Greetings from Professor Yousuke C. Takemura
"Ambition" and "Passion"
Keys for Family Medicine/General Medicine
Share your "Ambition" with us.
You may think it impossible to become true.
Believe me, we are here for you.
We can take it with all our strength and our heart
Exert your passionate ebullience
We are ready to support you.
Professor Yousuke C. Takemura
Department of General Medicine
Tokyo Women's Medical University Graduate School of Medicine
The Teachings of Dr. MK Rajakumar
The Japan's Family Medicine, from communities to the world
WONCA is an academic association managing community of family medicine worldwide. Currently, about 500,000 members from over 130 countries join the association. In 2005, WONCA Asia Pacific Regional conference was held in Kyoto and Prof. Takemura was administrative chair. One day during the conference, one Asian old man came to me. He wanted to talk with Japanese young family physicians. He said calmly but enthusiastically, "This conference invites many lecturers from the world such as the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherland, and Malaysia where I am from. I am an Asian family physician who is proud of Japan. I came here to hear from Japanese family medicine but there is few. You have already been occupied by the US and the UK." I recognize afterward that he was the former President of WONCA. He was the person, Dr. MK Rajakumar, to encourage young family physicians in Asia and Pacific region to provide family medicine from Asia to the world. This caused the Rajakumar Movement. Three years later when I met him, he passed away and Malaysia held a state funeral for him.
It seems that information about family medicine is limited to the US or UK in the world. However, there are varieties of family medicines in many countries in the world. Each country demands better family medicines which meet the requirement of the country and each of them strives for the development. Considering the situation of the countries, it is often recognized that their family medicine functionally leans on their communities even they are developing countries. Recently, knowing each family medicine more, it sometimes gives reference to other countries. The number of presentations from the field of Japan's family medicine in conferences such as WONCA is increased. Furthermore, the number of publications is significantly increased in the official journal of Asia Pacific WONCA, Asia Pacific Family Medicine, where Prof. Takemura is the editor-in-chief. "The Japan's family physicians" work at clinics and hospitals in the country of Japan begin providing their own education and research to the world.
Department of General Medicine, Tokyo Women's Medical University (TWMU) will unite our strength together and wants to nurture family physicians who fulfill the demand of Japan. In addition, we want to develop the necessary skills for doctors to provide their education and research findings from Japan to the world.
Backgrounds and Aims
Tokyo Women's Medical University General Medicine network or TWMU-GM network is a network of hospitals and clinics which engage in practice, education, and research related to general medicine/family medicine or primary health care. More than ten healthcare institutions join TWMU-GM network in Tokyo Ward and a few prefectures surrounding Tokyo, Japan. This network is also known as a network for physicians and other professionals who engage in these activities. Members of the TWMU-GM build a weak tie with each other or facility, and collaborate closely in each activity.
The TWMU-GM network engages in following activities for people in community all over the world to stay in healthy and happy lives:
To conduct research more efficiently and provide effective practices in general medicine/family medicine and primary health care.
To foster general medicine, family physicians, general practitioners, and healthcare professionals, who can practice in the field of general medicine/family medicine and primary health care
To nurture more advanced personnel who can educate general medicine/family physicians, healthcare professionals, educators, or researchers in the field of general medicine/family medicine and primary health care.
The TWMU-GM network provide educations about general medicine/family medicine, and primary healthcare, for each generation of healthcare professionals, such as medical students, junior residents, and senior residents. As well, we provide inter-professional educations for the various medical professionals. Although some of our educations are provided in TWMU, lots of parts are undertaken in clinics and hospitals in community.
The TWMU-GM network weighs importance on career-long education for general medicine/family physicians and other collaborating healthcare professionals. As well, we have activities of continuous medical education on themes related to general medicine/family medicine.
The Department of General Medicine, provides education and research for TWMU Graduate School of Medicine. The department accepts international students from all over the world.
In our graduate school, we want students to learn how to resolve problems in the real community via research. Our research should not be mere finding or exploring the facts, but contribute towards people in communities. Research is only one of the tools for resolving problems in communities, improving clinical practices, and contributing to patients and people in community. Therefore, we should keep in our mind to implement the research findings into the real world.
To enable students to fulfill our aims above mentioned, we provide didactic lectures about general medicine/family medicine, biostatistics, clinical epidemiology, qualitative research, how to build questionnaire and so on. However, attending these lectures for students is not enough to resolve problems in communities and they should: approach the target community or field; get familiar with the people living there; feel known or unknown needs from the people living there; and suggest some resolution for their needs or problems. These processes require students not only technical and academic skills, but also communication or social skills. As well, these processes train students to learn by their own mistakes. Therefore, we provide students safe environments to think their own interests for themselves.
The Department of General Medicine, TWMU Graduate School of Medicine conducts research several themes in general medicine/family medicine, communication, community medicine, and medical education. We especially focus on the behavioral aspects of patients and medical professionals, as well as collaborations between specialties or healthcare professionals. We use both quantitative and qualitative approaches.
The examples of ongoing research are as follows:
Research on the relationship between the characteristic (patient centeredness, comprehensiveness, cooperation, etc.) of physicians and patients' medical seeking behavior or their health status
Research on non-verbal communication (facial expression and voice) using artificial intelligence (AI)
Research to confirm reliability and validity of questionnaires
Other researches of family medicine/general medicine
The Department of General Medicine, TWMU provides care for the people living in their own community, in their own clinics or hospitals besides at outpatient department and wards in TWMU hospital. Our practice is based on the principles and methods for the general medicine/family medicine, or primary healthcare. Additionally, we weigh importance on the collaboration between specialties, between healthcare professionals, between medical facilities, and between healthcare system and community. Moreover, we try to learn about the newest evidences for all the disease we can be involved.