Clinical Microbiology in Pharmacy Education: A Practice-based Approach
The increasing incidence of multi-drug resistant pathogenic bacteria, alongside viral and fungal human pathogens, supports the argument that skills in microbiology and infectious disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention are of growing global importance to be held among primary care clinicians.
In Canada, inevitable future astronomical health care costs largely due to an aging population, have forced eyes upon pharmacists as one of (if not) the primary clinical professions to accommodate the growing need to accommodate patient access to health care while maintaining lower health care costs. As such, the role of pharmacists in health care is expanding, punctuating the need to enhance and improve Pharmacy education. Accurate assessment of the current gaps in Pharmacy education in Canada provides a unique opportunity for a new Pharmacy School at the University of Waterloo to establish a non-traditional, outcomes-based model to curricular design. We are applying this iterative curriculum assessment and design process to the establishment of a Medical Microbiology program, deemed as a prominent gap in former Pharmacy educational training programs.
A pilot study was carried out distributing a comprehensive survey to a local group of pharmacists practicing in a variety of settings including: hospital, clinic, community, independent, industry and government, to assess perceived gaps in Pharmacy microbiology and infectious disease education. Preliminary findings of the surveys indicate that practitioners feel under-qualified in some areas of microbiology. The results are discussed with respect to a curricular redesign model and next steps in the process of curricular design are proposed.
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