It has now been 3 weeks since Cathy and Gonsha arrived in the USA to participate in the Advanced Pharmaceutical Care Experiencial Training Course (APCET) and they definitely have been learning a lot and strengthening their pharmacy skills. But they have also had many other non-healthcare related new experiences. During their first 2 weeks here at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital (WBGH) with me, they worked alongside my two Wilkes APPE (advanced pharmacy practice experience) students, Greg and Zack, who did a great job of showing them the ropes and helping them get acclimated to the American Healthcare system and the patient care process at WBGH.
During Cathy and Gonsha’s 2nd week, they participated in the Topic Presentions by the APPE students, which is one way the students share what they have learned with others. Cathy and Gonsha prepared a talk on pharmacy practice and education in Uganda but due to time constraints, only Cathy was able to give her talk. But Gonsha will get to give her talk to the next group of students who start their clinical rotations with me next week. Below I’ll include a series of photos to give you an idea of the experiences they have had.
Gonsha, I’m particular, is always so excited to see American Pharmacies. At first I thought she was just amazed at how large some of them are, but what interests her most is our signage and marketing strategies. These aspects of the pharmacy business are much different from pharmacies in Uganda. Gonsha owns 2 pharmacies in Uganda and I suspect she may be making notes for how she can improve her presence among the zillions of pharmacies in Uganda.
A pharmacy is one of the most popular and lucrative businesses in Uganda so you find them all over the place. They are mostly owned and run by business people, rather than pharmacists. Each pharmacy owner must have a pharmacist supervisor on record but the pharmacist doesn’t have to be present and currently there would not be near the number of pharmacists required in Uganda if this were the law. For a population of just under 40 million people, Uganda has less than 800 practicing pharmacists. This compares to about 300,000 pharmacists in the USA for our population of about 320 million.