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The Medical CenterVPAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE

The mission of the National Taiwan University Medical Center, which encompasses the College of Medicine (NTUCM) and the teaching hospital (NTUH), is to educate and train students, physicians, and biomedical scholars and to provide a spectrum of comprehensive knowledge, research, patient care and service of the highest quality to the population of Taiwan and beyond.

The College and Education

Established in 1897, the College (NTUCM) has trained more than 10,000 physicians, approximately 60 percent of whom have remained in Taiwan. Currently, 840 students are enrolled in medical and other related programs. In addition to offering the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree and Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) degrees, the School of Medicine collaborates with the basic departments of the Graduate Institutes in an 11-year program leading to the combined M.D./Ph.D. degree. Students who graduate from the schools of Pharmacy, Nursing, Medical Technology, Physical therapy and Occupational therapy are awarded the Bachelor of Science degree.

The school's 29 basic science and 18 clinical departments provide students with a broad base of expertise, which enables them to translate research experience into clinical practice. Educational interaction reinforces this synergism, with clinicians teaching within the basic science departments, and vice versa. A new Problem-Based Learning curriculum, introduced in the fall term of 1993, builds upon linkages between the basic and clinical sciences and incorporates medical ethics within the complex of medical problems.

Our medical students thus enjoy a unique opportunity to learn the practice of medicine with equal emphasis on skill, compassion, and critical thinking. Also, the NTUMC aims to instill medical personnel with the spirit of altruism, which is central to serving patients effectively through the practice of medicine. To achieve this objective, the College not only teaches specific and systematic knowledge of related areas of medicine, but also leads students to recognize the dignity of human life. The students are expected to strive to become leaders in clinical medicine or in medical research in Taiwan.

The Hospital and Quality of Care

The hospital started operations on June 18, 1895, and moved to its present location (West-Site) in 1897. Work on the graceful Renaissance architecture of the current west-side building dates to 1912, and the last stone was laid in 1921. At that time, the NTUH was the largest and most modern hospital in southeast Asia. On October 19, 1991, the completion of a large new building on the East Site marked another milestone in the history of the NTUH. Now, the East and West Sites, connected by the Jing-Fu (Chinese meaning "vision,""beauty," "fortune,"and "good will") Tunnel since June 19, 1995, are operating smoothly, with more than 4,000 employees serving approximately 2,000 inpatients and 7,000 outpatients daily. The hospital remains the best-known and most highly-renowned medical center in Taiwan.

The hospital was designed to support the concept of "patient-centered"care, a system in which treatment is delivered at the bedside whenever possible. The hospital endeavors to provide appropriate, effective, and compassionate care that is accessible, affordable, and culturally sensitive, and in all these respects it serves as a model to emulate for other hospitals and clinics across the nation.

Research and Academic Advantages

The Medical Center is committed to the principle of free research, i.e., research undertaken from purely scientific motives, but is also deeply involved in applied research in collaboration with both the biotechnology industry and the public sector. We will continue to discover and evaluate new knowledge, particularly as it relates to the cause, prevention, and treatment of disease and to the promotion, maintenance, and restoration of health. The Medical Center has a strong faculty working at the cutting edge of biomedical research, such as research on cancer, hepatitis, diabetes, immunology, lymphoma, and surgery, as well as diseases of the cardiovascular, pulmonary, gastrointestinal, and hematologic systems. State-of-the-art technology is now being developed in our programs in cellular and molecular medicine, molecular diagnosis, microsurgery, virology, human genetics, and other important scientific fields.

The Future and Beyond

The Medical Center not only just reacts to developments and changes in the surrounding world; it makes its own evaluations and judgments to plan and guide its development and influence in the region. The Medical Center will continue its long tradition of excellence with a diverse and outstanding student body, a world-renowned basic-science and clinical faculty, a completely revised curriculum for the M.D. degree, and exceptional facilities for patient care, education, and research. To meet future challenges and to improve the quality of medical education, research, and patient care, the medical center has put substantial efforts into the following three areas:

  • Integration of research:
    The 21st century will be the age of translational medicine. Researchers and physicians will be expected to move basic research findings expeditiously from the laboratory bench to the bedside. They will also be increasingly challenged to align the personnel, support services, and resources that enable study in the laboratory. In order to integrate research activities and offer better services to faculty members, the Medical Center currently operates several core laboratories. These include laboratories for cell identification and separation, confocal microscopy, protein chemistry, molecular interaction, and DNA/RNA analysis, as well as for genome information and molecular modeling.

  • Molecular and genomic medicine:
    The college is active on the frontiers of medical research. One of its major efforts has been to utilize molecular approaches to study the pathogenesis and treatment of diseases. These include formal and informal integrated research programs in the Hepatitis Center, the Oncology Research Center, the Graduate Institute of Clinical Medicine ( a Ph.D. training program for M.D. physicians to conduct basic and clinical research), the Institute of Molecular Medicine, and all other graduate institutes of basic (preclinical) sciences. Collaborative research between clinical and preclinical departments is encouraged.

  • National and international collaboration:
    Collaborative studies between the College, the Hospital, and other institutions both in Taiwan and in other countries, in a variety of fields, such as oncology, neuroscience, cardiovascular disease, hepatitis research, molecular genetics, bioengineering, tissue engineering , stem cell technologies, and biophotonics are conducted actively.
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