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Pharmacy 2013, 1(1), 16-33; doi:10.3390/pharmacy1010016
Article

Addressing Cultural Competency in Pharmacy Education through International Service Learning and Community Engagement

1,* , 2
,
2
,
2
 and
3
1 Faculty of Medicine, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, 2206 East Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3, Canada 2 Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of British Columbia, 2405 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3, Canada 3 Department of Educational Studies, University of British Columbia, 2125 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 May 2013 / Revised: 23 July 2013 / Accepted: 1 August 2013 / Published: 9 August 2013
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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 cultural competence; international service learning; undergraduate pharmacy education
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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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.

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