Shizuoka-University of Michigan Advanced Residency Training, Education and Research in Family Medicine (SMARTER Family Medicine) Project is a $1.4 million grant from the Shizuoka Prefectural Government to help establish a family medicine residency program based in Iawta-city, Kikugawa-city and Mori-town in Shizuoka, Japan. The project director, Dr. Michael D. Fetters, Professor of Family Medicine and Director of Japanese Family Health Program at the University of Michigan, has worked for almost 20 years to promote family medicine in Japan.
In 2009, with the initial effort of Dr. Masahiko Terada at Iwata City Hospital and Dr. Fetters, three mayors and three hospital CEOs in Shizuoka came together to establish Shizuoka Family Medicine (SFM) residency training program to train Japanese physicians to attain much needed skills and knowledge as an effective primary care physicians in Japan. The four-year grant received by UM is part of a larger $8 million effort by the Japanese Government to revive healthcare in rural areas in face of its medical system in crisis.
Since the beginning of the grant in 2010, University of Michigan has received over 15 residents and fellows from SFM, and sent more than 10 UM and other US faculty to teach at SFM. In addition, UM has hosted two delegation visits from Shizuoka in 2010 and 2011.
In 2014, Dr. Philip Zazove, the Chair of Department of Family Medicine at the University of Michigan visited Shizuoka and saw the progress made by the SFM Program. He also met with the Shizuoka Governor as well as with the President and the Associate President of Hamamatsu University School of Medicine.
In November 2014, Dr. Machiko Inoue, the new Chair of Department of Family and Community Medicine at Hamamatsu University School of Medicine and the leading educator at Shizuoka Family Medicine Program visited the University of Michigan to learn how U.S. medical school teaches family medicine. She is also the first female chair of any Department of Family Medicine in Japan.
Please check out the summary of SFM-UM Achievements between 2010 and 2014 (PDF) below.