Pharmacology Education at Ahmadu Bello University Zaria Nigeria: 1-Perceptions Relative to Other Subjects Among Pharmacy and Medical Students

[Speaker] Helen O. Kwanashie:1
[Co-author] Ahmad S. Jumare:1
1:Dept. of Pharmacology & Therapeutics, Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria

Background: As a subject which deals with properties of chemicals, including medicines, and all aspects of their interactions with man and other living organisms, pharmacology is a core subject for pharmacy and medical students. Against a background of limited information regarding how pharmacology is viewed by students in this setting, their perceptions of pharmacology vis-a-vis other subjects in their curricula at Ahmadu Bello University Zaria Nigeria, were investigated.
Methods: A web link to a 10-item questionnaire was emailed to male and female 500 level pharmacy and 400 level medical students (n=153 and 99 respectively), who were in the final semester of their pharmacology curricula, using the SurveyMonkey(R) platform. The survey was completed over two weeks by 99 respondents aged 18-31 years, of which 61.22% were male, and 31.31% pharmacy students. Data analyses was mostly on the platform but string input to 2 open-ended questions requesting two likes and dislikes each, of pharmacology, were reviewed manually.
Results: For pharmacy students, pharmacology ranked as the best subject (with an aggregate score of 3.78) over pharmaceutical chemistry (3.27), clinical pharmacy (3.23), pharmaceutics (2.60) and pharmacognosy (2.46). For medical students, pharmacology ranked much higher than community medicine (taken every year of the programme); and midway among their other subjects from basic to clinical (others being), as follows: 3rd among four preclinical subjects (physiology, anatomy and biochemistry); 2nd among three laboratory medicine subjects (pathology and microbiology) and 3rd among five clinical subjects (medicine, surgery, paediatrics and obstetrics&gynaecology). Top likes of the subject by both pharmacy and medical students were: ease of comprehension, enhancement of application, relevant practical classes and pharmacology being logical-especially regarding mechanisms of drug action; while top dislikes were poor-cum-bulky curricula, difficult terminologies, numerous drugs to learn about, teaching methods and manner of setting questions. The research output has been communicated to the students' lecturers. A 5-minutes video clip suitable for distribution via diverse media, to secondary school and undergraduate students for purposes of enhanced perception and pro-pharmacology advocacy was created.
Conclusions: Pharmacology was a highly rated subject among pharmacy and medical students when compared to other subjects taken by the students.
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