The Pharmacy Focus this quarter is on a special group of pharmacies who provided a memorable glimpse into U.S. pharmacy practices to a select group of Japanese pharmacy students who were attending Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute (MFWI) this last summer.  This unique exchange is a cooperative venture between Spokane pharmacies and the English language program at MFWI.

About 20-25 pharmacy students were curious and excited to practice their English skills as well as learn about the difference in pharmacy practices between the U.S. and Japan.

In small groups of about 4, each student visited a retail-type and an institutional-type pharmacy among the pharmacies who volunteered to provide this international exchange:  Sacred Heart, St. Luke’s, Holy Family, Cardinal Health, Medicine Shoppe (NW Blvd), Cancer Care NW, Sixth Avenue Medical Pharmacy, Hart and Dilatush, First Avenue Pharmacy, Shriner’s Hospital, and Well Life at Liberty Lake.

SPA thanks the pharmacy staff at each of these facilities for being representatives of  both Spokane and our profession!  Your generosity in sharing your time and expertise with these students is most appreciated.

Each student came with prepared questions to ask so they could present to their MFWI classmates (in English!) on what they had observed and the differences they had noted. After their presentations, enthusiastic comments swirled about the room as they discussed all that they had seen.

This eye-opening experience has been on-going for several years, with different pharmacies participating in different years, although some volunteer every year knowing that the students will recall their visit for many years! Energized by what they had learned, the students were looking forward to sharing the various opportunities in pharmacy with their classes when they returned to Japan.

If you and/or your pharmacy would be interested in providing a once-in-a-lifetime experience to a few Japanese students next summer, please contact Ellen Sherriffs Hall at

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