Curriculum (Health Care Management)
Outline of coursework
Like other Courses, this Course has three axes of education: introductory education, analytical methodology, and professional coursework.
As entrants come from a variety of academic backgrounds and professional experiences, Introductory Module is offered primarily to 1st year students so that everyone in the Course, regardless of background, is prepared to receive the same professional education.
For example, students with medical backgrounds have sufficient knowledge of healthcare, but may lack knowledge in other areas. Conversely, students with non-medical backgrounds are knowledgeable in the subjects that they studied, but may lack sufficient basic knowledge in healthcare. Introductory Module provides students with differing backgrounds the basic knowledge that they lack so that all are prepared for and able to participate in discussion in their Specialized Module classes. Coursework offered includes Introduction to Economics, Introduction to Public and Fiscal Policy, Introduction to Legal Studies, Introduction to Clinical Practice, Principles of Health Management, and Theory of Social Security.
In addition to basic education, this Course emphasizes scientific approaches to analyzing and evaluating phenomena, particularly the use of epidemiology and statistics. The phrase "evidence based medicine" (EBM) is often used in this context. This is an idea that is important not only to clinical practice, but also to the management and structure of healthcare organizations and systems. Traditionally, management in this area has been backward-looking and reliant on intuition and authority, but in recent years the emphasis has switched to organizational administration and system design that are based on empirical analysis of clinical testing data. The mastery of these analytical methodologies gives non-medical students the tools they need to debate on an equal footing with medical professionals.
Having acquired the necessary basic knowledge, students move on to professional coursework. The Specialized Module is crucial to achieving the objectives of the Course. Like analytical classes, students are encouraged to take as many Specialized Module classes as possible.
Classes are taught by the full-time faculty of the School, and also by faculty members from a number of other departments and graduate schools at Keio University. Some are jointly taught to provide a more interdisciplinary experience. For example, "Health Services Human Resources Management" is taught by a faculty member from the School of Medicine, who covers the professional aspects and issues related to healthcare, and by a faculty member from the Keio Business School, responsible for general human resources management theory. By integrating these lectures, the class enables students with healthcare backgrounds to learn universal theories and systematize experiences that may have only been partially grasped. Meanwhile, students from other areas develop a systematic understanding of the complexities of healthcare practice.
Specialized Module classes in the Course for Sports Management and Course for Nursing are also, in principle, accepted as Specialized Module classes in this Course. This enables students develop breadth of knowledge and shared aspirations.
All subjects are taught from both theoretical and practical perspectives. The emphasis is not just on acquiring knowledge, but on developing problem solving skills. Faculty employ a number of different pedagogical strategies to achieve this, including small-group discussions as well as traditional lectures.
Refinement of coursework
The Graduate School of Health Management is celebrating its seventh anniversary this year. Social needs and issues have changed and evolved since our founding, and it is necessary to revise our curriculum to keep pace.
From 2007 to 2011, classes were offered in "Pharmacoeconomics" and "Pharmacoeconomic Analysis" as part of the "Pharmacoeconomics Education and Training Program" sponsored by the Japan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association. These classes have enhanced our education on economic evaluation of healthcare technologies and had a significant influence on subsequent curriculum. From 2010, we have offered classes in "Medical Law" in conjunction with risk management theory to address public concerns about medical safety.
Class content is also being revised. "Health Care Management Strategies" was completely overhauled from AY2010 into two consecutive sessions that invite managers from innovative medical institutions in different areas of Japanese healthcare (clinics, private acute care medical institutions, private chronic care medical institutions, public medical institutions, medical institutions under the National Hospital Organization, and university hospitals) to speak about their institutions during the first session, followed by discussions with students and lecturers during the second.
This course offers internships that enable interns to acquire practical knowledge and skills at outside institutions. Past internships have included a wide range of institutions like key regional hospitals, hospitals specializing in geriatric nursing, hospitals under the National Hospital Organization, the nursing administration departments of university hospitals, pharmaceuticals companies, insurance companies, and companies offering nursing care services. Each year, a large number of students spend the roughly one-month spring break between the first and second years gaining practical experience. This is often an opportunity for doctors and nurses to work for the first time at private companies, and for non-medical students to gain hands-on experience at hospitals and other healthcare and welfare services.
There are also "Internship Related Module" within the School taught by those responsible for internships at outside institutions, who serve as part-time faculty. This gives students the opportunity to review and deepen in the classroom the things that they have observed and experienced during their internships.
Many students identify issues during their internships that become topics for their theses. "Thematic research papers" bridge theory and practice and are considered equivalent to ordinary "master's theses."