Thursday, May 29, 2014

Munsters University

  Morning run in Velbert

Today we visited Westfälische Wilhelms Universitat Munster (the University of Munster), traveling ~2 hours by bus & train.  

Velbert is between Essen & Dusseldorf; Muenster is ~105 km away

Lots of time on the bus/train & I found a Starbucks :)

University of Munster (thanks for the pic, Wikipedia)

When we arrived to U of Munster, we had lunch & visited with some of the PhD students & professors.

Reviewing some geriatric pharmacotherapy before working on a patient case with German pharmacy students

We received an introduction to Munster's pharmacy program & pharmacy in Germany.  German pharmacy students take Staatsexamen (a state exam) in order to receive their pharmacist license. There are also optional programs at Munster, including Promotion (PhD, independent science work, teaching, to obtain higher positions), and a Masters in Drug Science (focusing on pharmaceutical industry). 

Munster's new pharmacy building

Something unique about the Munster pharmacy program is that there are 9 pharmacy professors, which is bigger than average (~5 profs) in Germany. 

There are no unemployed pharmacists in Germany, and often a shortage because many female pharmacists will work less after they have children. 

Do we look like German students?

We then worked on a patient case beside German PhD students.  It was interesting to work with the students; overall, we noticed mostly similarities in the way we approached the patient case.  Our German counterparts are very good at pharmacology & the biochemistry of the medications, while we as U.S. students aided in a more direct and systematic way to approach the case and find drug therapy problems & ways to resolve them. 

Visiting the pharmaceutical garden at Munster's pharmacy school was the highlight for many students in our group.  Here are some of the plants we saw & learned about: 
Wide-eyed while learning about belladonna

Joe smelling the refreshing mint leaves

Ginkgo biloba- doesn't necessarily improve memory & prevent dementia, but does improve blood flow & act as an antioxidant

Papaver somniferum, opium poppy- opium & poppy seeds are derived from

 Cannabis sativa- related to new legislation in MN

Ephedra foemina- class of plant that pseudoephedrine comes from

Senna plant

We received a presentation on Munster's new Pharm(MS)School: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Teaching Undergraduate Students. This is an innovative joint project that integrates pharmacy students with other pharmacy science students, where they work collaboratively on research projects directly related to their coursework.  

Our group then gave our presentation about pharmacy in the United States. 
Discussion with the German pharmacy students brought up a point that U.S. students are often able to explore careers during highschool & undergrad, while Germany pharmacy students usually do not have this opportunity, and usually decide their career path upon graduation around age 18 or 19.  The German students were also interested in our (usually paid) jobs/ internships we experience while in pharmacy school. 

The 2-hour bus & train rides home brought us back to Velbert around 10:30 PM.  Kaputt!