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Research Trends in General Medicine Departments of University Hospitals in Japan

Authors Watari T, Tago M, Shikino K, Yamashita S, Katsuki NE, Fujiwara M, Yamashita S

Received 13 February 2021

Accepted for publication 18 March 2021

Published 7 April 2021 Volume 2021:14 Pages 1227—1230


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Takashi Watari,1,2,* Masaki Tago,3,* Kiyoshi Shikino,4 Shun Yamashita,3 Naoko E Katsuki,3 Motoshi Fujiwara,3 Shu-ichi Yamashita3

1General Medicine Center, Shimane University Hospital, Shimane, Japan; 2Master of Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA; 3Department of General Medicine, Saga University Hospital, Saga, Japan; 4Department of General Medicine, Chiba University Hospital, Chiba, Japan

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Masaki Tago
Department of General Medicine, Saga University Hospital, 5-1-1 Nabeshima, Saga, 849-8501, Japan
Tel +81 952 34 3238
Fax +81 952 34 2029
Email [email protected]

Purpose: The training of generalist physicians in university hospitals needs to emphasize development of their research role in order to continue improving their research capacity and their standing in academic hospitals in Japan. This cross-sectional descriptive study aimed to survey departments of general medicine (GM) in university hospitals in Japan to identify the research areas and themes pursued by academic generalist physicians.
Patients and Methods: The heads of the departments of GM from 71 university hospitals in Japan were enrolled. The main outcomes studied were the identification of the main research areas and themes in academic departments of GM, based on the classification of the National Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (KAKENHI): clinical research, public health, preventive medicine, medical education, basic science, health services and safety and quality.
Results: We received 47 of 71 replies (66.2% response rate). Clinical research was the most common area of research (62%), followed by public health and preventive medicine (14%), medical education (11%), and basic sciences (9%). Only one department identified health services and safety and quality as a research area (2%). There was marked variability in research areas across the different departments, with 23% of the research targeting the highest specialties, particularly organ-specific research in the fields of gastroenterology, cardiology, immunology, neurology, metabolic endocrinology, and hematology-oncology.
Conclusion: The training of generalist physicians in university hospitals needs to emphasize development of their research role in order to continue improving the research capacity and the standing generalist physicians in academic hospitals in Japan.

Keywords: general medicine, research, academic activity

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