The WSU College of Pharmacy hosted 12 Japanese study abroad student pharmacists on the WSU Health Sciences campus in Spokane this summer to introduce them to American clinical pharmacy practices.

The fifth-year student pharmacists from Mukogawa Women’s University (MWU) interacted with WSU student pharmacists in exercises that introduced them to basic physical assessment techniques utilizing the WSU human patient simulation manikin “SimMan”.

Student pharmacists practiced taking blood pressure, measuring body mass index, listening to heart sounds, and role-played interacting with patients in a clinical pharmacy setting.

“This kind of manikin simulation-based training is not something the Mukogawa students have had the opportunity to practice with before,” said Brenda Bray, who is the main WSU liaison for the MWU study abroad program.

College of Pharmacy pharmacotherapy faculty members Lisa Woodard and Jill Morin have helped Bray coordinate the annual visit from the study abroad group since 2011, after MWU approached WSU about adding the human patient simulation piece to their four-week study abroad program.

“It was very interesting,” wrote one Mukogawa student pharmacists after her visit in 2013. “I had a good time. I can’t speak English, but I can listen, so I learned many things. I want to talk about today’s experience to my friends. [The] WSU Pharm.D. students were very helpful. Thank you!”

This year, study abroad students also participated side-by-side with WSU student pharmacists in the WSU Week of Welcome activities, which took them on an extensive tour of the WSU Health Sciences campus and its teaching and research facilities.

“I enjoy watching the positive cross-cultural interactions between the student pharmacists as they work together,” Bray said. “It is always a favorite event for the WSU student pharmacists every year.”

The WSU College of Pharmacy in Spokane is just one stop on the study abroad tour for the Mukogawa students, who stay at the Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute in Spokane. The MWU Fort Wright Institute has been an official branch campus of MWU since 1994. Mukogawa Women’s University was founded in Nishinomiya, Japan, in 1939.

“The program includes courses in English specifically focused on pharmacy practices in the U.S. They visit hospitals, pharmacies and the WSU simulation lab, and a WSU professor, Bill Fassett, gives lectures to the students.” said Janet Sahlin, the MWU Fort Wright Institute director of academic programs. “At the end of their course of study, students give a symposium on pharmacy practices in Japan and the U.S. On their way back to Japan they stop in Seattle to visit the UW College of Pharmacy for a tour and lecture.”

[Sept. 30, 2014] Lori J. Maricle