Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Health Promotion Integrated into a Thai PharmD Curriculum to Improve Pharmacy Practice Skills

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Health Promotion Integrated into a Thai PharmD Curriculum to Improve Pharmacy Practice Skills

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Only 6 of the 15 universities with pharmacy programs in Thailand offer the 6-year PharmD curriculum. (1-6) The standard requirements for the PharmD curriculum has/ have been published by the Ministry of Education. (7) The Faculty of Pharmacy, Mahasarakham University, was the second university in Thailand to establish the 6-year PharmD program. We accepted our first students into the program in 2000. The current PharmD curriculum requires 240 credits including 30 credits in general education, 30 credits in basic sciences, 87 credits in professional health sciences, 65 credits in clinical pharmacy, 18 credits in research, and 10 credits in elective subjects. The curriculum includes lecturing and active learning in the first through fifth years, and practice skills in hospitals and community pharmacies in the second through sixth years (year 2 = 48 hours, year 3 = 80 hours, year 4 = 400 hours, summer of year 5 = 150 hours, and year 6 = 5 practice experiences of 225 hours each. (1)

Teaching of pharmacy modules in Thailand is generally delivered independently for each specialty. Students have been taught many different modules without any strategy to help them conceptually apply their knowledge to promote people's health in their pharmacy practice. Since health promotion is an important issue throughout Thailand, the Pharmacy Network for Health Promotion (PNHP) in 2004, led by Associate Professor Dr. Jiraporn Limpananont, introduced the idea of health promotion being included in the Thai pharmacy curriculum of all 15 universities offering a pharmacy degree. (8) The aim of the PNHP was for pharmacy students to become pharmacists who were up-to-date in global health matters and who could play a role in the rational use of medicines and health promotion. (8) Competence in health promotion is expected at the level of personal skill defined by the World Health Organization (WHO). (9) Academic staff members of the Faculty of Pharmacy, Mahasarakham University, have applied this concept to teaching modules since 2004, resulting in continuous quality improvement as documented in annual faculty reports. (10) We began to organize active learning using the concept of health promotion with 8 modules in 2004 and 15 modules in 2005. Difficulties resulted from the large number of active-learning activities contained in each semester and no previous integration between modules. In 2006, all 44 modules were starting to be integrated into the teaching modules in the fifth-year curriculum. The integration of teaching across the modules is challenging for Thai pharmacy faculties, and even more so when the teaching method has to follow the theme of health promotion. Our faculty members have been leaders in introducing this teaching method for this subject area for the past 3 years.

We continued to improve the integration of the 5 modules in the fifth year. Active learning was incorporated into 5 activities to achieve the objectives of every module. The health promotion activities covered individual counseling for the rational use of medication and lifestyle modification; group or individual counseling for education on how to use medication correctly and methods of self-care; screening for chronic diseases in high-risk people; and activities for up-to-date global health information. We expected that our integrated teaching modules would reduce students' workload, give them greater understanding, help them gain more skills, help them develop good attitudes to the profession, and help them be leaders in health promotion by active-learning activities. These activities are different from those in the sixth year, since the fifth year has a shorter time for practice (150 hours for year 5; 1,125 hours for year 6); different modules integrated (5 different modules integrated in year 5, but only practice modules in year 6), and different active-learning activities (practice experience, case report and presentation, journal club, debate and research project in year 5; an advanced practice experience , case report, journal club, and academic educating service during year 6). …

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