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1.  A Leadership Elective Course Developed and Taught by Graduate Students 
Objective. To develop and implement a flexible-credit elective course to empower student pharmacists to develop lifelong leadership skills and provide teaching practice opportunities for graduate students.
Design. An elective course focusing on leadership development for second- and third-year doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students was designed and taught by 4 graduate students under the mentorship of 2 faculty members. Student pharmacists could enroll in a 1-, 2-, or 3-credit-hour version of the course.
Assessment. Attainment of course objectives was measured using student pharmacist reflection papers and continuing professional development portfolios. Additionally, self-assessments of graduate students and faculty members delivering the course were conducted. In their responses on course evaluations, student pharmacists indicated they found the course a valuable learning experience. Graduate students found course development to be challenging but useful in developing faculty skills.
Conclusion. This flexible-credit elective course taught by graduate students was an innovative way to offer formal leadership instruction using limited college resources.
PMCID: PMC3872942  PMID: 24371347
leadership; graduate students; faculty development; pharmacy education; elective course
2.  Pharmacy cases in Second Life: an elective course 
Interactive pharmacy case studies are an essential component of the pharmacy curriculum. We recently developed an elective course at the Rangel College of Pharmacy in pharmacy case studies for second- and third-year Doctor of Pharmacy students using Second Life® (SL), an interactive three-dimensional virtual environment that simulates the real world. This course explored the use of SL for education and training in pharmacy, emphasizing a case-based approach. Virtual worlds such as SL promote inquiry-based learning and conceptual understanding, and can potentially develop problem-solving skills in pharmacy students. Students were presented ten case scenarios that primarily focused on drug safety and effective communication with patients. Avatars, representing instructors and students, reviewed case scenarios during sessions in a virtual classroom. Individually and in teams, students participated in active-learning activities modeling both the pharmacist’s and patient’s roles. Student performance and learning were assessed based on SL class participation, activities, assignments, and two formal, essay-type online exams in Blackboard 9. Student course-evaluation results indicated favorable perceptions of content and delivery. Student comments included an enhanced appreciation of practical issues in pharmacy practice, flexibility of attendance, and an increased ability to focus on course content. Excellent student participation and performance in weekly active-learning activities translated into positive performance on subsequent formal assessments. Students were actively engaged and exposed to topics pertinent to pharmacy practice that were not covered in the required pharmacy curriculum. The multiple active-learning assignments were successful in increasing students’ knowledge, and provided additional practice in building the communication skills beneficial for students preparing for experiential clinical rotations.
PMCID: PMC3650877  PMID: 23762008
Second Life; virtual worlds; pharmacy case studies; computer simulation; health education; pharmacy education
3.  Engaging Rural Youth in Physical Activity Promotion Research in an After-School Setting 
Preventing Chronic Disease  2005;2(Spec No):A15.
West Virginia, the second most rural state in the nation, has a higher than average prevalence of chronic diseases, especially those related to physical inactivity and obesity. Innovative educational approaches are needed to increase physical activity among adults and youth in rural areas and reduce rural health disparities. This paper describes West Virginia's Health Sciences and Technology Academy (HSTA) Education and Outreach on Healthy Weight and Physical Activity. The project involved teachers and underserved high school students in social science research aimed at increasing physical activity among student and community participants.
The HSTA is an ongoing initiative of university–school–community partnerships in West Virginia that offers academic enrichment to high-school students in after-school clubs. For this project, six HSTA clubs were awarded grants to conduct research on physical activity promotion during the 2003–2004 school year. The project was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Focus groups, workshops, and targeted technical assistance were used to assist teachers and students with developing, implementing, and evaluating their research projects. Each club completed one project, and students reported on their research at the annual HSTA symposium held in the spring. Teachers documented their experience with the projects in process journals before and during implementation.
Data from the teachers' process journals revealed that they believed this research experience increased their students' interest in health and health science careers and increased their students' understanding of social science research methods. Challenges included lack of time after school to complete all activities, competing student activities, limited social science research experience of both teachers and students, and delays that resulted from a lengthy human subjects approval process.
The entire process was too ambitious to be achieved in one school year. Recommendations for future implementation include offering training modules on social science research methods for both teachers and students. These modules could be offered as a graduate course for teachers and as an in-school elective within the curriculum or as a summer institute for students. This preparatory training might alleviate some of the time management issues experienced by all the projects and could result in more skilled teacher and student researchers.
PMCID: PMC1459460  PMID: 16263048
4.  Basic life support knowledge of healthcare students and professionals in the Qassim University 
To evaluate the knowledge of basic life support (BLS) among students and health providers in Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry, and Allied Health Science Colleges at Qassim University.
A cross sectional study was performed using an online BLS survey that was completed by 139 individuals.
Ninety-three responders were medical students, 7 were medical interns, 6 were dental students, 7 were pharmacy students, 11 were medical science students and 15 were clinical practitioners. No responder scored 100% on the BLS survey. Only two out of the 139 responders (1.4%) scored 90–99%. Both of these individuals were fifth year medical students. Six responders (4.3%) scored 80–89%. Of these, 5 were fifth year medical students, and one was fourth-year medical student. Eleven responders (7.9%) scored 70–79%. Of these, eight were fifth year medical students, two were medical interns and one was a pharmacist. Twenty-three responders (16.5%) scored 60–69%. Of these, 11 were fifth year medical students, 1 was a fourth-year medical student, 3 were medical interns, 2 were medical science students, 1 was a dentistry student, and 5 were pharmacists. Twenty-eight responders (20.1%) scored 50–59%. Of these, 11 were fifth year medical students, 3 were fourth-year medical students, 1 was a third-year medical student, 1 was a second-year medical student, 2 were first-year medical students, 1 was a pharmacy student, 3 were dental students, 1 was a allied health science student, 2 were doctors, and 3 were pharmacists. The remaining 69 responders (49.6%) scored less than 50%.
Knowledge of BLS among medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, and allied health science students and health providers at Qassim University is poor and needs to be improved. We suggest that inclusion of a BLS course in the undergraduate curriculum with regular reassessment would increase awareness and application of this valuable life-saving skill set.
PMCID: PMC4166986  PMID: 25246881
5.  Evaluation of Pre-Service Training on Integrated Management of Neonatal and Childhood Illness in Ethiopia 
The Integrated Management of Newborn and Childhood Illness strategy equips health workers with essential knowledge and skills to effectively manage sick children with common neonatal and childhood diseases. Since in-service training is very demanding to achieve the desired coverage of training of health workers, pre-service training is taken as a solution. At the time of the survey, most public and some private health professionals' training institutions were conducting pre-service training. However, several concerns have been expressed on the training. Therefore, this survey was conducted to assess the status of pre-service Integrated Management of New-born and Childhood Illness training.
A cross sectional survey on health professional training institutes/schools to evaluate pre-service Integrated Management of Newborn and Childhood Illness training was conducted in November 2007. Data was collected using pre-tested questionnaires, focused group interviews with teachers and students, observation of students while managing sick children using Integrated Management of Newborn and Childhood Illness guidelines, and reviews of pediatric course outlines and other teaching/learning materials. Data was entered in computer and analyzed using SPSS for Windows version 12.0.1.
Twenty nine health professionals' training institutions (34 academic programs) which have started pre-service training were included in the survey. Of the 34 programs 22 were diploma nursing, 6 Bachelor of Sciences nursing, 4 health officer and the remaining two medicine. Thirty (88.2%) programs have integrated it in their curriculum. All academic programs had at least one fulltime staff for Integrated Management of Newborn and Childhood Illness classroom instruction. Twenty nine (85.3%) programs had staff trained in case management skills. All the 34 academic programs taught health workers skills, 28(82.3%) used mixed approach. Integrated Management of Newborn and Childhood Illness was either incorporated for 21 (61.8%) or added to the previous teaching 11 (32.3%). The instructor to student ratio was low for most of the schools. Main challenges encountered in the pre-service teaching were constraints with trained staff and other resources each by 28 (82.3%) programs. Integrated Management of Newborn and Childhood Illness was included in student evaluation by all programs (100%). All students and instructors (100%) rated that Integrated Management of Newborn and Childhood Illness concept is very relevant or extremely relevant but majority said the time given was short. The over all mean score of students clinical practice was 63.5%.
This study demonstrated that Integrated Management of Newborn and Childhood Illness was introduced into the teaching programs of most health professional training institutions. The most preferred teaching style was the mixed approach. Group discussion and demonstration were commonly used methods and Integrated Management of Newborn and Childhood Illness questions were included in students' evaluation in almost all programs. Shortage of IMNCI trained staff and teaching materials were major challenges. The use of teaching materials prepared for pre-service training like handbook and model chapter was limited. Instructors and students attitude towards IMNCI was very good. The students overall performance in managing sick child as per the IMNCI guidelines was above average. We recommend that the respective bodies at every level make every effort to strengthen IMNCI pre-service teaching through revisiting curricula, facilitating staff training, availing teaching materials and allocating adequate time. Exploring for an alternative/innovative and sustainable training approach is an assignment for all.
PMCID: PMC3275900  PMID: 22434956
IMNCI; pre-service; Ethiopia
6.  A Global Health Elective Course in a PharmD Curriculum 
Objective. To describe the design, development, and the first 4 implementations of a Global Health elective course intended to prepare pharmacy students pursue global health careers and to evaluate student perceptions of the instructional techniques used and of skills developed during the course.
Design. Following the blended curriculum model used at Touro College of Pharmacy, the Global Health course combined team-based learning (TBL) sessions in class, out-of-class team projects, and online self-directed learning with classroom teaching and discussion sessions.
Assessment. Student performance was assessed with TBL sessions, team projects, and class presentations, online quizzes, and final examinations. A precourse and postcourse survey showed improvement in global health knowledge and attitudes, and in the perception of pharmacists’ role and career opportunities in global health. Significant improvement in skills applicable to global health work was reported and students rated highly the instructional techniques, value, and relevance of the course.
Conclusion. The Global Health elective course is on track to achieve its intended goal of equipping pharmacy students with the requisite knowledge and applicable skills to pursue global health careers and opportunities. After taking this course, students have gone on to pursue global field experiences.
PMCID: PMC4315209  PMID: 25657374
Global health; global health course; global health education; team-based learning; pharmacy education; elective course
7.  Guiding Students to Develop an Understanding of Scientific Inquiry: A Science Skills Approach to Instruction and Assessment 
CBE Life Sciences Education  2014;13(1):90-101.
Teacher-driven action research in the high school biology classroom reveals effective instructional and assessment strategies for guiding students to integrate their ideas about the skills and practices necessary for scientific inquiry. Implications for inquiry-based teaching and research in undergraduate life sciences courses are discussed.
New approaches for teaching and assessing scientific inquiry and practices are essential for guiding students to make the informed decisions required of an increasingly complex and global society. The Science Skills approach described here guides students to develop an understanding of the experimental skills required to perform a scientific investigation. An individual teacher's investigation of the strategies and tools she designed to promote scientific inquiry in her classroom is outlined. This teacher-driven action research in the high school biology classroom presents a simple study design that allowed for reciprocal testing of two simultaneous treatments, one that aimed to guide students to use vocabulary to identify and describe different scientific practices they were using in their investigations—for example, hypothesizing, data analysis, or use of controls—and another that focused on scientific collaboration. A knowledge integration (KI) rubric was designed to measure how students integrated their ideas about the skills and practices necessary for scientific inquiry. KI scores revealed that student understanding of scientific inquiry increased significantly after receiving instruction and using assessment tools aimed at promoting development of specific inquiry skills. General strategies for doing classroom-based action research in a straightforward and practical way are discussed, as are implications for teaching and evaluating introductory life sciences courses at the undergraduate level.
PMCID: PMC3940468  PMID: 24591508
8.  Providing Undergraduate Science Partners for Elementary Teachers: Benefits and Challenges 
CBE Life Sciences Education  2009;8(3):239-251.
Undergraduate college “science partners” provided content knowledge and a supportive atmosphere for K–5 teachers in a university–school professional development partnership program in science instruction. The Elementary Science Education Partners program, a Local Systemic Change initiative supported by the National Science Foundation, was composed of four major elements: 1) a cadre of mentor teachers trained to provide district-wide teacher professional development; 2) a recruitment and training effort to place college students in classrooms as science partners in semester-long partnerships with teachers; 3) a teacher empowerment effort termed “participatory reform”; and 4) an inquiry-based curriculum with a kit distribution and refurbishment center. The main goals of the program were to provide college science students with an intensive teaching experience and to enhance teachers' skills in inquiry-based science instruction. Here, we describe some of the program's successes and challenges, focusing primarily on the impact on the classroom teachers and their science partners. Qualitative analyses of data collected from participants indicate that 1) teachers expressed greater self-confidence about teaching science than before the program and they spent more class time on the subject; and 2) the college students modified deficit-model negative assumptions about the children's science learning abilities to express more mature, positive views.
PMCID: PMC2736027  PMID: 19723818
9.  Design and implementation of injury prevention curricula for elementary schools: lessons learned 
Injury Prevention  2003;9(3):274-278.
Objectives: Project objectives were to: (1) design and produce an easy-to-use, replicable comprehensive injury prevention curriculum for elementary schools; (2) pilot the program to determine instructors' ease in teaching the material and its usefulness in enhancing student knowledge and behavior change; (3) present material in subject-integrated, grade-specific lessons that would meet state and national student learning objectives; and (4) submit and obtain adoption of the curriculum by the State Department of Education.
Methods: A pilot program was developed, implemented, and evaluated in six intervention and six control schools. The curriculum was revised and implemented in five other schools and finalized according to evaluation results and teachers' and parents' suggestions. Community resources such as police, fire, and county health departments participated in program implementation.
Results: The program showed a significant increase from 21% to 36% in seatbelt use during the school year in program schools compared with a 1% decrease in control schools. Bicycle helmet use increased from 0% to 10% in the program schools. Pre-test and post-test results showed significant differences in student knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors within the program schools, and in comparing the program and control schools. On a Likert scale of 1 (poor) to 7 (excellent), teachers rated lesson content, exercises, and the usefulness of materials and resources as 5.8, 5.5, and 5.4, respectively. Evaluations for the revised curricula ranged from 5.7 to 6.2.
Conclusions: The favorable evaluation results resulted in the adoption of the curriculum as a state textbook, and widespread teaching of the curriculum. The product is appropriate and efficacious in these elementary schools and their communities.
PMCID: PMC1731011  PMID: 12966021
10.  A First Attempt to Bring Computational Biology into Advanced High School Biology Classrooms 
PLoS Computational Biology  2011;7(10):e1002244.
Computer science has become ubiquitous in many areas of biological research, yet most high school and even college students are unaware of this. As a result, many college biology majors graduate without adequate computational skills for contemporary fields of biology. The absence of a computational element in secondary school biology classrooms is of growing concern to the computational biology community and biology teachers who would like to acquaint their students with updated approaches in the discipline. We present a first attempt to correct this absence by introducing a computational biology element to teach genetic evolution into advanced biology classes in two local high schools. Our primary goal was to show students how computation is used in biology and why a basic understanding of computation is necessary for research in many fields of biology. This curriculum is intended to be taught by a computational biologist who has worked with a high school advanced biology teacher to adapt the unit for his/her classroom, but a motivated high school teacher comfortable with mathematics and computing may be able to teach this alone. In this paper, we present our curriculum, which takes into consideration the constraints of the required curriculum, and discuss our experiences teaching it. We describe the successes and challenges we encountered while bringing this unit to high school students, discuss how we addressed these challenges, and make suggestions for future versions of this curriculum.We believe that our curriculum can be a valuable seed for further development of computational activities aimed at high school biology students. Further, our experiences may be of value to others teaching computational biology at this level. Our curriculum can be obtained at or by contacting the authors.
Author Summary
We have designed and implemented a curriculum to teach basic computational biology to advanced high school students. The curriculum includes an introduction to the concept of algorithms, an overview of the Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) algorithm used to compare DNA sequences, and methods for building phylogenetic trees. We taught this curriculum in advanced biology classes at two local high schools. As a result of this, we were able to give many students an appreciation of the role computers play in biology and an idea of why computational methods are needed in biological research. We found that while the high school students lacked the necessary background in math and computer science to be able to write their own algorithms, they were able to use existing algorithms, analyze them, and compare the results. We also encountered a number of challenges that could arise in other attempts to teach computational biology to students at this level, whether using our curriculum or another. We discuss each of these challenges and possible ways that they can be overcome.
PMCID: PMC3203055  PMID: 22046118
11.  Interactions between Non-Physician Clinicians and Industry: A Systematic Review 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(11):e1001561.
In a systematic review of studies of interactions between non-physician clinicians and industry, Quinn Grundy and colleagues found that many of the issues identified for physicians' industry interactions exist for non-physician clinicians.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
With increasing restrictions placed on physician–industry interactions, industry marketing may target other health professionals. Recent health policy developments confer even greater importance on the decision making of non-physician clinicians. The purpose of this systematic review is to examine the types and implications of non-physician clinician–industry interactions in clinical practice.
Methods and Findings
We searched MEDLINE and Web of Science from January 1, 1946, through June 24, 2013, according to PRISMA guidelines. Non-physician clinicians eligible for inclusion were: Registered Nurses, nurse prescribers, Physician Assistants, pharmacists, dieticians, and physical or occupational therapists; trainee samples were excluded. Fifteen studies met inclusion criteria. Data were synthesized qualitatively into eight outcome domains: nature and frequency of industry interactions; attitudes toward industry; perceived ethical acceptability of interactions; perceived marketing influence; perceived reliability of industry information; preparation for industry interactions; reactions to industry relations policy; and management of industry interactions. Non-physician clinicians reported interacting with the pharmaceutical and infant formula industries. Clinicians across disciplines met with pharmaceutical representatives regularly and relied on them for practice information. Clinicians frequently received industry “information,” attended sponsored “education,” and acted as distributors for similar materials targeted at patients. Clinicians generally regarded this as an ethical use of industry resources, and felt they could detect “promotion” while benefiting from industry “information.” Free samples were among the most approved and common ways that clinicians interacted with industry. Included studies were observational and of varying methodological rigor; thus, these findings may not be generalizable. This review is, however, the first to our knowledge to provide a descriptive analysis of this literature.
Non-physician clinicians' generally positive attitudes toward industry interactions, despite their recognition of issues related to bias, suggest that industry interactions are normalized in clinical practice across non-physician disciplines. Industry relations policy should address all disciplines and be implemented consistently in order to mitigate conflicts of interest and address such interactions' potential to affect patient care.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Making and selling health care goods (including drugs and devices) and services is big business. To maximize the profits they make for their shareholders, companies involved in health care build relationships with physicians by providing information on new drugs, organizing educational meetings, providing samples of their products, giving gifts, and holding sponsored events. These relationships help to keep physicians informed about new developments in health care but also create the potential for causing harm to patients and health care systems. These relationships may, for example, result in increased prescription rates of new, heavily marketed medications, which are often more expensive than their generic counterparts (similar unbranded drugs) and that are more likely to be recalled for safety reasons than long-established drugs. They may also affect the provision of health care services. Industry is providing an increasingly large proportion of routine health care services in many countries, so relationships built up with physicians have the potential to influence the commissioning of the services that are central to the treatment and well-being of patients.
Why Was This Study Done?
As a result of concerns about the tension between industry's need to make profits and the ethics underlying professional practice, restrictions are increasingly being placed on physician–industry interactions. In the US, for example, the Physician Payments Sunshine Act now requires US manufacturers of drugs, devices, and medical supplies that participate in federal health care programs to disclose all payments and gifts made to physicians and teaching hospitals. However, other health professionals, including those with authority to prescribe drugs such as pharmacists, Physician Assistants, and nurse practitioners are not covered by this legislation or by similar legislation in other settings, even though the restructuring of health care to prioritize primary care and multidisciplinary care models means that “non-physician clinicians” are becoming more numerous and more involved in decision-making and medication management. In this systematic review (a study that uses predefined criteria to identify all the research on a given topic), the researchers examine the nature and implications of the interactions between non-physician clinicians and industry.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 15 published studies that examined interactions between non-physician clinicians (Registered Nurses, nurse prescribers, midwives, pharmacists, Physician Assistants, and dieticians) and industry (corporations that produce health care goods and services). They extracted the data from 16 publications (representing 15 different studies) and synthesized them qualitatively (combined the data and reached word-based, rather than numerical, conclusions) into eight outcome domains, including the nature and frequency of interactions, non-physician clinicians' attitudes toward industry, and the perceived ethical acceptability of interactions. In the research the authors identified, non-physician clinicians reported frequent interactions with the pharmaceutical and infant formula industries. Most non-physician clinicians met industry representatives regularly, received gifts and samples, and attended educational events or received educational materials (some of which they distributed to patients). In these studies, non-physician clinicians generally regarded these interactions positively and felt they were an ethical and appropriate use of industry resources. Only a minority of non-physician clinicians felt that marketing influenced their own practice, although a larger percentage felt that their colleagues would be influenced. A sizeable proportion of non-physician clinicians questioned the reliability of industry information, but most were confident that they could detect biased information and therefore rated this information as reliable, valuable, or useful.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These and other findings suggest that non-physician clinicians generally have positive attitudes toward industry interactions but recognize issues related to bias and conflict of interest. Because these findings are based on a small number of studies, most of which were undertaken in the US, they may not be generalizable to other countries. Moreover, they provide no quantitative assessment of the interaction between non-physician clinicians and industry and no information about whether industry interactions affect patient care outcomes. Nevertheless, these findings suggest that industry interactions are normalized (seen as standard) in clinical practice across non-physician disciplines. This normalization creates the potential for serious risks to patients and health care systems. The researchers suggest that it may be unrealistic to expect that non-physician clinicians can be taught individually how to interact with industry ethically or how to detect and avert bias, particularly given the ubiquitous nature of marketing and promotional materials. Instead, they suggest, the environment in which non-physician clinicians practice should be structured to mitigate the potentially harmful effects of interactions with industry.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at
This study is further discussed in a PLOS Medicine Perspective by James S. Yeh and Aaron S. Kesselheim
The American Medical Association provides guidance for physicians on interactions with pharmaceutical industry representatives, information about the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, and a toolkit for preparing Physician Payments Sunshine Act reports
The International Council of Nurses provides some guidance on industry interactions in its position statement on nurse-industry relations
The UK General Medical Council provides guidance on financial and commercial arrangements and conflicts of interest as part of its good medical practice website, which describes what is required of all registered doctors in the UK
Understanding and Responding to Pharmaceutical Promotion: A Practical Guide is a manual prepared by Health Action International and the World Health Organization that schools of medicine and pharmacy can use to train students how to recognize and respond to pharmaceutical promotion.
The Institute of Medicine's Report on Conflict of Interest in Medical Research, Education, and Practice recommends steps to identify, limit, and manage conflicts of interest
The University of California, San Francisco, Office of Continuing Medical Education offers a course called Marketing of Medicines
PMCID: PMC3841103  PMID: 24302892
12.  A Service Learning Program in Providing Nutrition Education to Children 
Objective. To implement a service learning program in nutrition and assess its impact on pharmacy students' communication skills and professionalism and elementary school children's knowledge of nutrition concepts.
Design. First-year pharmacy students completed 4 nutrition education sessions led by a registered dietitian and then presented the material to pre-selected classes of at-risk elementary school children in kindergarten through third grade.
Assessment. Ninety-six pharmacy students completed the pre- and post-experience survey and more than 90% rated achievement of course objectives as strongly agree or agree. Four hundred sixty-eight elementary students completed a pre- and posttest on nutrition knowledge. Significant improvement was found in all grade levels on the knowledge test.
Conclusion. This service learning experience was beneficial for the elementary school children and pharmacy students, enhancing the knowledge of both groups and establishing a positive relationship between the pharmacy school and the community.
PMCID: PMC3142984  PMID: 21829259
nutrition; service learning; community; pediatric
13.  Integrating Virtual Patients Into a Self-Care Course 
To develop, implement, and evaluate the use of virtual patients as a teaching tool for third-professional year PharmD students within an advanced elective self-care course.
Practicing community pharmacists, faculty members, and pharmacy residents with alias e-mail accounts served as virtual patients and corresponded on a weekly basis via e-mail with pharmacy students regarding an assortment of fictional health concerns. Self-care inquiries were e-mailed to the students who replied and then forwarded their response to the course coordinator for evaluation and class discussion. At the end of the course, students were asked to assess the value of the learning activity.
Students demonstrated significant improvement in knowledge, problem-solving, communication, and professional skills upon course completion. Student's assessments of the virtual patient activity have suggested positive feedback on developing self-care skills, patient interactions, and group dynamics.
This teaching tool was designed to enhance student's knowledge base, assessment, and counseling skills when interacting with patients in various situations. Instructor evaluation of responses, student feedback, and self-evaluation indicated the activity improved overall knowledge and communication skills.
PMCID: PMC1858613  PMID: 17533439
self-care; nonprescription drugs; virtual patients; assessment
14.  Development and Evaluation of an Integrated Asthma Awareness Curriculum for the Elementary School Classroom 
Asthma is one of the most common causes of school absenteeism, and many children are affected by, or encounter, it in the school setting. An integrated curriculum that presents asthma as a real world example can raise all children’s awareness and understanding of asthma, not just those with the condition. A 15-lesson, asthma-based curriculum was developed to integrate with and enhance the core subjects of math, science, and communication arts. A pilot test was performed in fourth- and fifth-grade classes to assess student asthma knowledge gain, teacher acceptance, and grade appropriateness of the curriculum. During the 2006–2007 school year, 15 teachers were recruited from the St. Louis, MO, USA area to assess the curriculum through teaching and administering pre- and post-unit tests and completing a teacher evaluation for each lesson taught. Four additional classrooms served as comparisons. Paired t tests were used for each lesson taught, to evaluate pre-/post-test and classroom differences, and focus groups were used for qualitative evaluation. There was an increase in asthma knowledge between pre- and post-tests in both grades, individually and combined (p < 0.001). Intervention post-test scores were higher than comparison classroom scores (p < 0.001). Teacher feedback indicated that the lessons enhanced previously learned skills and increased students’ overall understanding of asthma. Offering asthma education in the classroom can provide an opportunity for all students to gain asthma knowledge and build health literacy about a leading chronic disease in school-aged children.
PMCID: PMC3042060  PMID: 21337052
Asthma; Integrated curriculum; Elementary school; Interdisciplinary curriculum
15.  Adherence: a review of education, research, practice and policy in Australia 
Pharmacy Practice  2009;7(1):1-10.
Community pharmacists are well placed to deliver adherence support services as well as other pharmaceutical services to patients. They are often the last point of contact with patients collecting medicines in the healthcare chain, and they tend to be visited by patients on a regular basis to collect prescription medicines. They have the opportunity to reinforce information already received from other health practitioners, provide further information and monitor adherence to therapy.
The past decade has seen an increase in focus on the importance of adherence to therapy, not only in the higher education sector, but also in government policy and community pharmacy practice. Adherence monitoring and promotion has not only become the foundation of courses taught in pharmacy schools, but has become an essential component of disease management and pharmaceutical services delivered by community pharmacists.
This article aims to describe the education, research, practice and policy in the area of adherence to therapy in Australia with a focus on community pharmacists.
A search of MEDLINE and International Pharmaceutical Abstracts as well as hand searches of the bibliographies of retrieved articles was conducted for the period 2000-2008. All pharmacy schools in Australia were also contacted to obtain information on the patient adherence to therapy content of their courses.
Ten studies met the inclusion criteria. Only one study had a specific adherence focus, with the remainder including adherence support and monitoring as part of the overall interventions delivered by the community pharmacists. In the majority of cases the interventions resulted in an improvement in patients’ adherence to therapy. The research was supported by government and pharmacy professional organisation initiatives in the area of cognitive pharmaceutical services. All universities which responded delivered specific patient adherence courses.
Australian pharmacy schools are educating cohorts of students who will have the skills to monitor and support patient medication adherence in the context of contemporary pharmacy practice. This is supported by research evidence, government policy and fits well into the move to expand community pharmacy services to include chronic disease state management and primary health care.
PMCID: PMC4139750  PMID: 25147586
Medication Adherence; Pharmacists; Australia
16.  A Guided Abstinence Experience to Illustrate Addiction Recovery Principles 
To develop and implement an elective pharmacy course that included a guided abstinence experience to illustrate addiction recovery principles.
A 1-credit elective course to illustrate addiction recovery principles was developed and implemented. The course required students to give up a habit for 6 weeks that was causing them problems, meet weekly to discuss addiction recovery processes, and relate their experiences in a journal. Course grades were determined by class participation, submitted worksheets, and submission of the journal and a paper concerning their role as a pharmacist in dealing with those with addictions and in recovery. Pre- and posttests consisting of addiction case scenarios were used to assess students' application of course material.
Graded course elements, pretesting and posttesting, and student course evaluations indicated that course objectives were met. Over the past 15 years, student enrollment has grown from approximately 10% of pharmacy classes to approximately 50% (average 31 students).
A guided abstinence experience was an effective tool for teaching pharmacy students the concepts of addiction and recovery.
PMCID: PMC2576417  PMID: 19002278
experiential learning; substance-related disorders; pharmacy education; students; addiction
17.  Medical Students' Exposure to and Attitudes about the Pharmaceutical Industry: A Systematic Review 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(5):e1001037.
A systematic review of published studies reveals that undergraduate medical students may experience substantial exposure to pharmaceutical marketing, and that this contact may be associated with positive attitudes about marketing.
The relationship between health professionals and the pharmaceutical industry has become a source of controversy. Physicians' attitudes towards the industry can form early in their careers, but little is known about this key stage of development.
Methods and Findings
We performed a systematic review reported according to PRISMA guidelines to determine the frequency and nature of medical students' exposure to the drug industry, as well as students' attitudes concerning pharmaceutical policy issues. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, and ERIC from the earliest available dates through May 2010, as well as bibliographies of selected studies. We sought original studies that reported quantitative or qualitative data about medical students' exposure to pharmaceutical marketing, their attitudes about marketing practices, relationships with industry, and related pharmaceutical policy issues. Studies were separated, where possible, into those that addressed preclinical versus clinical training, and were quality rated using a standard methodology. Thirty-two studies met inclusion criteria. We found that 40%–100% of medical students reported interacting with the pharmaceutical industry. A substantial proportion of students (13%–69%) were reported as believing that gifts from industry influence prescribing. Eight studies reported a correlation between frequency of contact and favorable attitudes toward industry interactions. Students were more approving of gifts to physicians or medical students than to government officials. Certain attitudes appeared to change during medical school, though a time trend was not performed; for example, clinical students (53%–71%) were more likely than preclinical students (29%–62%) to report that promotional information helps educate about new drugs.
Undergraduate medical education provides substantial contact with pharmaceutical marketing, and the extent of such contact is associated with positive attitudes about marketing and skepticism about negative implications of these interactions. These results support future research into the association between exposure and attitudes, as well as any modifiable factors that contribute to attitudinal changes during medical education.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
The complex relationship between health professionals and the pharmaceutical industry has long been a subject of discussion among physicians and policymakers. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that physicians' interactions with pharmaceutical sales representatives may influence clinical decision making in a way that is not always in the best interests of individual patients, for example, encouraging the use of expensive treatments that have no therapeutic advantage over less costly alternatives. The pharmaceutical industry often uses physician education as a marketing tool, as in the case of Continuing Medical Education courses that are designed to drive prescribing practices.
One reason that physicians may be particularly susceptible to pharmaceutical industry marketing messages is that doctors' attitudes towards the pharmaceutical industry may form early in their careers. The socialization effect of professional schooling is strong, and plays a lasting role in shaping views and behaviors.
Why Was This Study Done?
Recently, particularly in the US, some medical schools have limited students' and faculties' contact with industry, but some have argued that these restrictions are detrimental to students' education. Given the controversy over the pharmaceutical industry's role in undergraduate medical training, consolidating current knowledge in this area may be useful for setting priorities for changes to educational practices. In this study, the researchers systematically examined studies of pharmaceutical industry interactions with medical students and whether such interactions influenced students' views on related topics.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers did a comprehensive literature search using appropriate search terms for all relevant quantitative and qualitative studies published before June 2010. Using strict inclusion criteria, the researchers then selected 48 articles (from 1,603 abstracts) for full review and identified 32 eligible for analysis—giving a total of approximately 9,850 medical students studying at 76 medical schools or hospitals.
Most students had some form of interaction with the pharmaceutical industry but contact increased in the clinical years, with up to 90% of all clinical students receiving some form of educational material. The highest level of exposure occurred in the US. In most studies, the majority of students in their clinical training years found it ethically permissible for medical students to accept gifts from drug manufacturers, while a smaller percentage of preclinical students reported such attitudes. Students justified their entitlement to gifts by citing financial hardship or by asserting that most other students accepted gifts. In addition, although most students believed that education from industry sources is biased, students variably reported that information obtained from industry sources was useful and a valuable part of their education.
Almost two-thirds of students reported that they were immune to bias induced by promotion, gifts, or interactions with sales representatives but also reported that fellow medical students or doctors are influenced by such encounters. Eight studies reported a relationship between exposure to the pharmaceutical industry and positive attitudes about industry interactions and marketing strategies (although not all included supportive statistical data). Finally, student opinions were split on whether physician–industry interactions should be regulated by medical schools or the government.
What Do These Findings Mean?
This analysis shows that students are frequently exposed to pharmaceutical marketing, even in the preclinical years, and that the extent of students' contact with industry is generally associated with positive attitudes about marketing and skepticism towards any negative implications of interactions with industry. Therefore, strategies to educate students about interactions with the pharmaceutical industry should directly address widely held misconceptions about the effects of marketing and other biases that can emerge from industry interactions. But education alone may be insufficient. Institutional policies, such as rules regulating industry interactions, can play an important role in shaping students' attitudes, and interventions that decrease students' contact with industry and eliminate gifts may have a positive effect on building the skills that evidence-based medical practice requires. These changes can help cultivate strong professional values and instill in students a respect for scientific principles and critical evidence review that will later inform clinical decision-making and prescribing practices.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
Further information about the influence of the pharmaceutical industry on doctors and medical students can be found at the American Medical Students Association PharmFree campaign and PharmFree Scorecard, Medsin-UKs PharmAware campaign, the nonprofit organization Healthy Skepticism, and the Web site of No Free Lunch.
PMCID: PMC3101205  PMID: 21629685
18.  Field Test of an Epidemiology Curriculum for Middle School Students 
The purpose of this study was to test the effectiveness of a middle school epidemiology curriculum called Detectives in the Classroom. The curriculum presents epidemiology as the science of public health, using health-related issues that capture the interest of young students and help prepare them to make evidence-based health-related decisions. The curriculum was field tested among seventh-grade urban students using a quasi-experimental design. Analysis of covariance of pre- and post-test scores examined five outcomes, including students' perceptions of their abilities in science as inquiry, scientific literacy, and knowledge about five enduring epidemiologic understandings; their self reported interest in science, and assessment of students' epidemiological reasoning ability. The 378 experimental students, compared to 620 controls, had generally higher post-test improvements in epidemiology-related outcomes and smaller increases in the other measures. A dose-response was suggested by higher scores among students exposed to more than 10 lessons. Strengths of this evaluation include a large sample and availability of data to account for differences in demographic and school performance variables. Limitations of this evaluation include randomization by school as opposed to student, the relatively short-term and generally self-reported outcomes, and inconsistencies in proportion of the curriculum actually taught. The findings offer encouragement about the potential for Detectives in the Classroom to improve students' perceptions of their science abilities and scientific literacy, their interest in science and their abilities in basic epidemiologic reasoning. Further tests of this and other epidemiology curricula are needed to respond to the growing interest in teaching public health science to younger students. And while it is important to test near-term impacts, an additional challenge from a curriculum evaluation standpoint will be to follow students over several years to examine subsequent choices concerning selected courses, college majors, and career paths.
PMCID: PMC2243259  PMID: 18274623
19.  Impact of a First-Year Student Pharmacist Diabetes Self-Care Education Program 
Objective. To evaluate the effectiveness of a first-year diabetes self-care education program by measuring student pharmacists’ confidence and knowledge retention, and the clinical applicability of the skills learned.
Design. Integrated into a Pharmacy Practice Course, a 9-hour program consisting of lectures, a home glucose monitor assignment, and active-learning workshops was completed by 2 cohorts of first-year student pharmacists. Three survey instruments were developed and administered to the student pharmacists prior to the program, immediately after the program, and 9 months after the program to assess confidence, knowledge retention, and the clinical applicability of the knowledge and skills learned.
Assessment. In cohort 1, 54 student pharmacists (response rate 90%) perceived that their confidence and ability improved significantly (increased by 88% and 110%, respectively, from baseline, p<0.001). Overall knowledge of diabetes increased as well as indicated by a 40% increase in test scores (p<0.001). About two-thirds of student pharmacists used their training to assist patients with diabetes within 9 months of completing the program. Findings in cohort 2 mirrored those observed with cohort 1, indicating good generalizability.
Conclusions. An innovative first-year diabetes self-care education program significantly improved student pharmacists’ knowledge and confidence in providing diabetes self-care education, and the majority immediately used their leaned skills to assist diabetes patients and caregivers. Training first-year student pharmacists in diabetes care so they are prepared to use these skills as early as their first year of pharmacy school may be an effective approach to increasing the number of providers available to counsel and care for this expanding patient population.
PMCID: PMC3872934  PMID: 24371339
diabetes; survey; pharmacy education; knowledge retention; self-care
20.  (S)Partners for Heart Health: a school-based program for enhancing physical activity and nutrition to promote cardiovascular health in 5th grade students 
BMC Public Health  2008;8:420.
The American Heart Association Position Statement on Cardiovascular Health Promotion in Public Schools encourages school-based interventions for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) through risk factor prevention or reduction in children with an emphasis on creating an environment that promotes healthy food choices and physical activity (PA). In an effort to address issues related to CVD risk factors including obesity in Michigan children, a multi-disciplinary team of Michigan State University (MSU) faculty, clinicians, and health profession students was formed to "(S)partner" with elementary school physical education (PE) teachers and MSU Extension staff to develop and implement a cost-effective, sustainable program aimed at CVD risk factor prevention and management for 5th grade students. This (S)partnership is intended to augment and improve the existing 5th grade PE, health and nutrition curriculum by achieving the following aims: 1) improve the students' knowledge, attitudes and confidence about nutrition, PA and heart health; 2) increase the number of students achieving national recommendations for PA and nutrition; and 3) increase the number of students with a desirable CVD risk factor status based on national pediatric guidelines. Secondary aims include promoting school staff and parental support for heart health to help children achieve their goals and to provide experiential learning and service for MSU health profession students for academic credit.
This pilot effectiveness study was approved by the MSU IRB. At the beginning and the end of the school year students undergo a CVD risk factor assessment conducted by MSU medical students and graduate students. Key intervention components include eight lesson plans (conducted bi-monthly) designed to promote heart healthy nutrition and PA behaviors conducted by PE teachers with assistance from MSU undergraduate dietetic and kinesiology students (Spartners). The final 10 minutes of each lesson, MSU Spartners conduct small breakout/discussion groups with the 5th grade students. Additionally, each Spartner case manages/mentors two to three 5th grade students using a web-based goal setting and tracking protocol throughout the school year.
This paper describes the rationale, development, and methods of the Spartners for Heart Health program. This is a multi-level intervention designed to promote heart healthy behaviors and prevent or manage CVD risk factors in children. We believe this will be a viable sustainable intervention that can be disseminated and adopted by other institutions with minimal cost by engaging college students as an integral part of the measurement and intervention teams.
PMCID: PMC2628664  PMID: 19102777
21.  Assessment of professionalism in Iranian pharmacists 
In the recent years, the role of a pharmacist has been significantly changed. Traditionally, in the late 20th century, a pharmacist’s role was considered as merely dispensing medication to patients. This view however, has been significantly altered, and, today, a pharmacist is supposed to provide patients with information regarding the medication they are to take, as well as on different aspects of their disease. Therefore, one can suggest that some other factors have recently come into play in the daily tasks of a pharmacist such as accountability and authority.
The current cross-sectional survey is conducted on a cohort of community pharmacists attending a continuing education program. A questionnaire comprised of 26 Likert-type scale questions was designed to assess pharmacists’ attitude towards professionalism and its subscales which are defined later in detail. A total number of 1000 pharmacists were surveyed and 560 of them filled and returned the questionnaires. On a scale from 1-5 on which 1 was corresponded with strongly agree and 5 with strongly disagree, the total score of pharmacists professionalism was 92.9 ± 10.4 out of 130. As regards the subscales, in the subscale of accountability 46.8% of participants, in the subscale of altruism 90.1% of participants, in the theme of duty 85.7% of participants, and in the subscale of working relationship with physicians 84% of pharmacist achieved more than two third of the total score. Only in term of conflict of interest 67.9% of participants scored less than two third (17–25) of the total score. Women obtained significantly higher scores in altruism (P<0.05). Furthermore, there was a correlation between age and the score of accountability and working relationship with physicians; and, the same was observed in regards with work experience with the score of working relationship with physicians. The employment position affected neither our participants’ response to the whole questionnaire nor any of subscales.
Although the total score for professionalism was not dramatically decreased, the significantly low results are alarming and they should be considered more seriously. In order to enhance the level of pharmacists’ professionalism, especially in some special aspects, it seems necessary to conduct similar surveys on pharmacy students and registered pharmacists with a more comprehensive questionnaire. Overall, it can be concluded that designing a proper teaching course in professionalism for pharmacy students is of paramount importance if we are to promote professionalism in future pharmacists.
PMCID: PMC3713883  PMID: 23908748
Pharmacy professionalism; Altruism; Accountability; Pharmacy ethics
22.  Pharmacogenomics Training Using an Instructional Software System 
To implement an elective course in pharmacogenomics designed to teach pharmacy students about the fundamentals of pharmacogenomics and the anticipated changes it will bring to the profession.
The 8 sessions of the course covered the basics of pharmacogenomics, genomic biotechnology, implementation of pharmacogenetics in pharmacy, information security and privacy, ethical issues related to the use of genomic data, pharmacoepidemiology, and use and promotion of GeneScription, a software program designed to mimic the professional pharmacy environment.
Student grades were based on completion of a patient education pamphlet, a 2-page paper on pharmacogenomics, and precourse and postcourse survey instruments. In the postcourse survey, all students strongly agreed that genomic data could be used to determine the optimal dose of a drug and genomic data for metabolizing enzymes could be stored in a safe place. Students also were more willing to submit deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) data for genetic profiling and better understood how DNA analysis is performed after completing the course.
An elective course in pharmacogenomics equipped pharmacy students with the basic knowledge necessary to make clinical decisions based on pharmacogenomic data and to teach other healthcare professionals and patients about pharmacogenomics. For personalized medicine to become a reality, all pharmacists and pharmacy students must learn this knowledge and these skills.
PMCID: PMC3073107  PMID: 21519421
pharmacogenomics; personalized medicine; drug safety; instructional software
23.  The changing face of pharmacy practice and the need for a new model of pharmacy education 
Pharmacy profession has evolved from its conventional and traditional drug focused basis to an advanced patient focused basis over the years. In the past century the pharmacists were more involved in compounding and manufacturing of medicines, but this role has significantly reduced over time. This advancement in the role of pharmacist calls for them to be the part of the broader health care team working for providing better health care for the patients, thus contributing in achieving the global millennium development goals. To match up, the role of today's pharmacists needs to be expanded to include pharmaceutical care concepts, making the pharmacist a health care professional rather than a drug seller in a commercial enterprise. Therefore, pharmacy schools should prepare a program that has competence with the changing role of the pharmacist. The education should provide ability for critical thinking, improve problem-solving skills and decision making during pharmacotherapy. The student should be trained to create, transmit, and apply new knowledge based on cutting-edge research in the pharmaceutical, social, and clinical sciences; collaborate with other health professionals and learn to enhance the quality of life through improved health for the people of local society and as well as the global community.
PMCID: PMC3758081  PMID: 24023452
Pharmacist; Pharmaceutical care; Rational use of medicine; Pharmacy education; Rational pharmacotherapy
24.  Lessons Learned Coaching Teachers in Behavior Management: The PBISplus Coaching Model 
There is growing interest in coaching as a means of promoting professional development and the use of evidence-based practices in schools. This paper describes the PBISplus coaching model used to provide technical assistance for classroom- and school-wide behavior management to elementary schools over the course of three years. This tier-two coaching model was implemented within the context of school-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and tested in a 42-school randomized controlled trial. We summarize some of the lessons learned by coaches regarding their efforts to gain access to the administrators, teachers, and student support staff in order to effect change and improve student outcomes. We conclude with a discussion of ways to successfully collaborate with teachers to promote effective classroom- and school-wide behavior management.
PMCID: PMC3626168  PMID: 23599661
coaching; classroom management; Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports
25.  Neuroscience in Middle Schools: A Professional Development and Resource Program That Models Inquiry-based Strategies and Engages Teachers in Classroom Implementation 
CBE— Life Sciences Education  2006;5(2):144-157.
The Department of Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota and the Science Museum of Minnesota have developed and implemented a successful program for middle school (grades 5–8) science teachers and their students, called Brain Science on the Move. The overall goals have been to bring neuroscience education to underserved schools, excite students about science, improve their understanding of neuroscience, and foster partnerships between scientists and educators. The program includes BrainU, a teacher professional development institute; Explain Your Brain Assembly and Exhibit Stations, multimedia large-group presentation and hands-on activities designed to stimulate student thinking about the brain; Class Activities, in-depth inquiry-based investigations; and Brain Trunks, materials and resources related to class activities. Formal evaluation of the program indicated that teacher neuroscience knowledge, self-confidence, and use of inquiry-based strategies and neuroscience in their classrooms have increased. Participating teachers increased the time spent teaching neuroscience and devoted more time to “inquiry-based” teaching versus “lecture-based teaching.” Teachers appreciated in-depth discussions of pedagogy and science and opportunities for collegial interactions with world-class researchers. Student interest in the brain and in science increased. Since attending BrainU, participating teachers have reported increased enthusiasm about teaching and have become local neuroscience experts within their school communities.
PMCID: PMC1618517  PMID: 17012205

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