OXFORD, Miss. – Scott Malinowski, clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice at the University of Mississippi, traveled to Japan in December to visit Okayama University School of Pharmacy as part of an educational project that may lead to deeper future partnerships.
The project was designed to foster collaboration on research and idea sharing between American and Japanese pharmacy faculty.
“The main benefit of sharing ideas with pharmacists in other cultures and countries is that it creates the potential to influence change and progress regarding the practice of pharmacy and patient care in a different part of the world,” Malinowski said. “It also is an incredible opportunity to forge new collaborations, experience different cultures and develop new friendships.”
Malinowski was selected for the “Collaborative Development of Advanced Practical Education Program to Train Pharmacists with Leadership” project based on the diversity and nature of his work experiences and responsibilities.
“In Japan, pharmacy leaders are trying to advance and expand the role of the pharmacist, using the progressiveness of American pharmacy as a model,” Malinowski said. “The candidate needed to be someone who trained in, and worked in, a progressive pharmacy setting.”Malinowski’s visit allowed him to meet with faculty, undergraduate students and graduate research students at the pharmacy school. He was given a tour of Okayama University Hospital, where he interacted with pharmacists and staff, learned about their central pharmacy’s medication preparation and distribution systems, and visited the outpatient pharmacy.
While visiting Okayama, Malinowski presented a lecture on “Interprofessional Collaboration: Working as a Team” to describe the benefits of interacting with other health care professionals.
Leigh Ann Ross, the UM School of Pharmacy‘s associate dean for clinical affairs and chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice, said she was thrilled that Malinowski was able to share his experience in Japan.
“Global engagement is vitally important to advancing pharmacy practice and to fostering innovations in health care delivery,” Ross said. “Partnerships and exchanges with international colleagues also allow us to share ideas that will elevate the education of our health care workforce and research enterprises.”
Malinowski’s visit to Japan was the result of a pharmacy practice exchange program.
“Several years ago under the leadership of (former department chair) Dr. Joseph Byrd, we established an exchange program and a number of pharmacy practice faculty have been fortunate to travel to different areas of Japan to share our practice and education innovations,” she said. “We also have hosted pharmacists and educators from Japan, many of whom remain in contact as our colleagues and friends.”
The exchange allowed Malinowski to make several meaningful connections.
“I made many new contacts and was surprised to learn that we share many clinical and research areas of interest, particularly in regards to incorporating active learning techniques, expanding the role of the pharmacist and preparing pharmacy students to be confident and competent pharmacists,” he said.