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Developing an international concept-based curriculum for pharmacology education: core concepts and concept inventories
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  • Clare Guilding,
  • Roisin Kelly,
  • Adeladlew Netere,
  • Anna Marie Babey,
  • Carolina Restini,
  • Margaret Cunningham,
  • John Kelly,
  • Jennifer Koenig,
  • Kelly Karpa,
  • Martin Hawes,
  • Steven Tucker,
  • Thomas Angelo,
  • Paul White
Clare Guilding
Newcastle University Faculty of Medical Sciences
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Roisin Kelly
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Adeladlew Netere
Monash University
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Anna Marie Babey
University of New England
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Carolina Restini
Michigan State University
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Margaret Cunningham
University of Strathclyde
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John Kelly
University of Galway
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Jennifer Koenig
University of Nottingham Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
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Kelly Karpa
East Tennessee State University
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Martin Hawes
University of Surrey
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Steven Tucker
University of Aberdeen
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Thomas Angelo
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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Paul White
Monash University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Many science and health profession graduates lack fundamental pharmacology knowledge and the ability to apply pharmacology concepts in practice. This article reviews the current challenges faced by pharmacology educators, including the exponential growth in discipline knowledge and competition for curricular time. We then argue that pharmacology education should focus on essential concepts that enable students to develop beyond ‘know’ towards ‘know how to’. A concept-based approach will help educators prioritise and benchmark their pharmacology curriculum, facilitate integration of pharmacology with other disciplines in the curriculum, create alignment between universities, and improve the application of pharmacology knowledge to professional contexts such as safe prescribing practices. To achieve this, core concepts first need to be identified, unpacked, and methods for teaching and assessment using concept inventories developed. The International Society for Basic and Clinical Pharmacology Education Section (IUPHAR-Ed) Core Concepts in Pharmacology (CCP) initiative involves over 300 educators from the global pharmacology community. CCP has identified and defined the core concepts of pharmacology, together with key underpinning sub-concepts. To realise these benefits, pharmacology educators must identify, unpack, and develop methods to teach and assess core concepts. Work to develop a concept inventories is ongoing, including the identification of student misconceptions of the core concepts and the creation of a bank of multiple-choice questions to assess student understanding. Future work aims to develop and validate materials and methods to help educators embed core concepts within curricula. Potential strategies that educators can use to overcome factors that inhibit adoption of core concepts are presented.
16 Oct 2023Submitted to British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
17 Oct 2023Assigned to Editor
17 Oct 2023Submission Checks Completed
17 Oct 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
25 Oct 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
22 Nov 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Minor