I took an interest in the program because I felt I could apply the knowledge that I will gain in my future career. My goals were to learn about the healthcare systems in each country and compare them with one another as well as the healthcare programs in the U.S. I further wanted to observe how effective their programs were and how much effort and money they spent in forming their systems.
The journey began when we reached Osaka, Japan. Then we went to Tokyo for a few days. While in Japan we visited Osaka University hospital, the Center for Global Health Department of Medical Innovation, along with a trip to Mount Fuji. The Osaka University was founded about 175 years ago and known as the sixth oldest university in Japan and one of Japan’s National Seven Universities. While there, we were given a presentation on the Japanese healthcare system and their aging population. I was very impressed by the Japanese Health system because they spent less money on it and yet their population was healthy and growing. Even the poor were aided by the government with or without insurance. So, regardless of anyone’s financial situation, they will be taken care off.
Next we visited two other countries, Thailand and China. While in Thailand, we toured few institutions and historical places. We visited associations such as, the Thai Health Promotion Foundation, the Department of Health Promotion, the Ministry of Public Health, and the College of Public Health Sciences at Chulalongkorn University. Upon visiting these organizations, we learned about the Thai health promotion on tobacco usage and control. Thailand is known as the first country to start a tobacco campaign and to ban its usage in public places. I was impressed with the amount of effort they put into stopping tobacco usage.
In China, we visited the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Peking University Health Science Center, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, and Yuetan Community Health Service Center. Visiting these organizations, we were given presentations on the health of Chinese people has improved over time. However, I believe they still have some improvement to do because a lot of Chinese smoked. We also visited some historical places such as the Great Wall which was a great experience. Overall I was satisfied with the travel study program.