A Message to New Students from the Dean of the Graduate School of Dentistry

Apr. 6, 2022

Congratulations on your enrollment!
Today, I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to all of you who are now graduate students at Tohoku University Graduate School of Dentistry. The faculty and staff welcome you to study here as a master's or PhD course student.

This year's entrance ceremony was held this morning, and I am grad that we could have an all-participant, face-to-face mode ceremony for the first time in two years. On the other hand, the Graduate School of Dentistry's orientation is delivered online like last year because the Covid-19 infection has not yet settled down. This is because our graduate school is located in the medical and hospital district called “Seiryo Campus”. The Covid-19 situation is now much more under control than it was at one time, but, as a member of “Seiryo Campus”, we need to take all possible measures, such as taking the utmost infection control measures. This will be the principle of action for all of you, so I explained it to you first.

It has been two years since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Although we have seen a glimmer of hope with the progress of vaccination and various other infectious disease countermeasures, the world beyond that -the post/with-covid world- will never be the same as the past one. It is said that viruses invaded our genes, mutated them, and accelerated our evolution. Plagues, the spread of infectious diseases causes a significant change in our social structure. Daily preventive measures such as avoiding face-to-face contacts seem to cut the connections among us. However, the swift shift to a digital-oriented society encourages us to explore the possibilities of a new way of communication, which involves the fusion of the real and virtual one.

You will be studying at the Graduate School of Dentistry during such revolutionary changes. You will compile your research results into a thesis and after you pass the final examination, you will obtain a master's or doctoral degree. Now you may wonder what research is like and how you should start writing a thesis.

Researching means "sharpening something" and involves accumulating knowledge about a specific topic, and examining it through observations, experiments, and surveys. You need to present a solution to the issue through undergoing the process repeatedly. If you are usure where a problem lies, you will never see where you should go. Without enough knowledge, you will not be able to move forward. Likewise, without going into the actual field, you will never be able to find the essence of the problem and a clue to it its solution.

The sequence of "Set Issues" "Search Knowledge" "Implementation of Observation, Experiment and Investigation" "Consideration" and "Solution Presentation" is not only applicable to research. All leaders should keep in mind the sequence when they try to find the best solution. The more we face difficulties, the more we need to remember the set of the sequence and take actions calmly and quickly. It is essential to solving all the problems our society faces now, including the post/with-covid way of community and the war in Ukraine.

Tohoku University Graduate School of Dentistry aims to train Japan's and the world's leading advanced dental practitioners, dental education researchers, and administrators specialized in oral health. A globalized modern society is immature, and many unpredictable challenges must await you ahead. Once again, I would like to extend my sincere wish to you: Tackle challenges boldly; Be excellent to open up a new era. Achievements you will have acquired at the Graduate School will assure you.

Congratulations on your admission to our school!

Nobuhiro Takahashi
Dean, Tohoku University Graduate School of Dentistry