Promotion and enhancement of communication and discussion skills through clinical pharmacy courses taught in English at a Japanese School of PharmacyWritten by: Eiichi Akaho, Sari Nakagawa, Michael Katz • December 2 2010• Volume 10 - Issue 2•
In 2006, the Japanese pharmacy education system shifted from a 4-year to a 6-year curriculum One of the major emphases of the new 6-year pharmacy curriculum is patient-centered clinical pharmacy, and it is expected that the students will leave the program with good communication skills not only with other health professionals but also with patients. Teaching pharmacy students to become excellent communicators is no easy task, and in the previous 4-year Japanese pharmacy curriculum, pharmacy practice and communication skills were de-emphasized in favor of basic science, laboratory practice and research skills. One strategy to enhance students’ communication and critical thinking skills is the use of small group discussions and case-based learning. We evaluated the impact of a small group case-based discussion in a group of pharmacy students in Japan. Students’ motivation to learn clinical pharmacy and their perceptions of the importance of learning communication skills were evaluated. After the session, most students felt that they should receive more training in clinical pharmacy and communication.