Integrating the pharmacy curriculum: more to consider than improving learning
- Stull R, Carter RA
- Am J Pharm Educ
PURPOSE To develop an integrated approach of teaching medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, and pharmacotherapeutics and to evaluate students' perceptions of integration as they progress through the PharmD curriculum. METHODS Instructors from each discipline jointly mapped the course contents and sequenced the course delivery based on organ systems/disease states. Medicinal chemistry and pharmacology contents were integrated and aligned with respective pharmacotherapeutics contents to deliver throughout second and third year of the curriculum. In addition to classroom lectures, active learning strategies such as recitation, case studies, online-discussion boards, open book quizzes, and writing patient progress notes were incorporated to enhance student learning. Student learning was assessed by examination scores, patient progress notes, and writing assignments. The impact of course integration was evaluated by a Web-based survey. RESULTS One hundred and sixty-nine students completed the survey. Students exhibited positive attitude toward the integrated approach of teaching medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, and therapeutics. The P3 and P4 students better appreciated the benefits of integration compared to P2 students (P < .05). CONCLUSION Students perceived the course integration as an effective way of learning. This study supports course improvement and the viability of expanding the concept of integration to other courses in the curriculum.