Integrating medical education, research and care to serve society

Nature 535 (28 July 2016)
Published online 27 July 2016

Wenzhou Medical University is seeking to serve its community and the world through providing high-quality teaching, research and care.

Wenzhou Medical University (WMU) is a well-known medical science university under the joint governance of Zhejiang Provincial Government, the National Health and Family Planning Commission and the Chinese Ministry of Education. Its origins extend back to the establishment of Zhejiang Medical School in 1912. In 1958, part of this school moved from Hangzhou to Wenzhou, becoming Zhejiang Second Medical College and later Wenzhou Medical College. In 2013, it was renamed Wenzhou Medical University. Covering a total area of 1.27 square kilometres, the four-campus university is a key higher-education institution in Zhejiang province.

With a strong emphasis on undergraduate medical education, WMU is also vigorously developing graduate programmes. WMU started its five-year undergraduate programme in 1958, and it commenced its master’s programme in 1978, being one of the first institutions in China to be authorized to confer master’s degrees. It has medical doctoral degree programmes in ophthalmology and visual sciences, surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, laboratory medicine, internal medicine, paediatrics, gerontology, neurology, psychiatry and mental health, dermatovenerology, imaging and nuclear medicine, otorhinolaryngology, oncology, rehabilitation medicine, sports medicine, anaesthesiology, emergency medicine, biological therapy and reproductive medicine. WMU also has eight primary discipline master’s degree programmes, six professional master’s programmes and a postdoctoral research station. Ten disciplines are top in the province, including clinical medicine, medical technology, pharmacology, biomedical engineering, integrative medicine, nursing, public health and preventative medicine, basic medicine, stomatology and biology.

Research lies at the core of WMU’s development. In seven years, the university has conducted more than 620 state-level research projects. It ranks seventh among medical universities in China in terms of the amount and number of research grants awarded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China. With research investment growing at an annual rate of 20%, the university has achieved prominent research results, being awarded more than 50 research awards of provincial level and above, including five national awards. WMU’s research in ophthalmology and visual sciences is leading in the country.

WMU’s 11,000 faculty and staff members contribute to its research success. Among its 1,300 full-time teachers and researchers, 312 are full professors and 378 are associate professors. Many of them have been selected for various talent programmes funded by the state or provincial governments, such as the national 1000 Talents Plan and the Yangtze River Scholars programme, for their innovative contributions to their fields.

Community service is also close to the heart of WMU. The university has five directly affiliated hospitals, which provide high-quality healthcare services for more than 30 million people in the area. It has more than 8 million outpatients and 280,000 inpatients a year. Moreover, its 17 non-directly affiliated teaching hospitals across the province serve an even larger population.

Adhering to the school motto of “Benevolence, solemnity, diligence, honesty, truth-seeking and pioneering,” WMU is making large strides towards building a leading educational and research institution of global renown. Capitalizing on its specialty programmes and core medical disciplines, it is promoting multidisciplinary programmes, boosting comprehensive development, and enhancing international collaboration. To contribute to local socioeconomic development, WMU is integrating medical services with education and research and strengthening industry partnerships. It aspires to serve the local community and beyond to benefit China and the world.

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