sciences.
In recent years, there has been rapid advancement in technology related to medical radiation, such as x-ray computed tomography, interventional radiology, magnetic resonance imaging, and nuclear medicine diagnostic techniques, including positron emission tomography, high-precision radiation therapy, and heavy charged-particle therapeutic techniques. In the field of radiological sciences, based on the foundation of education and research acquired through participation in the Master’s program, research on the following topics is conducted: application of biological information collected from digital medical images to treatment plans through analysis of the structure and functions of the human body, irradiation methods for concentrating radiation onto a target area based on 3D and 4D images, and simultaneously achieving both improvement of radiography and reducing radiation dose in patients. The aim of this field is to cultivate teachers, researchers, and leaders who can accurately handle rapidly progressing technology for radiological diagnosis and treatment and can facilitate the precise and safe application of radiological medicine to the clinic through the above-mentioned research.
The main subjects in this area are: advanced theory of radiological sciences, radiological sciences practice, and special research in radiological sciences.
There has been noteworthy development in sciences related to motion measurement, which facilitate research on the prevention and mechanisms of movement disorders. Meanwhile, it is necessary to urgently nurture rehabilitation therapists (e.g., physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech and hearing specialists) to become problem-solving, highly skilled health professionals who can provide evidenced-based services in the clinic. Based on the foundation acquired from the Master’s program, research is conducted in relation to the following objectives: obtaining and analyzing biological motion information with a focus on activities that are most commonly impaired and training rehabilitation therapists to be problem-solving, highly skilled health professionals. The aim of this area is to nurture teachers, researchers, and leaders who are able to solve various issues related to rehabilitation therapy through a scientific and innovative approach and who can develop clinical techniques through the above-mentioned research.
The main subjects in this area are: advanced theory of rehabilitation therapy science I (rehabilitation education science), advanced theory of rehabilitation therapy science II (motion control measurement science), rehabilitation therapy science practice I (rehabilitation education science), rehabilitation therapy science practice ii (motion control measurement science), and special research in rehabilitation therapy science.
Rehabilitation education science
The scope for research in rehabilitation education science is training and educating students studying toward a degree, entry-level therapists who have recently graduated, and instructors who provide instructions to such students and entry-level professionals. Related research aims to scientifically elucidate the characteristics of education for therapists engaged in various areas of rehabilitation medicine as well as effective intervention methods. In the Master’s program (rehabilitation education science) of the Graduate School of Health Sciences, research is conducted to deepen the understanding of students, entry-level therapists, and instructors.
As the same time, it is beneficial for students majoring in rehabilitation therapy science to deepen their understanding of rehabilitation education science regardless of whether or not they select rehabilitation education science as the main target of their research. In other words, research efforts in the department of rehabilitation therapy science provide many opportunities to work with therapists, either as researchers or as subjects. Knowing what kind of education participating therapists have undergone and anticipating what kind of education potential participating therapists may have are important in interpreting research results or setting up future research plans. In advanced theory of rehabilitation therapy science I, which is a class required for participation in the Doctor of Philosophy program, students acquire the latest knowledge pertaining to the standardization of clinical skills in the education of physical therapists. Students also learn to evaluate the reliability, adequacy, and effects of objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs) and hold in-depth exchanges of ideas on the future orientation of related education methods. These pedagogical tools are tailored for each type of student, from entry-level physical therapists to clinical practice instructors, through lectures and discussions. In rehabilitation therapy science practice I, students aim to verify the effectiveness of specific education methods through practical exercises. Efforts to clarify these educational methods are developed through clinical skill education using OSCEs for physical therapists. Moreover, thoughts are developed on the details of education for training the instructors who conduct clinical practicum activities for the purpose of effectively implementing such activities. A new educational instruction system, in which collaboration between university teaching staff and practicum instructors is strengthened, is also being considered.