The average life expectancy in Japan has increased by more than 30 years, from 50.06 years for men and 53.96 years for women in 1947 to 81.64 years for men and 87.74 years for women in 2020, and has remained one of the highest in the world for the last 30 years. The aging rate is now over 28% and is expected to reach 31% in 2030 and over 40% in 2055. While the life expectancy is increasing, the "average life expectancy minus healthy life expectancy," which represents the period of time during which a person is unable to lead an independent life, has remained unchanged in recent years at approximately 10 years for both men and women. On average, in the last 10 years of life, a person faces obstacles in "activities," which are basic human activities such as walking, thinking, and swallowing.
In our country, which faces a super-aging society unprecedented in the world, rehabilitation medicine contributes to society to overcome this phase. We intervene from the acute stage so that people can continue their independent activities, and provide solutions for people who face obstacles to their activities in the recovery and living stages. How do we achieve not just long life but fruitful longevity? Activity-focused rehabilitation medicine and medical care earnestly challenge this proposition.
Nippon Medical School is Japan's oldest private medical school, founded more than 145 years ago from the private medical school "Saisei Gakusha" founded in 1876. Nippon Medical School has four university hospitals (Nippon Medical School Hospital, Musashikosugi Hospital, Tama Nagayama Hospital, and Chiba Hokusoh Hospital). A total of more than 80 physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and physiatrists are enrolled and are working as a team. While providing the best rehabilitation medical care as a university hospital, we conduct innovative research and strive to acquire and improve knowledge and skills that are useful in daily clinical practice.
The mission of Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at Nippon Medical School is to contribute to the realization of a prosperous super-aging society by fostering excellent rehabilitation specialists and growing and developing the field of rehabilitation medicine.
Yoichiro Aoyagi, MD, PhD
Professor and Chairperson
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine
Graduate School of Medicine, Nippon Medical School