The department of Ophthalmology, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine is trying to train doctors with a wide range of ophthalmologic knowledge and techniques without any bias toward specific areas, and teach them to possess a practiced medical perspective. The department was established by Professor Ikuo Watanabe in 1976. Since then, our department has actively engaged in basic electrophysiology research in areas such as retinal light damage and retinal dystrophy, and in clinical research focused on the optical properties of the eyes with implanted intraocular lenses, and contributed to the developments in ophthalmology. In May 2000, I was appointed as the second professor of this department. Although ophthalmology is considered a field in which patients are often happy with their treatment, there is no concrete treatment approach for hereditary eye diseases including retinal pigmentary degeneration; diseases with extremely poor prognosis are our current concern. I have been consistently engaged in molecular biological research in the ophthalmic field with the goal of elucidating the causes of such genetic eye diseases with poor prognosis and establishing methods of treatment. With the current rapid advance in genomic analysis, I am hopeful that my aims will be realized. In our department, we are presently conducting molecular genetics research on degenerative retinal diseases and clinical research on the diagnostic imaging and treatment of strabismus, pediatric ophthalmology diseases.
The role of local university hospitals in community healthcare is becoming increasingly important. Although some university hospitals focus only on a single area of ophthalmology, in our department, we are trying to set up a system capable of dealing with all the different areas within this field, including corneal transplants, cataract surgery, glaucoma surgery, vitreoretinal surgery, and strabismus surgery. Most of our staff is still young and gaining experience; however, they are all highly motivated and enthusiastic. Our goal is to provide a chance to these young doctors to be skillful doctors through training, and endeavor to offer medical treatment of a high standard across the board and thus contribute to community healthcare. I believe that the Department of Ophthalmology of the Hamamatsu Medical University should function not only as a center for training ophthalmologists to be able to deal with all kinds of disorders, but also to carry out research that can lay the foundations for medical science and healthcare suited for the 21st century. I hope that many energetic, newly qualified doctors will join our department, and play their parts in the task of developing it further. I look forward to your valued guidance and support.