Incorporating ethics content throughout an integrated pharmacy curriculum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective. To incorporate ethics content into nine courses across three years of the didactic pharmacy curriculum and in introductory and advanced pharmacy practice experiences to ensure Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) students are prepared to address ethical issues. Methods. A free-standing, one-credit ethics course from the existing curriculum was eliminated. Partnering with course directors from nine required PharmD courses across all three years of the didactic curriculum and with the Office of Experiential Education, an Integrated Ethics syllabus was created that provided each class of approximately 170 students with at least one credit of didactic ethics instruction and added ethics activities to the experiential curriculum. Learning approaches included lecture, case analysis, and discussion with preceptors. Assessment approaches included written case analyses, tests with multiple-choice and true/false questions, case vignette-based short-answer essay questions, and student discussions with preceptors. Results. The newly integrated curriculum provided students with opportunities to discuss and apply ethics concepts several times throughout their coursework. The integration also ensured that ethics topics were relevant to the material students were learning in the host course at the time. The majority of students consistently rated the ethics sessions as useful, but some found the repeated application of the ethics problem-solving framework to be tedious and duplicative. Conclusion. It is possible to embed ethics topics within different courses in the PharmD curriculum rather than offering a stand-alone ethics course at a single point in the curriculum. Challenges remain to assessing students’ ability to apply ethics principles once they are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7865
Pages (from-to)1459-1466
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of pharmaceutical education
Volume84
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Curriculum
  • Education
  • Ethics

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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