Biographical sketch of J. Patrick Barron

Born in Scotland but receiving his undergraduate education from the University of Pennsylvania, Professor Emeritus Patrick Barron came to Japan at the end of the 1960s to study Japanese. Ever since meeting Professor Yoshihiro Hayata of the First Department of Surgery of Tokyo Medical University in 1970, he has had strong links with that institution, and by extension to other areas of the Japanese medical world for the past 4 decades.

After completing his 4 years of study of Japanese at International Christian University, he entered the Ph.D. program of the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies where he completed his Ph.D. course ABD.

Having been involved in English for Medical Purposes in Japan since 1970, Professor Emeritus Barron first proposed the idea of a communications center for a medical school in 1975. In 1980, he was invited to be Associate Professor of St. Marianna University School of Medicine where he taught English focused on English for Medical Purposes. In 1991, he left St. Marianna and soon afterwards assumed the post of Professor at Tokyo Medical University, directing the International Medical Communications Center there.

Professor Emeritus Barron was an member of editorial board for Chest and an editor or an editorial consultant for a wide range of journals including the Journal of Gastroenterology, Breast Cancer, the Journal of Bronchology, Respirology, Byori to Rinsho (pathology and clinical medicine), Haigan (lung cancer), the Journal of the Japanese Society for Respiratory Tract Endoscopy, Allergology International, the Journal of Cardiac Surgery, and the Journal of the Japanese Society for Geriatrics among others. He was Secretary General of the World Association for Bronchology, Vice President of the World Bronchology Federation, Secretary General of the International Photodynamic Association, which he had helped to found, Vice Chairman of the Board of the Japanese Society for Medical English Education, founder of The Medical Interpreters and Translators Association. He was a consultant for the International Society for Diseases of the Esophagus for 32 years since its founding and still acts in an advisory capacity. He was also a consultant to the International College of Surgeons Japan Chapter and is ex officio member of the Executive Committee of the Asian Pacific Society for Respirology. He was Director of several other societies.

Based on his experience with tens of thousands of papers or presentations and abstracts over the past 40-odd years, Professor Emeritus Barron has pioneered the idea of medical communications centers, and of in-house support for medical writing and the flow of information from inside the country to outside. The International Medical Communications Center of Tokyo Medical University was the first of its kind in any medical school in Japan primarily devoted to generating information from inside the institution and transmitting it to the international community. He has given lectures on medical communications in Europe, North America, China, Korea as well as over 200 invited lectures throughout Japan. He has also co-edited with Brian Harrison, Hiromi Kobayashi and Eiko Harrison the three-book series “Igaku Eigo Communications”, which serves as a general guide for all Japanese health care researchers and investigators seeking to develop their career through communications in English.

It is in this spirit that Professor Barron made available his lecture materials over the past 40 years to serve as the basis of www.ronbun.jp, which he has supervised since the early 2000's.

Chest editorial of the year 2007

With the rest of the staff of the Department of International Medical Communications, we became the world’s first medical communications department in 2009. Professor Emeritus Barron is striving to promote English for Medical Purposes education throughout Japan, the adoption of standards for testing ability in English for Medical Purposes among graduates of medical schools in Japan, and also the creation of international standards and international textbooks to help standardize and globalize English for Medical Purposes education throughout the world.

Professor Emeritus Barron received a reward for his important contribution to the development of bronchoscopy and bronchoesophagology from the International pulmonologysts and thoracic surgeons of the world in the 19th WCBIP/WCBE in May, 2016. He also received honorary membership at the 70th annual meeting of the Japan Esophageal Society in 2016.

For the past decade Patrick Barron has been trying to stimulate and promote EU efforts to establish uniform medical English programs. He also, as Adjunct Professor of Seoul National University Bundang Hospital been carrying out annual quarterly programs on medical publishing and mentoring on an individual basis.

Since January of 2016, he has been Member of Council of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).