“Going Troppo”: Taylor’s Summer School Gives International Students an Insight into the Realities of Pharmacy Practices in Malaysia

This 2-week summer school gave students from Australia and the UK an insight into professional practices of pharmacy in Malaysia, and included visits to hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and retail operations.


Students from the University of Sussex visiting a hospital in Malaysia 
 
The first “Practices of Pharmacy in Malaysia” summer school programme attracted a mixed roup of 22-students from University of Sussex (US) in the UK, and University of South Australia (UniSA) in Australia. This 2-week short course was developed to give international students an insight into the professional pharmacy profession and its practices in Malaysia in clinical and retail settings.
 
The summer school began with an overview of the formal healthcare system, the regulatory environment and policies relating to pharmacy in Malaysia.  The students then got to explore how pharmacy is actually practiced within a multicultural society in a fast developing country in the tropics. The students looked into the realistic challenges facing the pharmacy profession in Malaysia, while also exploring other issues such as tropical diseases as well as the use of traditional, herbal and complementary medicines.
 
The students also got to visit 3 public hospitals - Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah, Hospital Sungai Buloh, and also Hospital Orang Asli Gombak. The latter hospital is one that specifically caters to the indigenous Malaysian Orang Asli community. Other off-campus trips included visiting Kotra Pharma, a Malaysian pharmaceutical company based in Malacca. Of course, it wasn’t all study, as the students were also taken to various attractions in both KL and Malacca, as well as to see the Kuala Selangor fireflies.
 
Ms Shiva Knight one of the students from University of Sussex commented that, "The summer school was really well-organised, and I found the lecturers we had were inspiring” but also added that, “The best part of the programme was visiting the hospitals and a medicinal manufacturing company because these day trips put the lectures into context and gave me the opportunity to compare the Malaysian pharmacy practices with those in the UK". 
 
Dr Jason Loo Siau Ee, a Lecturer in the Taylor’s School of Pharmacy and the co-ordinator of the programme said that, “This inaugural summer school has been very successful and interesting even for us who have organised it. It’s always refreshing to share international perspectives on pharmacy, and hear about some of the similarities and differences between countries. I think everyone involved has come away enriched with a greater appreciation for the pharmacy profession”.
 
As one of the Australian students from UniSA commented, “I am very sad to go home because I had both fun and an educational time at Taylor's”. To find out more about the Taylor’s School of Pharmacy click here, to find out more about Summer Schools at Taylor’s University click here - (Global Matters 2017)