International Exchange Program 2018
This past summer saw NUSP students visit the School of Pharmacy at the University of Portsmouth for the third consecutive year of the Clinical Study Abroad program. This year, 14 students participated and visited UOP from August 15th until the 29th. This year they studied about the roles of pharmacists in the British healthcare system, and on top of visits to clinical sites, they also visited the London branch of Ono Pharmaceutical Company, and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. Moreover, they also were able to hear from Dr. Naoko Arakawa of the University of Nottingham about working as a pharmacist in the UK as well as share her own experience with her career plan.
In their lectures at the University of Portsmouth, students would learn about the work of pharmacists in the UK. Most surprising would be the fact that pharmacists in the UK, unlike those in Japan, rarely fill prescriptions as the UK allows for a variety of pharmacy technicians to do that kind of work.
On the UOP campus, students also visited a practice hospital ward and were able to various tasks using robotic patients. They also were able to challenge tasks that required them to use patient charts and the current drug history to make required dose adjustments.
During the study abroad program, students visited London on two occasions – a trip of two hours by bus. The first time, August 17th, students paid a visit to the London branch of Ono Pharmaceutical and learned about the various jobs their employees (many who are Japanese pharmacists) did in the UK and the EU.
On the second visit, August 24th, they visited the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and learned about the history and roles of the pharmacist in the UK. This also included a talk about continuing education and what pharmacists in the UK must do to maintain their license to practice. The students, after lunch, then participated in a workshop about pharmacy care in the UK and had to make group presentations about the differences in healthcare systems between Japan and the UK. It helped the students to improve their understanding of the meaning of becoming a healthcare provider. After their groups presentations, they then got a private tour of the onsite museum and various tools used to prepare medicines in the UK. In one instance they even were shown a unicorn horn though we aren’t sure whether that is real or not.
It was a wonderful ending to a clinical study abroad program that will help students to widen their horizons when it comes to thinking about their future career plans as pharmacists.