Recommendations for integration of foundational and clinical sciences throughout the pharmacy curriculum
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INTRODUCTION: Pharmacy faculty have the often difficult task of translating and incorporating existing concepts and advances from the foundational sciences into the clinical sciences and practice. This commentary focuses on content integration as a curricular and educational strategy, outcomes data from integration, and recommendations for programs employing or considering curricular integration. COMMENTARY: Integration of foundational and clinical sciences across the curriculum has been emphasized in accreditation standards but met with mixed reactions by faculty across different disciplines in the academy. Many pharmacy programs have already incorporated some level of integration in didactic courses. However, most report coordination of curricular delivery rather than higher levels of integration in which different disciplines work together to design and deliver instructional materials across the entire curriculum. IMPLICATIONS: Curricular integration models should be optimized to minimize or eliminate the risks of marginalization of foundational sciences in pharmacy curricula. A significant problem in implementing curricular integration is determining the appropriate balance between foundational and clinical sciences. Well-designed curricular integration with ongoing reinforcement that builds in complexity over time could enhance knowledge retention, critical thinking abilities, and clinical decision making. Further research is needed into the outcomes achieved from various integrated curricular approaches in pharmacy education.
author list (cited authors)
DiVall, M., Abate, M. A., Blake, E. W., Carter, J., Chadha, G. S., Jackowski, R. M., ... Wagner, J. L.