Students Look at National Health Policy in the U.S. and Germany

GermanyThis summer, eight students participated in the elective Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) “Comparative and International Perspectives in Pharmacy Patient Care” in Germany.

Though the APPE was based in a small city in western Germany called Velbert, the students traveled to other cities during the five-week APPE. The students met with the German Secretary of Health and board members of the German medical and pharmacy students associations at the Ministry of Health in Berlin, attended a pharmaceutical biology course at the University of Münster, and met with the Acting U.S. Consul General and German students in Duesseldorf.

This international experience is a unique way for students to learn about a different health care system.

“In Germany we had the opportunity to interact with peers and compare our pharmacy school experience,” said student Erin Weslander. “We learned about another healthcare system, and at the same time, learned more about our own. I would not have learned about the diverse world of pharmacy without this rotation in Germany.”

The goal of the APPE is to enhance the students’ ability to immerse themselves in a different culture while at the same time maintain the highest professional standards.

“This learning opportunity fosters the development of core competencies required from any graduate such as interprofessional cooperation and interacting with their peers,” said Jochen Pfeifer, one of the APPE preceptors and a native German who received his pharmacy degree in the United States. “Students are able to meet with the most senior German healthcare officials and politicians while at the same time learn how to implement international best practice elements into their own U.S. health care and pharmacy system.”

In addition to Weslander, other students who participated in the APPE included Martin Bloch, Brandi Gossard, Amrita Karia, Curtis Nelson, Thu Quach, Ben Reynolds and Rachel Rockwell