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Hidden Curriculum in the Pharmacy Education: A Comparison of the Six-Year Curriculum With the Former Four-Year Curriculum

KOBAYASHI, Aya; KOBAYASHI, Yasuna Hidden Curriculum in the Pharmacy Education: A Comparison of the Six-Year Curriculum With the Former Four-Year Curriculum JAS4QoL 2023, 9(1) 1 online at: https://as4qol.org/Pprb9

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Department of Pharmacy Education, Showa University School of Pharmacy, 1-5-8 Hatanodai, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 142-8555, Japan (ayakoba408@pharm.showa-u.ac.jp)

This study investigated the “hidden curriculum” that exists side-by-side with the formal pharmacy education in the daily life of pharmacy students. Specifically, it focuses on whether pharmacy students acquire through extracurricular activities and during daily school life while attending the pharmacy schools constitute helpful learning that assists them in becoming pharmacists who make positive contributions to society and healthcare. We have also sought to determine which specific extracurricular activities and habits, etc., served to bolster their self-awareness as pharmacists. We conducted questionnaires and interviews and investigated the characteristic “hidden curriculum” these individuals experienced as students at pharmacy schools. Information gathered from a questionnaire revealed that the number of positive responses to the question: “In regard to extracurricular activities experienced in the time you were at a pharmacy school, did what you had learned help you as a pharmacist?” was 63.3% in the former four-year (4Yr) and 71.3% in the six-year (6Yr) cohorts. Based on information compiled from individual interviews, reasons why “extracurricular activities” were helpful as pharmacists were assigned to the categories of “identity,” “professionalism,” “peer effects,” “recognition of others.” It became clear that their extracurricular activities were of great importance to their work and attitudes as pharmacists, as they grew in self-responsibility and self-awareness as pharmacy professionals. The reason for this outcome is that the daily exposure to those experiences while in pharmacy school molded them into pharmacists without them being consciously aware of it. The study results make clear that extracurricular activities during student life were helpful as pharmacists. We conclude that the “hidden curriculum” played key role in the process of building self-awareness and a sense of responsibility required for pharmacists.

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