Two oncology pharmacists from China post for a photo with Caroline Zeind, Provost of MCPHS
University News

MCPHS Celebrates International Collaboration at TMUCIH Recognition Luncheon

Two oncology pharmacists from China post for a photo with Caroline Zeind, Provost of MCPHS

At MCPHS, we are proud to serve as a global healthcare leader, committed to developing opportunities for international collaboration.

In collaboration with Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital (TMUCIH), China, we hosted two clinical Oncology pharmacists for an eight-week certificate program, with the goal of providing clinical pharmacy practice experience in hospital and academic settings.

With its focus on clinical oncology pharmacy, TMUCIH was a natural fit for the certificate program.

“TMUCIH is one of the biggest cancer centers in China, and we are the birthplace of oncology in China,” said visiting Clinical Pharmacist Chao Zhang. “We are also one of the first approved teaching bases for training clinical pharmacists in China.”

The collaboration with TMUCIH is led by the Center for International Studies at MCPHS, with assistance from Dr. Yi Gao-Roberts, PharmD, Adjunct Preceptor – Worcester, who is an alumna of TMUCIH and coordinated site-related activities at Umass Memorial Medical Center.

“It’s rewarding to have the opportunity to share my experiences with the next generation of pharmacists in my hometown,” said Dr. Yi Gao-Roberts. “And it’s exciting to help Tianjin Medical University in developing a clinical pharmacy program.”

Program coordinator Dr. Caroline Zeind, Associate Provost for Academic and International Affairs, is a strong advocate of international collaboration and served as a mentor to the clinical pharmacists. “I was impressed by their high level of dedication and commitment to their professional goals,” said Dr. Zeind.

“It’s essential that pharmacists engage in international collaboration and share their experiences throughout the world,” said Dr. Gao-Roberts.

An abstract on the program has been accepted for the 2015 ACCP (American College of Clinical Pharmacy) Global Conference on Clinical Pharmacy.

During their time at MCPHS, Clinical Pharmacists Zheng Chen and Chao Zhang spent time with faculty on both the Boston and Worcester campuses, as well as with faculty at UMass Memorial Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

For both pharmacists, the opportunity to study at some of the best hospitals in the world was a vital opportunity to gain new insight into the pharmacy field in the United States.

For Chen, increasing the prevalence and awareness of pharmacists and the pharmacy field in China is the first step toward creating a healthier, better served community.

“Everyone knows a pharmacist in the United States,” explained Zheng Chen. “But in three surveyed cities in Northern China, only 39.8% of patients and 89.9% of doctors know a clinical pharmacist.”

Learning about the standardized procedures and processes in American pharmacies and hospitals was one of the high points of the program for Zhang.

“One amazing thing I learned about was the electronic medical record systems and databases. They are so important - much like having a car in Worcester!,” laughed Zhang.

The program presented the opportunity for both clinical pharmacists to expand their education and for MCPHS faculty and staff to share their expertise.

“This program offers an opportunity for us to know the role of the pharmacist in the United States,” said Chen. “This program is a starting point for continued international collaboration. We will continue to build our collaboration between MCPHS and our hospital.”

For Zhang, Dr. Gao-Roberts offered inspiring words. “This century is an opportunity and also a challenge for Chinese pharmacists,” said Zhang. “But Dr. Gao-Roberts explained to me that American pharmacists faced the same issues – and they fixed them. We can do the same.”

“Dr. Gao-Roberts shared with me the American spirit,” said Zhang. “The American spirit means; ‘Nothing is impossible! Just do it!’”.