DEPARTMENT OF CARDIOVASCULAR MEDICINE KYUSHU UNIVERSITY GRADUATE SCHOOL OF MEDICAL SCIENCES

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Message from the Professor

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Professor Kenji Sunagawa


基礎研究成果の臨床応用The objective of medical care in saving life does not alter with the change of time. What needs to be saved is people’s life, and medical care is the very means with which to achieve this objective. To provide high quality medical care, improving the efficiency of the hospital as a medical care delivery system is evidently important. As one of such endeavors, the "Heart Center" that transcends the boundaries of medical and surgical disciplines to provide advanced interdisciplinary treatment for all heart diseases was established in March 2006. In this Center, multiple departments related to heart diseases are located all within one unit, which allows us to conduct diagnosis, treatment and postoperative care in a smooth and comprehensive manner. With the increasing specialization and sophistication of cardiovascular medicine, it is not easy to provide the most advanced medical care for all the fields. However, through the mechanism of the Heart Center, I am confident that we can provide a high level of medical care that fulfills our responsibilities as the key hospital for this region and for the country. Since the inauguration of the Heart Center, the numbers of coronary interventions and various clinical examinations including echocardiography have increased remarkably, and the unit is bustling with vitality. From August, the Emergency Medical Center was opened. With the Coronary Care Unit as one of its pillars, the Center is contributing to the community health care.

The ultimate goal of research and development is also to save life. Despite the constant advances made in the treatment of cardiovascular disease, severe heart failure and fatal arrhythmia remain intractable diseases. According to the statistics from American and European countries, the five-year survival rate of heart failure is only 50% even at the present day. General medical institutions are often not adequately equipped to conduct research and development to combat such intractable diseases that cannot be overcome by modern conventional medicine. Since our university is equipped with various resources for that purpose, I believe that promoting research activities aiming to overcome these intractable diseases is the mission of our university as a research institution. In the fields of vascular biology and circulatory control, we would like to continue with the most advanced research and development in the world, as we have always done in the past. In addition to these fields for which the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Kyushu University have traditionally been a global hub, since I took over this post I have initiated research on bionic medicine that integrates engineering into all aspects of therapeutic medicine. We expect that our research will provide new therapeutic strategies for diseases such as lethal arrhythmia, intractable heart failure, and serious blood pressure disorder.

To implement medical care for saving life and to develop novel treatment to combat intractable diseases, the development of human resources is indispensable. High-level training of staff is necessary in order that we can constantly provide cutting-edge medical care. Education in the medical faculty should be conducted with these viewpoints in mind. In bedside education and clerkship, simply teaching students the basic knowledge of the major pathologies and therapeutic strategies is not enough, it is essential to ensure that they acquire the skills of practicing medical care through a profound trust relationship that can only be cultivated by sincere contact with the patient (person with a disease). I would like to put efforts in medical education from the perspective of “for the people”.

Medical care can be evaluated only when we can apply it to benefit the patients. In order to achieve the above goals, connections with medical institutions in the community are essential. However, since the independent incorporation of national universities, university hospitals are required more than ever to make extra efforts in financial management. The excessive emphasis of university hospitals to pursue profit could escalate into competitions with medical institutions in the community. However, university hospitals and community medical institutions have entirely different social missions. If each party would fulfill its mission and build a cooperative relationship among them, this can improve the quality of medical care of the community. To achieve this will be a true contribution of the university hospital to community medical care.

Staff of the Cerebrovacular Medicine Department

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