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Recognising and redressing inequity and bias through pharmacology education: a modern, practical and inclusive curriculum

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Clare GuildingORCiD


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The British Pharmacological Society (BPS) launched its Core Curriculum for Undergraduate Pharmacology in 2016 as a series of high-level statements outlining the knowledge, skills and attitudes expected from a recently graduated pharmacology undergraduate. The curriculum was developed using a modification of the Delphi method, and involved a group of experts reaching consensus on key attributes over three rounds of anonymised voting. The emerging statements were refined to a final list of 71 and divided into knowledge (32), skill (21) and attitude (18) statements in face-to-face workshops (Wallace et al, 2021). Since its launch, the curriculum has been used across the UK and beyond as a framework for developing new pharmacology programmes, to develop existing programmes and as a tool for quality assurance (Figure 1). Feedback from the pharmacology education community suggests that while the curriculum remains relevant and valuable, educators want more granularity for each of the high-level statements to facilitate delivery. In addition, educators want guidance on how to make pharmacology teaching and learning inclusive and accessible, which strongly aligns with the BPS Vision for Inclusive Pharmacology.In response, the Education and Training Committee at the Society established the Educators Networking Series, a series of monthly webinars partly dedicated to reviewing the curriculum. These free-to-attend online sessions were open to all and structured to include a relevant speaker with a question-and-answer session for the first 30 minutes, before breaking out into small group discussions for the second 30 minutes. The latter reviewed each of the statements of the curriculum and developed additional content and resources to support educators in delivering the curriculum. Central to such discussions was the consideration of inclusive delivery, ensuring that suggested resources were accessible and representative of the diverse contributions made to pharmacological discoveries and practice. By incorporating these essential discussions, the curriculum was reviewed through an inclusive lens, aiming to avoid any bias or assumptions in its delivery.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Tucker SJ, Zecharia A, Guilding C, Page L, Engel K

Publication type: Online Publication

Publication status: Published

Series Title: Pharmacology Matters

Year: 2022

Access Year: August 2022

Online publication date: 25/08/2022

Acceptance date: 25/08/2022

Publisher: British Pharmacological Society