Consistent with the UC San Francisco mission of “advancing health worldwide,” the UCSF School of Pharmacy recognizes that we have much to share and much to learn through international partnerships in teaching, research, and service. To acknowledge this, the School is an academic institutional member of the International Pharmaceutical Federation. We value opportunities that allow us to collaborate with educators, clinicians, and scientists from around the world, and we have established relationships with institutions in Africa, the Americas, the eastern Mediterranean, Europe, Southeast Asia, and the western Pacific.
We practice a “partnerships, not placements” approach that prioritizes the development of robust, mutually beneficial, and sustainable agreements, while working toward shared goals. Each year, the School receives numerous requests to host individuals and groups for experiences ranging from one-day visits to one-year immersion experiences. In determining which of these requests we can accommodate, we consider the following:
- The potential for the experience to contribute to a sustainable, mutually beneficial relationship with measurable and achievable objectives in education, practice, and/or research
- Priority given to improving care to underserved populations, particularly through increasing access to or improving use of essential medicines
- Our capacity to provide a high-quality experience within the timeline and using the resources available
Global vision as part of strategic plan
As part of our 2015–2020 strategic plan, we have prioritized exposing our trainees to new ideas and directions, including the medication challenges of the wider world. We are partnering with our colleagues in UCSF Global Health Sciences to examine the goals of and infrastructure for sending our trainees to other sites as well as for hosting international students, trainees, clinicians, and researchers for educational, clinical, and research activities at UCSF. This work is still developing.
Featured schoolwide collaborations
Two institutions with which we have established schoolwide projects are King’s College London Department of Pharmacy & Forensic Science and Monash University Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. With King’s, we have launched shared student research activities, such as lithographic fabrication of functional biomaterial architectures using semi-conducting polymers (Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences) and optimization of medication adherence in patients following acute coronary syndrome (Department of Clinical Pharmacy). With Monash, we are working on practice-based simulations for pharmacy trainees using their MyDispense software. Pre-clinical students at UCSF use this innovative simulation exercise to better prepare for their advanced experiential activities. UCSF is part of a global consortium of schools of pharmacy that are contributing to investigation of this educational innovation.