Qatar updates pharmacy education as role of pharmacists changes
The education and practice of pharmacy is undergoing changes worldwide, with an increased emphasis on clinical and patient-centered outcomes.
In Qatar, the only pharmacy university in the country is responding to these changes with integrated learning and a new curriculum.
“Previously, pharmaceutical education focused on the drug itself and its chemical specifications. Now the focus is more on patient care,” said Feras Alali, Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy at Qatar University. “This has brought about a fundamental change in pharmaceutical education.”
In 2017, the college began a comprehensive review of its curriculum. The process resulted in the restructuring of the bachelor’s program into a series of integrated modules that cut across traditional subjects. Each module revolves around a certain body system, rather than a specific discipline.
The changes, which take effect this academic year, aim to reduce duplication in teaching and make educational experiences consistent, relevant and more patient-centered.
“A teacher no longer teaches a subject alone. Instead, everyone involved in the integrated unit of the program works together and plans how to teach holistically,” Alali said.
The change has not been easy for teachers. This “requires a lot of hard work, cooperation and openness among faculty members on teaching content and assessment methods,” according to Alali.