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West Meets East

Penn Nursing students led by Dr. Wendy Grube explore healthcare practices in the east that can be used to build on their professional practice in the west.

Dr. Wendy Grube, course director for NURS 535 - Thailand, led 18 Penn Nursing students (6 graduate and 12 undergraduate) on the field component of this comparative health systems course in May, 2017.  Dr. Grube first taught this course in 2004 and has overseen the field component thirteen times.  

The course exposes students to major healthcare issues in Thailand and how they ressemble and differ from these issues in the United States.  Students also learn the different ways in which healthcare systems and workforces are developed to address each nation’s needs.  

Dr. Grube partners with Dr. Usavadee and other faculty at Mahidol University to design an itinerary that addresses the interests of the individual students in the course each year..  Those preferences lead to small group visits to sites designed for anything from pediatrics to critical care to women’s health.  Students gain perspective on Thailand’s public health ministry, public and private hospitals, and rural and urban facilities.  

One of the most striking features of healthcare in Thailand is the Government’s protection and promotion of Thai traditional medicine which is integrated in healthcare alongside allopathic medicine.