The predecessor of our department, “The Third department of Internal Medicine” was established in April 1981, and was named “Department of Hematology and Respiratory Medicine” since incumbent Professor Akihito Yokoyama was appointed in April 2007. We have been in charge of respiratory and hematological diseases in the internal medicine field. However, in order to respond to the current situation where medical care in each specialized internal medicine field is extremely advanced, “the department of Hematology” has been separated and independent as a new department from June 2019, and our department has been called “The department of Respiratory medicine and Allergology”.
Our department mainly focuses on the advanced or standard treatment of chronic airway diseases, such as bronchial asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and interstitial pneumonia, and lung cancer, which has been increasing in recent years. We conduct researches on respiratory diseases: pathological analysis and treatment studies on airway diseases using some models, development of biomarkers for interstitial pneumonia, and studies of lung cancer cells at molecular level.
We are active in nurturing motivated clinicians. Because in Kochi Prefecture there are no respiratory specialists other than the central area, and there is a great shortage nationwide. The goal of all medical staff members is to acquire a medical specialist certified by the Japanese Society of Internal Medicine, and to become a certified medical specialist in respiratory or allergy and clinical oncology field as soon as possible. In addition, doctors from our department are enrolled in core hospitals in the prefecture, including public hospitals such as Kochi Health Sciences Center and National Hospital Organization Kochi Hospital, and private hospitals, and are active as specialists. However, people who plan to return to their hometown outside of Kochi Prefecture after obtaining a specialist, or who want to play an active role in other facilities or overseas for research, etc. are greatly welcomed.
In addition, Professor Yokoyama of our department is the board directors of the chairman of Japanese Respiratory Society(JRS) and the president of the Japanese Respiratory Society annual meeting in 2022, which will be hosted at the International Conference Center in Kyoto.
【Medical Student education】
We are in charge of lectures on respiratory diseases for 4th graders. Following lectures on general remarks and diagnostics of diseases, lectures on typical diseases, featured in the respiratory system of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology model core curriculum, are given by professors, associate professors, lecturers, and assistant professors. The 5th grader's clinical training incorporates many small lectures and focuses on one-on-one instruction such as bedside teaching.
In the ward, each student will be assigned a patient in charge, and will be presented with a case at the end of the practical training. Students learn the underlying clinicopathological and radiological status of hospitalized patients through case conference, article reading, and ward round. We also provide practical training program such as chest auscultation practice using the auscultation simulator "Mr. Lung", lung function tests, and chest X-ray interpretation.
Students also attend bronchoscopy using the latest system. In addition, because we treat many patients with advanced malignancies in our department, during a two-week practical training, students experience palliative and terminal care in the palliative care ward of Kochi Kosei Hospital. In recent years, tuberculosis cases have been decreasing at university hospitals, so we are also conducting practical training at the National Hospital Organization Kochi Hospital.