Over the past several years, Dr. Pickler has facilitated a tour group of physicians and healthcare managers from Japan around the Cleveland and Akron areas of Ohio for the purpose of examining current practices of healthcare delivery in the United States. These programs, designed and sponsored by Dr. Reichiro Okada, have been an annual function each year. These week-long programs have included tours to hospitals with presentations by healthcare professionals. The finale of the tour has been a full day discussion about best practices and other learning experienced gained during the week. These functions have been sponsored by the Healthcare MBA Program at Baldwin Wallace University.
More Than Fifteen Years of Learning From Each Other
After conducting this tour for more than fifteen years, we have learned more precisely what to offer our participants so that they will have the richest possible experience. From the very beginning of the tour to the very end, attention has been paid to even the smallest details.
From Shashimi to Case Studies
We make every attempt to customize the experience for each visitor to assure their optimum experience even though there are often more than twenty participants in the party. Managers in healthcare organizations who we have worked consistently with over the years look forward to the visit and prepare an excellent learning opportunity for the guests. Often, presentations include a case study, even including the former patient of the study. This real life experience provides a very rich learning experience. The managers look forward to learning from the experience, too; opportunities for both Japanese and Americans to learn from each other abounds.
The Japanese professionals have an opportunity to observe American culture in a very comfortable framework of personal attention. The U.S. host has built a personal friendship with many of the frequent participants and supporters of the tour and looks forward each year to opening up his home to offer the participants a full course dinner, including Ahi Tuna shashimi for an appetizer – it is a very special ritual, a part of the cultural exchange of the whole experience. Sometimes we have the opportunity to recognize showcase presenters whom we invite to Japan for the lecture program and sometimes, there are even opportunities for leisure time to include shopping or golf.
Participants in the Tour
The organizations available for the tours cover all aspects of healthcare delivery, from babies children’s hospitals to short term and long term acute hospitals, continuum of care facilities and rehabilitation organizations as well as hospice organizations. The managers that want to be involved and their organizations make it easier to put together a tour for the specific needs of the tour members.
Top managers of some of the organizations prepare formal presentations for the tour group helping them know the most recent information about healthcare reform in the United States.
The mix of cultural engagement with professional development is a comfortable combination, and the relaxed atmosphere at Baldwin Wallace University on the last day of the tour offers an opportunity to discuss new ideas and new learning experiences.