UF Students Note Differences and Similarities in U.S. and Japanese Pharmacy Practice
The group noted descriptive differences in all practice areas. U.S. pharmacists have collaborative practice agreements allowing more diverse practice opportunities. Japanese pharmacists have similar traditional roles in community, long-term care and oncology collaboration and receive a bachelor’s degree after five years of college with clinical rotations during their fourth year. Japan lacks the use of technicians, thus pharmacists serve both technical and clinical roles in most practice settings. This has a negative impact on Japanese pharmacists’ salaries in comparison to the U.S. Additionally, cultural differences direct patient preferences to herbal and self-care treatments. Drug expenditures in Japan are affected by the lack of trust in the generic market.
Participants met the learning objectives, noting pharmacists are well respected with unique roles in both countries. Cultural differences influence pharmacy practices and academics in each country and students understood differences that could benefit both populations.
Counseling in the outpatient setting is also practiced differently in Japan than it is in the U.S. Japanese pharmacists do not always counsel patients in a private area, and the counseling process usually involves family members, as well as the patient. This style of counseling is almost the complete opposite of how it is done in the U.S. In the U.S., a patient’s privacy is of the utmost importance, so counseling patients in a private area is mandatory. Due to this emphasis on privacy, the patient and the pharmacist are usually the only people involved in the counseling process, unless the patient is a minor or requests the presence of a family member during the counseling session.
for their pharmacy degrees, meaning that it only takes a total of six years to complete the pharmacy program with a degree. However, a major variance between the two programs is that students from the U.S. graduate with a PharmD degree while KUHW students graduate with a bachelor’s degree, despite spending the same amount of time in college and covering similar material.
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