Education of psychosomatic medicine before graduation

T. Inamitsu, C. Kubo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Innovation in educational curriculums for medical students before graduation is currently being promoted at Kyushu University as well as other universities. A discussion of our role in medical education and the methods used to teach psychosomatic medicine would be timely. First, we present the current situation with regard to curriculums for psychosomatic education. Second, we examine and assess the bed-side teaching program using questionnaires filled out by the students. Finally, problems and solutions are discussed. The educational objectives of our department are 1) to understand the relationship between the body and mind by learning typical pychosomatic diseases, and 2) to understand holistic medicine by learning psychosomatic approaches. The bed-side training programs in our department are experiential rather than didactic. Students undergo what patients experience on the ward, such as psychological testing, psychophysiological testing, biofeedback treatment, transactional analysis, autogenic training, occupational therapy, and interview. Questionnaires filled out by the students at the end of training showed that our educational aims were adequately attained. Moreover, they felt that the doctor-patient relationship was important and that they viewed diseases differently, that is from a psychosocial viewpoint. Some students indicated that the training gave them an opportunity to consider themselves. The following problems were encountered. 1) Lecture is still the main style of education. 2) The completion of a case report is considered the objective of bed-side teaching. 3) There are too few teaching staff. 4) An organ-oriented educational program may restrict the conception of holistic medicine. 5) Limitations to the extent students can participate in diagnosis and treatment, especially psychological aspects. 6) Assessment of the students and the educational methods. In summary, educational programs that specialize in psychosomatic medicine as we do are considered to provide not only special learning about psychosomatic diseases but also about the basic concepts of comprehensive medicine. It is important for specialists in psychosomatic medicine to positively participate in medical education, since that will lead to further development of psychosomatic medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-248
Number of pages6
JournalJapanese Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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