Around the Globe: Students Learn About Pharmacy, Healthcare in China

Dec. 10, 2018

A group of students from the College of Pharmacy spent two weeks in Chengdu, China this past summer. They were participating in the University Immersion Program at the West China School of Pharmacy at Sichuan University. The two-part experience included an academic week in which the students attended lectures at the West China School of Pharmacy at Sichuan University. The following week, the students gained real-life experience and learned about health care in China by participating in internships at the local hospitals in Chengdu.

Brooke Carlson, Class of 2021, jumped at the opportunity to travel abroad and learn in China.

“I saw this opportunity for the exchange and China, and I immediately decided it was something I wanted to be a part of,” Carlson said. “I’ve always admired Chinese culture and I wanted to also learn about healthcare, pharmacy, and research in China.”

Carlson thought the best part of the program was spending time with the friends that they met in China. She also values the many lessons she learned while in Chengdu.

“I loved learning about the similarities and differences in how workflow and pharmacy are set up in the hospital in which we worked,” Carlson said. “It is very valuable to see how other countries organize and delegate pharmacy tasks because then we can improve our own practice by taking a leaf out of someone else’s book. By visiting other countries and experiencing how they provide excellent patient care, it keeps our minds open and flexible to changing and improving our own practice.”

Carlson wasn’t the only student who came back from the trip having learned things for their future. Adam Mcvey, another member of the class of 2021, improved his skills in working with people from other cultures.

“In my pharmacy career I will work with many patients from many different cultures,” Mcvey said. “This trip gave me a chance to learn about Chinese culture, but lessons can be applied to all cultures. My ability and appreciation to respect and interact with people of other cultures was strengthened and will carry with me into my career.”

Julianne Tieu, a class of 2021 student, learned how important relationship building skills are for pharmacists.

“One of the main takeaways I gathered from this program is the significance of developing relationships with others, whether it be professionally or socially,” Tieu said. “As a future pharmacist, I need to be able to truly connect with people.”

In addition to Carlson, McVey and Tieu, Tim Isdahl, Class of 2020, joined the group. They say they had a good time and learned many things during their time in China. They echoed similar thoughts of the program being a valuable experience for themselves going forward.

“Lessons come from many places and in different forms,” Tieu said. “Sometimes, you need to step out of what is familiar in order to grow.”


Story written by: Owen Mageau