Message from the Dean

Yoko Saitoh, Ph. D.
Dean Hirosaki University
Graduate School of Health Sciences

 Amid warnings of a global warming crisis, the importance of nuclear energy as a clean energy source is again being emphasized. In Aomori Prefecture, there are many institutions related to atomic energy, including a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant.
 However, if a nuclear accident were to occur, it would have a great effect on the surrounding people and community, as well as on the workers in the institution. In particular, adverse health effects are the most serious problem. Therefore, as a precaution against unlikely accidents, one must not only maintain a radiation emergency medicine system but prevent such incidents.
 Consolidating advanced medical technologies is indispensable for radiation emergency medicine. In addition, specific countermeasures, such as nursing for patients exposed to radiation, measures for contamination control, decontamination, radiation dosimetry, and specific clinical assays, are required. Nevertheless, the radiological content of current medical education is included within the general medical curriculum of usual medical care. Thus, a special educational program is required to deal with radiation emergency medicine.
 Against such a background, preparations for the development of an advanced professional education program for radiation emergency medicine commenced in the Hirosaki University Graduate School of Health Sciences in 2008. Currently, special postgraduate programs, such as nursing care for patients exposed to radiation, contamination control, decontamination, radiation dosimetry and specific clinical assay studies are being developed and conducted, as well as entry-level undergraduate scholastic programs and continuing educational programs for working health professionals. The features of personnel to be developed in such programs are as follows:
 ● They are capable of an appropriate response, providing medical support with leadership based on a health sciences field, in an emergency such as a massive radiation disaster.
 ● They have expertise in radiation, and they are qualified to promote education and research about interdisciplinary cooperation and a crisis management system in radiation emergency medicine.