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IMU Pharmacy Students Embarked on Transformative Elective Postings in Taiwan

21 Jul 2023

In an increasingly interconnected world, the field of pharmacy is evolving rapidly, presenting new challenges and opportunities. To ensure that pharmacy students are equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to thrive in this dynamic landscape, it is crucial to embrace the transformative power of mobility programmes.


The IMU School of Pharmacy is pleased to announce the availability of the Global Exposure Fund to support our Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons) (BPharm) students to gain elective posting or research experience overseas. The Global Exposure Fund is made available to BPharm students joining in 2021 onwards. This fund is used to fully or partially support direct costs related to semester 6 elective posting or the conduct of semester 7 research projects overseas. This initiative will allow students to experience different educational systems and practices, providing them with a competitive edge in their career advancement and employability in the future. In the previous cohorts, IMU BPharm students conducted elective posting or research projects in Australia, France, Japan, Taiwan, Croatia, India and Indonesia.


The Semester 6 elective posting overseas provides invaluable opportunity for pharmacy students to observe different approaches to pharmacy practice, gain insights into international healthcare policies, and learn from renowned experts in the field. Experiencing pharmacy practice in diverse settings equips students with a global mindset, enabling them to navigate the complexities of a globalised healthcare landscape.

IMU Pharmacy students, Woon Sze Shee and Grace Sen Jing, had the opportunity to conduct their elective programme at Mackay Memorial Hospital in Taipei in 2019. Throughout their time at the hospital, Sze Shee and Jing Jing were assigned to various departments, allowing them to gain exposure to different facets of pharmaceutical practice.

They spent time in the Outpatient Department, Emergency Department, and Patient Education Service, where they were introduced to the roles of pharmacists in these settings. They had the chance to observe and participate in counseling sessions, learning about medication dispensing processes and gaining insights into patient care.


In addition, Sze Shee and Sen Jing were assigned to other departments such as the Total Parental Nutrition (TPN) Department, Chemotherapy Department, and Warfarin Clinic, where they acquired hands-on experience and learned about specialised areas of pharmacy practice. They witnessed the meticulous preparation of TPN solutions, participated in chemotherapy reconstitution, and observed the crucial role of pharmacists in the management of warfarin therapy.


Sze Shee and Jing Jing were also given the opportunity to explore traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and the Inpatient Department, broadening their understanding of different treatment approaches and the medications commonly prescribed in these areas. They even had the chance to present a case report on colorectal cancer, which allowed them to apply their knowledge and engage in discussions with their supervisors, deepening their understanding of pharmaceutical care planning.


More on the students’ experience:


Another group of BP 116 students, Tew Xin Nee and Tan Jing Ning had the opportunity to participate in a clinical pharmacy attachment for their Elective posting in Taichung, Taiwan. The elective took place at Tung’s Taichung Metro Harbor Hospital, a renowned regional teaching hospital.


Throughout their five-week attachment, the students were exposed to various pharmacy departments, enabling them to gain valuable insights into the roles and responsibilities of pharmacists in a hospital setting. Their attachment involved rotations in departments such as Outpatient, Inpatient, Drug Information Centre, Clinical Pharmacy, and Total Parenteral Nutrient.


During their time in the Outpatient Department, Xin Nee and Jing Ning were trained in medication dispensing, including handling high-alert medicines and engaging in drug counseling sessions with patients.

In the Inpatient Department, the students were involved in medication preparation and inventory management. They gained firsthand experience in recording, packing, stocking, and restocking medications, familiarising themselves with the procedures and responsibilities within the department.

They also had the chance to witness drug counseling sessions for patients starting warfarin therapy after heart surgery.


Xin Nee and Jing Ning were also given opportunity to gain exposure in real ICU cases. They attended classes on topics such as adverse drug reaction evaluation, therapeutic drug monitoring, and evidence-based medicine. They also had the opportunity to observe non-surgical procedures and participate in patient care meetings.


More on the students’ experience:


The Elective posting at overseas’ hospital allows students developing a deeper understanding of the pharmacist’s role in a hospital setting, gaining valuable insights into the healthcare system and cultural differences between Malaysia and other countries. This global exposure and hands-on experience will undoubtedly contribute to their growth as competent and culturally sensitive pharmacists in the future.

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