A message from the Chair

-- How should the Department of Ophthalmology function.

Yoshikazu Shimomura, MD, PhD
Chairman, Department of Ophthalmology
Kindai University Faculty of Medicine

In the present ophthalmological community, it is a common practice to do researches or attend patients based on the anatomical demarcation such as the cornea, retina, etc. I agree to some extent that this conventional method of anatomical classification of ocular diseases has some merits, but I have some concern for the future that it might hinder the development of ophthalmology. To be more specific, I would rather perceive eye diseases as a whole applying a mutually connected comprehensive collaboration system founded on the basic scientific knowledge and information.

Education is the foundation of human resources development and it is most effectively achieved by providing various information for the resident ophthalmologists and letting them decide their own areas of expertise, find their own ways of approaching diseases, etc. I am convinced that what is most important is to prepare the environment for them to choose from among a wide range of diagnostic/therapeutic choices instead of imposing them a certain fixed philosophy of some faculty members.

Researches at the Department of Ophthalmology should be based on questions, problems and interesting facts encountered through daily clinical experiences. They will eventually develop into basic researches and further into applied researches like developing new diagnostic/therapeutic technology. I believe that continuous efforts of doing these researches will achieve enormous outcomes. We are emphasizing on researches directly linked to the clinic but at the same time, are also promoting vigorous exchanges with other research institutions at home and abroad. From a global point of view, we are providing the environment where the utmost knowledge and information can be acquired and fostering research activities that lead to the development of new therapeutic methods. My own field of expertise is on the cornea, anatomically, and infectious diseases, cross-sectionally. Centering on the specialty area of mine with other areas covered by faculty members, we are making concerted efforts to achieve our target of establishing a world-class comprehensive clinical department of ophthalmology.

Lastly I would like to share a very inspiring remark of Count Goto Shinpei, who was a great statesman. “Those who decease with much money left behind are the lowest in terms of the dignity, those with many achievements, the middle, and those with many great people, the highest.” That means fostering human resources is the most important task. He worked vigorously as Home Minister and the president of the Imperial City Restoration Department in the cabinet after the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923. He was a physician by training.