Pharmacy education and practice is undergoing changes worldwide, with more focus on clinically oriented and patient-centered outcomes.
In Qatar, the country’s only College of Pharmacy is responding to these changes with integrated learning and a new curriculum.
“Previously, the focus of pharmaceutical education was the drug itself and its chemical specifications. Now the focus is more on patient care,” Feras Alali, dean of the College of Pharmacy, Qatar University, said. “This has resulted in a fundamental change in pharmaceutical education.”
In 2017, the college began a comprehensive review of its curriculum. The process resulted in restructuring of the bachelor’s degree curriculum into a series of integrated modules that cut across traditional subject areas. Each module revolves around a certain body system, rather than a specific discipline.
The changes, taking effect this academic year, are intended to reduce repetition in teaching and make educational experiences coherent, relevant, and more patient-centered.
“A professor is no longer teaching a subject alone. Instead, all those involved in the integrated unit of the curriculum work together and plan how to teach in a holistic manner,” Alali said.
The change was not easy for professors. It “requires a great deal of work, cooperation and openness among faculty members in educational content and assessment methods,” according to Alali.