Following a 10-day informative excursion to China, 29 pharmacy students from Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences returned and presented their experience on January 27, 2011 at the Biology Building on Pacific’s main campus.

The presentation documented the adventures of “Team China” during the China Cultural Exchange trip which occurred December 6-10, 2010. The students were accompanied by Associate Dean Dr. Donald Floriddia ’71, Associate Dean Dr. Xiaoling Li, Dr. Denis Meerdink and Mrs. Pam Meerdink. The purpose of the trip was to strengthen the relations between China Pharmaceutical University and Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. It also aimed to acquaint pharmacy students with Traditional Chinese Medicine and the differences in the pharmacy curriculum in China. Chinese pharmacy has successfully incorporated western and eastern medicine into mainstream patient therapy. The observed pharmacy schools dedicated to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) which includes moxibustion and acupuncture and the many community pharmacies offering traditional herbs are evidence of this fusion.

Team China enjoys some downtime at the airport during their trip
Student pharmacists and faculty members at the airport for their trip to China. Photo by Camille Carmargo ‘13

“Before the trip my original mindset was that moxibustion, acupuncture or any form of Traditional Chinese Medicine was not a legitimate form of patient treatment. After the trip however I had a whole different viewpoint. It is not that Chinese pharmacy is antiquated; it is that it has expanded. Chinese pharmacy has expanded to accommodate a person and his/her culture,” says Nader Tossoun ‘13.

The presentation not only educated the audience about TCM and Chinese pharmacy, but documented detailed accounts of the China’s rich culture, from jumping on the famous glass floors of Oriental Pearl TV Tower of Shanghai, to seeing Suzhou, Nanjing, and finally climbing the Great Wall of China in Beijing. Stories of cultural miscommunication, bathroom mishaps and the CPU Welcoming Party were just some of the stories that were shared that lightened the mood of the event.

The presentation was a good teaser to excite pharmacy students of the upcoming visit to University of the Pacific by CPU students. Special Guest Mr. Wei Shao, Chief Education Consul from the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in San Francisco, expressed his appreciation for the increased awareness of Chinese pharmacy and the plans for Chinese students to experience pharmacy school in the United States.

By Camille Camargo '13
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