Abstract: This paper describes the design, implementation and evaluation of a course in international service learning and community engagement for pharmacy undergraduate students. The course offered students opportunities to cultivate cultural competency in an international setting foreign to their own—Sub-Saharan Africa. The experience consisted of pre-departure preparation seminars followed by subsequent community immersion to experience, explore and confront personal attitudes and perceptions. A key feature of this course was its emphasis on a continuing cycle of learning, community engagement and reflection. Three students participated, a near-maximum cohort. Their daily self-reflections were qualitatively analyzed to document the impact of their cultural learning and experiences and revealed meaningful learning in the domains of self-assessment and awareness of their personal and professional culture, exposure to a participatory health delivery model involving the patient, the community and a multidisciplinary team and opportunities to engage in patient care in a different cultural setting. This proof-of-concept course provided students with experiences that were life-changing on both personal and professional levels and confirmed the viability and relevance of international service learning for the pharmacy field within its university-wide mandate.
Keywords: cultural competence; international service learning; undergraduate pharmacy education
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Kassam, R.; Estrada, A.; Huang, Y.; Bhander, B.; Collins, J.B. Addressing Cultural Competency in Pharmacy Education through International Service Learning and Community Engagement. Pharmacy 2013, 1, 16-33.
Kassam R, Estrada A, Huang Y, Bhander B, Collins JB. Addressing Cultural Competency in Pharmacy Education through International Service Learning and Community Engagement. Pharmacy. 2013; 1(1):16-33.
Kassam, Rosemin; Estrada, Augusto; Huang, Yvonne; Bhander, Birpaul; Collins, John B. 2013. "Addressing Cultural Competency in Pharmacy Education through International Service Learning and Community Engagement." Pharmacy 1, no. 1: 16-33.