Staff and Student Perceptions of Teaching the History of Pharmacy


  • Stuart Anderson London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London
  • Briony Hudson Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London


Curriculum, perceptions, pharmacy history, staff, students


Background; Previous surveys have assessed the extent of history of pharmacy taught in Schools of Pharmacy. None have so far explored the views of pharmacy staff and students.
Aims; To assess the views of staff and students regarding teaching history of pharmacy in Schools of Pharmacy.
Method; Questionnaire sent to all Schools of Pharmacy in UK to survey staff views. Questionnaire administered to all first year
students from two Schools of Pharmacy.
Results; Staff attach greater importance to historical development of the pharmacy profession, whilst students are more interested in history of medicines discovery. Nearly 60% of students would like a separate history of pharmacy module, with 10% wishing to work on a project.
Conclusion; There is substantial support for teaching pharmacy history amongst staff and students at Schools of Pharmacy. Data obtained dispel the myth that students are not interested in history of pharmacy unless the subject is examinable.


Anderson S (2008) „Teaching the History of Pharmacy to Pharmacy Undergraduates‟, Briefing Paper submitted to the Education Committee of the Council of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.

Anderson S and Berridge V (1996) „Teaching Pharmacy‟s History‟, The Pharmaceutical Journal, 257, 916.

Anderson S and Homan P (2004) „Teaching Pharmacy‟s History: The 2003 Survey of UK Schools of Pharmacy‟, Pharmaceutical Historian, 34, 2, 24-26.

Barner JC (2000) „First-Year Pharmacy Students‟ Perceptions of Their Service-Learning Experience‟, American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 64, 266- 271.

Duffin J (1995) „Infiltrating the curriculum: A integrative approach to history for medical students‟, Journal of Medical Humanities, 16, 155-74.

Hind M, Norman I, Cooper S, Gill E, Hilton R, Judd P and Jones S (2003) „Interprofessional perceptions of health care students‟, Journal of Interprofessional Care, 17, 1, 21 -34.

Horsburgh M, Lamdin R and Williamson E (2001) „Multiprofessional learning: the attitudes of medical, nursing and pharmacy students to shared learning‟, Medical Education, 35, 876-883.

Jackson M (1996) „Medical history for medical students: Report from a Workshop‟, Manchester: Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, University of Manchester.

Kairuz T, Case S and Shaw J (2007) „Perceptions of Graduates and Preceptors Regarding a New Pharmacy Programme‟, Pharmacy Education, 7, 2, 151-157.

Kassam R (2006) „Students‟ and Preceptors‟ Experiences and Perceptions of a Newly Developed Community Pharmacy Pharmaceutical Care Clerkship‟, Pharmacy Education, 6, 3, 179-188.

Lafont O (2004) „Inquiry on the State of University Education in History of Pharmacy,‟ Newsletter of the International Society for the History of Pharmacy, 5, 8-9.

The Apothecaries Lecturers in the history of medicine (2006) London: Worshipful Society of Apothecaries.

The Evolution of Pharmacy. Online resource available through the website of the Museum of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain at informationresources/museum/resources/evolution.html.

Tomorrow‟s Doctors: Recommendations on Undergraduate Medical Education (1993) London: General Medical Council.



Research Article