In March 2017, six students from the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences from UCLan enjoyed a visit to The University of Kansas Medical Center (KU) on their International Observership programme. This was a week-long experience during which the students participated in numerous exciting learning opportunities at one of the most highly regarded teaching hospitals in America. During this trip the students were able to interact with top biomedical researchers in fields such as prostate cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and kidney disorders. All the students were allowed access into the operating rooms to observe up close brain surgery for tumour removal, followed by tours of clinical pathology labs, the brain imaging centre and the patient simulation lab. The students were also able to shadow medical staff and meet patients during consultations in the muscular dystrophy and hematological malignancy clinics. Second year Healthcare Science student Natasha King said: “The most enjoyable part of the trip for me was spending time in the biotechnology laboratory seeing how new technology has been designed and tested to treat orthopaedic trauma and disease. I enjoyed seeing the process from an initial idea, experimental design through to testing using cadavers before live human testing can occur.”
Other highlights included participating in a prosthetic limb bioengineering workshop and a tour of the historic library with its many rare books and antique medical equipment, including original hand written letters from Florence Nightingale. The group also attended several stimulating lectures and seminars throughout the course of the week and were able to meet students at the University to share experiences. Second year Biomedical Science student Marie Manasseh describes the experience as “a once in a lifetime opportunity that further increased my passion for medicine and inspired me to take a deeper interest into current and cutting edge research.”
As well as a packed academic programme the group still found time for some social activities including a baseball game with the Kansas City Royals, shopping at the malls and a tour of Westport, the old, historic part of the city.
Dave Griffiths, Course Leader for the BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science programme said: “The whole experience was immensely beneficial for the students and myself. The knowledge and experience gained by the students was incredible. Several students have commented on how their career choices have been decided from the trip. The students were a credit to the university and all of the KU staff commented on how knowledgeable our students were. We have been invited back next year and KU were asked about a permanent link between the universities.”
Find out more about our undergraduate Bioscience programmes: