Advancements in modern medical care have required medical teams, including doctors, pharmacists, and nurses, to undergo specialized training. We have found that pre-practical training on therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) is one of the areas in which pharmacists can gain expertise. We developed and tested an educational program to provide training on TDM in community pharmacies, rather than hospitals, where TDM is often implemented. We investigated the educational effects of the program using a questionnaire administered to the students. The results of the questionnaire revealed that the TDM case studies were useful for the majority of students (>80%) and showed high learning efficiency compared with lectures. We focused on precision medicine based on pharmacogenomics (PGx), as this field has recently attracted much attention. The results of the questionnaire indicated that the educational program was highly effective at teaching the application of PGx for treatment decisions.
In Japan, where education is being reformed toward the realization of a digital society, deeper discussions on ICT literacy education for pharmacists are needed. With a shift of pharmacist duties from objects to persons, the introduction and utilization of information and communication technology for pharmacists/pharmacists (specifically, that for pharmacies is called pharmaceutical technology: Pharma Tech) have become indispensable for better health outcomes, health services, and patient convenience. Pharmacists as health professionals are now expected not only to appropriately use Pharma Tech, but also to utilize it with an awareness of user experience (UX) design for patients. However, in current ICT literacy education for pharmacists, such an awareness is rarely observed. Therefore, it may be important to incorporate ICT literacy education into existing subjects, such as combining therapy applications with pharmacology and pathophysiology, information security with relevant laws and regulations, social networking with communication studies, and Pharma Tech with pharmaceutics, and provide it in these combinations through industry-academia collaboration.
University teaching is a rewarding profession with high individual discretion, burden, and autonomy. However, there are many operations where it is difficult to separate work and life. Difficulties may arise when life events such as marriage, childbirth, childcare, and nursing care occur. Although there should be no difference in how life events affect men and women, the number of female researchers leaving their jobs is relatively high. We organized this symposium because we believe that the first step is to identify the causes and conflicts that make it difficult for people to continue working. The purpose of this symposium was to share information and encourage discussion about life events and difficulties in continuing to work, focusing on childcare. In this review, we report on the symposium’s content, the results of the post-symposium questionnaire, and an overview of the ongoing qualitative study on “continuing to work.”
The “Guideline for Practical Training for Pharmacy and Hospital” states to universities that “it is essential to forward relevant information regarding the contents and progress of the learning at universities in advance to the training facilities prior to the initiation of the practical training.” Approximately 2,400 medical students from 14 universities in the Kinki region are allocated to training facilities in the entire Kinki region every year. These training facilities accept students from different universities. Providing achievements assessed according to each university’s criteria would cause confusion at the training facilities. Therefore, the Kinki Regional Allocation Office promulgated that the training practice would be optimized smoothly according to students’ accomplishment level by evaluating and presenting their learning progress using the unified assessment standards at the training facilities. The Office also expected that formulating the unified assessment standards would contribute to the review of the pedagogy and learning materials of preparatory clinical education at the universities. Here, the circumstances of the formulation and application of “the Kinki region’s summarized assessment chart for preparatory clinical education” are discussed.
Since 2016 academic year, we have been conducting cross-disciplinary practical training to bridge the gap between basic scientific skills and practical abilities in pharmacotherapy. In the pre-study of practical training in the fourth year, medicinal chemistry faculty and clinical pharmacy faculty members collaborate to provide bridging education. In this symposium review, we introduce the outline of the experiential education on the subject of pharmaceutical compounding changes and the evaluation of the students. In addition, we describe our future evaluation plan using the proposed outcomes of the Kinki region’s summarized assessment chart for preparatory clinical education.
In pharmacy education, there is a need to train pharmacists to practice evidence-based medicine (EBM) by evaluating drug information, including primary sources, and providing optimal medical care based on patient information. At Osaka University of Pharmaceutical Sciences (currently Faculty of Pharmacy, Osaka Medical and Pharmaceutical University), team-based learning is conducted in the fourth year so that students can practice EBM in practical training. In 2020, due to restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the content of the practice was reduced from that of 2019. In this symposium review, to report the educational effectiveness of this practice, we examined the comprehension tests conducted pre and post the tests for each year. In addition, we will evaluate the learning content in EBM practice using the Kinki region’s summarized assessment chart for preparatory clinical education.
Online education, bolstered by the spread of COVID-19, has provided a new educational option. First, however, student evaluation of online education must be carefully studied and analyzed. In this study, a questionnaire was given to first to fourth-year students of the Setsunan University Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences who had experienced online and face-to-face classes amidst the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the 2020 academic year. The purpose was to investigate their evaluation of online classes in general terms, not limited to specific subjects or grades. The questionnaire was conducted in March 2021 using a Google form anonymously, with 123 (53%), 128 (62%), 90 (41%), and 62 (29%) responses obtained from first to fourth-year students, respectively. The results revealed that the pharmacy students’ overall evaluation of the online classes differed greatly depending on the learning domain, particularly the knowledge domain. The results also suggested higher support and self-efficacy for online learning than face-to-face classes. In the future, it will be necessary to consider lesson designs, including online lessons, that are optimized for the learning domain, objectives, and learner attributes.
The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Fukuoka University examined the effects of a remedial biology course provided to first-year pharmacy students after program admission in 2014. The academic results of students who had enrolled in the program and took the 105th National Examination for Pharmacists were tracked throughout the six years. After one semester, the results showed no difference in biology test results between students who took the remedial course and those who did not need to take it. The course closed the academic gap observed after the placement test at the time of admission and maintained those results up to the participants’ graduation. A questionnaire, also given to participants, revealed an improvement in students’ understanding of biology despite 65% of the respondents initially struggling with biology before taking the remedial course. In addition, the pass rate for the 105th National Exam was higher among the course participants than for those who did not take the course. This study suggested that early intervention with the remedial course improved and maintained student motivation until graduation.
The revised Model Core Curriculum for Pharmacy Education introduced ten professional competencies required of pharmacists upon graduating from a 6-year pharmacy program. However, it is unclear whether they improved upon these competencies after graduation. In this study, a questionnaire assessed 517 graduates on improving these competencies during their careers in the medical setting. The respondents had registered their e-mail addresses previously with the Faculty of Pharmacy’s alumni association at Osaka Ohtani University. The online survey was anonymous and included 15 multiple-choice questions related to the ten competencies. The response rate was 22.2%, with the male/female ratio and years of experience as a pharmacist of the responders relatively equal. The self-evaluation of community pharmacists showed significantly higher scores for “professionalism” and “community health and medical care” compared to those of “interprofessional team-care” and “research,” which were significantly lower than that of hospital pharmacists. In conclusion, there were large disparities in the improvement level of the ten competencies, with “research” the most difficult area to improve on even for pharmacy specialists working at healthcare facilities.
The use of healthcare ICT by pharmacists (called “Pharma Tech” for pharmacies) will be essential in the future for improving health outcomes, enhancing healthcare services, and increasing convenience for patients. However, the ICT literacy of pharmacists and pharmacy students must improve for the utilization of Pharma Tech. Therefore, the syllabi of pharmacy departments (77 universities, 79 faculties) that were open to the public from March 2021 were examined for this study. The survey items included the course title, affiliation and specialization of the instructor, course year, class format, general instructive objectives/specific behavioral objectives, and learning evaluation. The percentage of ICT courses offered by the faculty of pharmacies was highest in the first year with basic content, close to the time of the entrance orientation. On the other hand, only 5.9% of classes offered had clinical application, such as improving healthcare outcomes and services with ICT. This result may be attributed partly to the low number of ICT courses provided to the higher grades and the low percentage of teachers (11.8%) with clinical experience required for those courses.
The Faculty of Pharmacy at Musashino University held mock examinations for sixth-year students a total of six times during September–February, using the same format as that for the national examination for pharmacists. Cluster analysis used three years of data (2017–2019) to investigate the changes in the total exam scores for each subject. The analysis results showed that score changes could be classified into upper, middle, and lower groups. Each group composition differed depending on the subject. In addition, all subjects showed a correlation with the overall total. Multiple logistic regression analysis was also conducted to ascertain if future pass rates of certain subjects could be identified at a specific point in time. The results of the analysis suggested that in multiple subjects, including pharmacology, early-stage exam achievement positively influenced the performance on the national examination. These findings will be helpful to predict academic achievement based on early-stage examination results and develop student guidance and learning strategies to prepare for the national examination.
This study investigated the relationship between self-efficacy, achievement emotions, and learning strategies using Control-Value Theory for pharmacy students learning Pharmacy English. A questionnaire was conducted with items from Ikeda’s Achievement Emotion Scale Japanese version and modified items from Mori’s Self-efficacy Scale for English Learning. Based on a factor analysis of the items created with Mori’s English Learning Usage Strategy Scale, four categories were classified as guessing strategy, understanding strategy, working strategy, and contemplation strategy. The results of correlation analysis showed that “enjoyment/hope/pride” (positive achievement emotions) positively correlated with self-efficacy and learning strategies, as shown in previous studies. In addition, a significant positive correlation between “anger” (negative achievement emotion) and “hope/pride” and a significant positive correlation between “anger” and contemplation strategy emerged as new findings.
Pharmaceutical colleges struggle with inadequate instruction in disaster medicine, making it difficult to determine how much students understand of the educational content. Therefore, this study collected and qualitatively analyzed data with text mining to visually grasp student responses. With text mining, the students’ personal descriptions were converted into text data, creating keyword lists and concept maps to visualize the degree of comprehension and knowledge. By analyzing the relevant keywords from the concept maps, it was possible to gain an overview of the students’ understanding and develop a tool to facilitate disaster medicine in pharmaceutical education. The visualization of qualitative data using text mining was a useful method for examining the comprehension levels of pharmacy students.
Vaccines and immunizations are expected to contain or control pandemics caused by infectious diseases. Therefore, it is essential to create a system that can supply prompt and stable vaccinations to people who wish to be vaccinated. However, securing human resources to provide vaccinations is a problem in Japan. In Europe and the United States, pharmacists play a role as vaccination providers, so someday pharmacists in Japan may also contribute in this way. With this background, practical training using an attachable brachial muscle injection simulator was provided to fourth-year undergraduate students and verified its effectiveness. Compared to before the practice, students’ knowledge and skill of intramuscular injection improved, and students were satisfied with how the training increased their confidence and self-efficacy. In addition, many students developed positive consciousness and responded that knowledge and skills for intramuscular injection would be helpful in the future and should be learned at university. These results suggest that practical training using a muscle injection simulator is beneficial in undergraduate education.
Students can improve their learning by reviewing the basic courses and understanding how it relates to the pre-clinical training content. Therefore, the team-based learning (TBL) strategy was introduced to help students organize and apply the relevant knowledge of chemical compounding to the practical training. A factor analysis and cluster analysis were conducted on the questionnaires given after the class. The results indicated that students who were not initially confident in their knowledge of clinically relevant chemistry felt that they could understand the related contents in the practical training through the TBL experience. This study suggests that the combination of TBL and practical training may enhance learning by connecting the prior knowledge of chemistry to clinical practice.
In this study, an evidence-based medicine (EBM) workshop using the team-based learning (TBL) was conducted to verify the effectiveness of joint learning for fourth-year students who had completed their pre-clinical training and fifth-year students who had completed their clinical training. The learning outcomes were assessed with a knowledge acquisition test, administered at the time of the workshop and two months later, and a post-workshop questionnaire. The participants’ literature-based evaluation skills remained unchanged two months after the workshop. However, the fifth-year students had higher mean test scores than the fourth-year students, both at the time of the workshop and two months later. In addition, the questionnaire results revealed that fifth-year participants rated teamwork and the need for EBM higher than fourth-year participants, which may be due to increased awareness of the need for EBM during clinical practice. The workshop was effective in improving skills related to EBM and enhancing student awareness of the need for EBM.