DESIGN: A required 2-credit-hour course was designed to provide an overview of public health pharmacy roles and the behavioral aspects of human healthcare issues. Graded activities included nursing home visits, in-class quizzes, mini-projects, and poster sessions, and a comprehensive final examination.
ASSESSMENT: The majority of the students performed well on the class activities and 93 (71.5%) of the 130 students enrolled received a grade of B or higher. A Web-based survey was administered at the end of the semester and 90% of students indicated that they had benefited from the course and were glad that it was offered. The majority of students agreed that the course made an impact in preparing them for their future role as pharmacists and expanded their understanding of the public health roles of a pharmacist.
CONCLUSIONS: A public health pharmacy course was successfully designed and implemented in the BPharm curriculum. This study highlighted the feasibilities of introducing courses that are of global relevance into a Malaysian pharmacy curriculum. The findings from the students' evaluation suggest the needs to incorporate a similar course in all pharmacy schools in the country and will be used as a guide to improve the contents and methods of delivery of the course at our school.
DESIGN: We introduced the shared learning experience in clinical pharmacy and pharmacotherapeutic practice experiences involving 87 third-year and 51 fourth-year students. Both student groups undertook the practice experiences together, with third-year students working in smaller groups mentored by fourth-year students.
ASSESSMENT: A majority of the students (> 75%) believed that they learned to work as a team during their practice experiences and that the shared learning approach provided an opportunity to practice their communication skills. Similarly, most respondents (> 70%) agreed that the new approach would help them become effective members of the healthcare team and would facilitate their professional relationships in future practice. Almost two-thirds of the students believed that the shared learning enhanced their ability to understand clinical problems. However, about 31% of the pharmacy students felt that they could have learned clinical problem-solving skills equally well working only with peers from their own student group.
CONCLUSIONS: The pharmacy students in the current study generally believed that the shared-learning approach enhanced their ability to understand clinical problems and improved their communication and teamwork skills. Both groups of students were positive that they had acquired some skills through the shared-learning approach.