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American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education 2008; 72 (6) Article 126. INTERNATIONAL PHARMACY EDUCATION SUPPLEMENT Introduction to the International Pharmacy Education Supplement David W. Fielding,a Gayle A. Brazeau,b and Kishor M. Wasana a Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver b School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University at Buffalo As we enter the second decade of the 21st century, demic pharmacists. The other contributors to this theme pharmacy educators worldwide continue to face a number issue expressed similar concerns. of pressing issues that threaten the quality of pharmacy Differences in how pharmacy students are educated education at a time when there are limited resources to were identified. Sosabowski and colleagues4 note that in address these challenges. While pharmacists have unprec- order to practice pharmacy in the United Kingdom, a 4- edented opportunities to expand their roles and responsi- year master’s degree in pharmacy (MPharm) program, bilities, this unfortunately is a time when there is a global followed by a 1-year pre-registration placement must be shortage of qualified pharmacist to provide patient care. completed. The authors’ explain that under the Bologna This theme issue on international pharmacy educa- agreement for educational equivalence across Europe, the tion was developed to provide greater insight into the MPharm degree is classiﬁed as an ‘‘undergraduate mas- issues, concerns, and challenges facing the world phar- ter’s program’’ requiring lower qualiﬁcations than the macy education and practice community and how coun- traditional master of science (MSc) degree. Recent devel- tries are addressing them. Representatives from the opments in the United Kingdom have led to a shift to an International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) Phar- integrated 5-year MPharm program. As well, Kheir et al7 macy Education Taskforce (Anderson et al1), Canada note that although the curricula of the 5-year baccalaure- (Austin and Ensom2), China (Yang et al3), Great Britain ate degree programs generally resemble most western (Sosabowski et al4), Australia (Marriott et al5), France accredited programs, the clinical training experiences re- (Bourdon and Brion6), and the Middle East (Kheir quired for graduation among the 13 Middle Eastern et al7) were asked to comment on aspects of their phar- schools reviewed was quite variable. Some programs macy educational system and practice (Table 1). To our did not have a structured practical experience as a require- surprise, similar concerns and challenges were expressed ment for graduation, while others had experiential train- by all of the authors who were involved in pharmacy ing requirements that ranged from 10 to 36 weeks. In education and practice. Perhaps of greatest concern was China, Ryan and colleagues note that, presently, the em- the reoccurring theme of too few pharmacists and inade- phasis in practice is beginning to shift to clinical phar- quate means to train greater numbers (Anderson et al). macy. With this change, additional degree offerings are With the new demands on pharmacists, educators are being developed to meet the growing demand for clinica
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