UBC Theses and Dissertations
Role and status of the basic pharmaceutical sciences in pharmacy education : a case study of the UBC BSc(Pharm) program Albon, Simon Piers
The basic pharmaceutical sciences have played an integral role in the scientific foundations of pharmacy education in Canada for 70 years although their role has shifted as programs have become more clinically-focused. Less reliance on the basic pharmaceutical sciences has prompted concerns regarding the scientific foundations of contemporary curricula and to what extent they are adequate for preparing today’s pharmacists. Addressing these concerns, this study inquired into the role and status of the basic pharmaceutical sciences in UBC’s current BSc(Pharm) program. Employing qualitative case study methodology and learning-centered approaches to post-secondary education, a combination of document, interview, and classroom observation analyses were used to establish: 1) the history of the basic pharmaceutical sciences in UBC pharmacy programs; 2) faculty perspectives on their role and status in the current program, and; 3) the curriculum and pedagogical practices of basic pharmaceutical scientists. Results from document analyses examining the history of pharmacy education in British Columbia since Confederation show that the basic pharmaceutical sciences have played a dominant role in UBC pharmacy programs for four decades; emphasis has decreased from 40% in the heavily science-based curricula of the 1980s to 25% of today’s clinically-focused program. Regarding the role and status of the basic pharmaceutical sciences in the current program, interview analyses suggest perspectives of scientists and practitioners are deeply polarized. While there is agreement that the basic pharmaceutical sciences have a role in preparing students for practice, science and practice solitudes confound curriculum decisions regarding optimal levels, importance, and status. Interview and classroom observation analyses suggest the curriculum and pedagogical practices of basic pharmaceutical scientists are predominantly teaching-centered. Although committed educators, discipline-based practices and a legacy of privilege may be exacerbating the science and practice solitudes, the lack of agreement amongst scientists and practitioners about role and status, and existing tensions regarding curriculum optimization. To address confounding factors, scholarly approaches and interdisciplinary curriculum development teams are suggested for on-going curriculum reforms. In addition, faculty development programs connecting basic pharmaceutical scientists with practice and developing learning-centered teaching approaches are proposed. The role of Faculty leadership and policies in curriculum reform efforts is also described.
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada