Victoria Cho is once again taking her passion for public health and education abroad.
The fourth-year PharmD candidate is the first ever USC School of Pharmacy student to earn a prestigious International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) Internship, and is spending her summer in The Hague, Netherlands. She is one of only two interns invited to work at The Hague’s FIP headquarters, where her internship focuses on pharmaceutical policy.
During her stay, Cho is working on two distinct projects. The first involves analyzing the impact that pharmacists have on public health or health promotion throughout the year, and the second entails evaluating the role predominantly scientific member organizations play in healthcare.
“I applied for the internship after traveling to Uganda last summer on an outreach trip with USC Global Health,” says Cho. “I educated rural villagers on how to correctly take medications and why they should do it. It really opened my eyes to the power of education, and inspired me to look into a public health internship at FIP.”
During her trip to Uganda, Cho noticed that many of the health clinics had informational posters that were not well targeted for the patients there, and therefore were unable to make a real impact.
“The project I proposed for the FIP internship was creating a booklet on HIV/AIDS targeting this particular population,” says Cho. “I saw the opportunity for a teachable moment by using culturally sensitive educational tools to engage those who came into the clinics.”
Cho was previously awarded a Schweitzer Fellowship, which she used to inform older Chinese adults about polypharmacy and how cultural remedies affect medicines prescribed.
“I was able to meet with 430 elderly Chinese-American men and women at the APC Senior Wellness Center through health fairs, brown bag sessions and educational seminars,” says Cho. “We also conducted a Mahjong instructional session to help increase seniors’ mental activity and social activity, and initiated Mandarin class sessions during the summer.”
Ultimately, Cho hopes to pursue a career in health education, where she will continue to be able to impact many more people from various cultural backgrounds.