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 The rapid progress in medical technology and development of new pharmaceuticals call for renovation of the education and training of pharmacists and pharmaceutical researchers. They are required not only to develop advanced expertise but also to cope with rapidly expanding information and internationalization. In response to such pressing needs, pharmaceutical schools are continuously upgrading the quality of pharmacopedics. Now the knowledge-heavy curriculum of the past is changing to a more "integrated" curriculum incorporating the "skill and attitude" elements into knowledge education.

 The "Conference for Studying Pharmacopedical Curriculum" was inaugurated in 2001 sponsored by the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan. In April 2002, the draft of a new model curriculum was presented to all pharmaceutical schools and key organizations to seek candid opinions. Finally, the conference has drafted the "Model Core Curriculum for Pharmaceutical Education" and the "Practical On-site Training and Graduation Training Curriculum."

 The basic ideas are (1) to educate students to become pharmacists and pharmaceutical researchers who meet the needs of society, (2) to let students specify their targets by themselves, (3) to evaluate the level of students objectively, (4) to weigh both the basic and clinical pharmacopedical subjects, and (5) to provide more practical courses in both on-site and final trainings. The curriculum has (1) adopted plain language to make it more readily understandable, (2) integrated the interrelated areas into easy-to-follow courses and (3) achieved a balance between knowledge versus skill and attitude education.

Job Accession of Pharmaceutical Graduates of 2004  

 Education at pharmaceutical schools consists of liberal arts, basic and advanced pharmacopedics. The model core curriculum should serve as a guideline on the technically defined studies. Each school should prepare a unique and effective curriculum by adapting them flexibly with their original curriculums to match their individual needs.

 Model Core Curriculum for Pharmaceutical Education (67 units) consists of (A) humanism, (B) introduction to pharmacopedics, and (C) specialized pharmacopedics, whereas Practical On-site Training and Graduation Training Curriculum (14 units) include (D) practical on-site training and (E) final training before graduation. Specialized pharmacopedics is divided into seven areas: "physics-oriented pharmaceutical science," "chemistry-oriented pharmaceutical science," "biology-oriented pharmaceutical science," "health and environment," "drug and disease," "pharmaceutical manufacturing" and "pharmaceutical science and society." Several interrelated units comprise a well-coordinated course and each course lists up "general instructional objective" to be achieved by student. "Specific behavioral objectives" listed for each unit are grouped into three areas: knowledge, skill and attitude. Each school devises teaching methods for those educational goals and assessing achievement levels.

 

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