Innovations by the Faculty in teaching and learning:
Academic activities via Online Mode
Various academic activities such as classes, instructions for the lab components, assignments, periodic tests, etc are being successfully conducted via online mode using Microsoft Teams (MS Teams) platform. Hybrid mode (online as well as onsite) classes are conducted using MS Teams platform as we cannot accommodate more than 15-20 students in the classroom to meet physical distancing guidelines on account of covid pandemic.
Case Based Learning
The students are undergoing these aspects of learning process where a case will be discussed in a Tutorial/ Practical class.
Self- Directed Learning (SDL)
The vision of MCOPS is “Marching with the Times”. To achieve this the students of MCOPS need to constantly upgrade their knowledge and modern tools used in the profession. Hence it is important for our team to inculcate self-learning to our students to achieve lifelong learning and to tune with times. The University promotes this learning activity through curricular and extra-curricular activities. MAHE has subscribed Coursera courses for self-directed learning (SDL). From the academic year 2021, as advised by the BoS, student directed learning is effectively implemented at MCOPS for all the Programs. About 10% of the course content is identified by the course coordinator that needs to be learnt through self-directed learning. Course coordinator identifies the platforms and modules for SDL (online platforms like SWAYAM, MOOCS, Coursera etc.) and inform the students about this before the First Sessional Exam. A flip class will be conducted just before the second sessional exam and assessment will be done for this course.
Computer Assisted Learning for understanding drug biological response
Department of Pharmacology, MCOPS, Manipal is dedicated to imparting hands-on experience to its students for various experimental skills. Demonstration of drug effects on tissues or whole animal is an integral and essential part of practical pharmacology teaching for undergraduate students. Though such demonstrations are time-honored and effective, certain limitations exist. Further, strict regulations are being followed to restrict the usage of animals for teaching/training students. Therefore, to facilitate the learning of experimental concepts, software programs for Computer Assisted Learning (CAL) are in place to overcome these limitations. These programs mimic the actual experimental setup in the laboratory.
CAL package contains a few programs that simulate animal experiments in Pharmacology. These programs are used to demonstrate drug actions on different animal systems such as the heart, eye, esophagus, ileum, blood pressure experiments etc. The package is user friendly, highly interactive, and full of animated sequences, which make simulation appear realistic. Simulated experiments aim to help students to analyze, understand, remember and recall drug actions. Thus, the usage of animals is avoided, but still students visualize drug effects clearly, and could exercise experiments that are difficult to conduct in the laboratory are demonstrated using CAL.
Alternative Animal Experimentation
Isolated frog heart or isolated guinea pig ileum preparation were the gold standard experiments used in pharmacology to demonstrate various experiments like
1. Dose response curve of an agonist [Key concepts like efficacy and potency of the drugs are demonstrated in these experiments]
2. Influence of one drug on another drug was demonstrated using isolated frog heart [Key concepts like potentiation and antagonism of drugs were demonstrated]
3. Bioassay of a drug using a tissue preparation [Learning objective: Estimate the concentration of a unknown drug using a suitable bioassay technique]
Various regulatory bodies have imposed strict regulation on usage of animal for teaching and training purpose to demonstrate drug actions. In order to comply with regulatory requirement and meet the learning objectives from the academic year 2010-11 onwards we started to use isolated broiler chicken ileum preparation to demonstrate all the above-mentioned key learning objectives. The ileum of the chicken is brought from farmhouse, and it is utilized to demonstrate these key learning objectives. Apart from this one more key learning objective of determining potency of antagonist is also demonstrated with this preparation for the post-graduate students.
Case Based Revision
All the faculty are trained to conduct this module and a special guest lecture arranged by Department of Pharmacology to train the faculty members. Now the faculties are implementing these modules of teaching in their practical classes for the academic year 2021-22. Key learning objectives are revised in the form of cases during tutorials or in the practical classes. Apart from re-enforcing the key learning objectives it enables the students to develop higher order thinking skills. From academic year 2022-23, more revision classes (tutorial hours) will be conducted using these tools.
Visit to Animal House
Animal experiments are required to understand the drug action and to explore the efficacy and safety testing of new drugs. In this regard regulatory norms related to breeding and maintenance of small animals is explained to the students in the practical hours. To give more insight how an animal house looks and functions, the department of Pharmacology organizes a field visit for students to Central Animal House facility of MAHE. Here the students are narrated with the maintenance of animals including the two corridor system, animal husbandry conditions, cleansing and disposal process.
Visit to Manipal Museum of Anatomy and Pathology (MAP)
This museum has more than 3000 anatomical specimens. First year students of PharmD, BPharm & DPharm have a course on Human Anatomy and Physiology. The syllabus for students of pharmacy is focused more on understanding how drugs or medicines act on the body than the detailed anatomical aspects. To enhance their ability to understand the subject and to encourage innovative thinking, a tour to MAP is organized.
The first part of MAP is on comparative biology, wherein the bodies of different animals are compared. The examples are comparing heart and lungs in different animals, reproductive system in different organism. Students understand how the human and animal body can be preserved. The process of embalming the body after death is explained. Students observe how human body can be preserved and understand the importance of body and organ donation after death.
Pharmacology is fun via medicine carton box
Empty medicine packaging boxes are collected and kept in the Department of Pharmacology. During the Internal Viva-voce the students are shown these boxes and are asked to identify the drug, category it belongs to, therapeutic use, mechanism of action, adverse drug reaction etc. This task enables them to apply their knowledge that has been imparted in the theory classes.
Through concept maps, a student’s learning becomes an enriching experience. These are visual models of information. Learning can be fun when students exhibit their ideas via tables, flowcharts, etc. It is a powerful tool which helps students to correlate between concepts and ideas. In the beginning, students would foresee a big picture or an idea/ concept and eventually break it into smaller concepts to link it to the main concept. By this way students are groomed to convey their ideas.
SOAP analysis is included to develop the skills necessary for the practice of clinical pharmacy. This involves team and problem-based learning of therapeutic cases with presentations and discussion, which enable the candidate to develop self-learning and independent decision-making abilities SOAP format is the method used to document the management of the problem or disease. It helps the students to critically analyze the case and determine the health status (health problem) of the patient, as well as any drug related problems. When multiple problems exist, prioritize these problems, which require immediate attention. As a part of the pharmacotherapeutic lab, each student, or a group students (2 to 3) will be allotted a specific case (Eg. Diabetes, Hypertension, Asthma, etc.). First step of the process is the students will review the patient’s case record, and the important data will be noted in an organized document called patient profile form (PPF). It includes, chief complaints, history of present illness, social history, past medical history, and medication history including compliance and allergies, review of various systems, physical examinations, lab tests, radiographs and scan-results, diagnosis based on above data, the treatment plan and progress report. The second- step is the organization of the data in the SOAP (Subjective, objective, assessment, and planning) note. The patient’s each problem will be listed, and the SOAP note is written for each problem or closely related group of problems. The prepared PPF and SOAP will be presented by each group using LCD in the practical class and followed by discussion on the case. Finally, the SOAP format should be written in the practical assessment record. SOAP preparation is considered as major experiment for student’s practical skill assessment for therapeutic lab. SOAP formats provide the students a platform for independent learning as well as group learning skills. It promotes students critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
This service is intended to provide advice for health care providers regarding the various aspects of drug therapy and its management. This provides an evidence-based information from literature search. Drug related queries from physician during ward rounds or telephonic calls will be addressed by the students by using Micromedex or literature search. Information gathered will be synthesized and conveyed based on the priority.
With this service students will be able to
- Understand how to retrieve and interpret drug and biomedical literature.
- Provide systematic approach to address the query
- Develop communication skills
- Understand the disease and therapeutic information
- Develop teamwork
- Develop Analytical Skills
The steps in patient counseling will vary according to the environment and practice conditions. The following steps are appropriate for patients receiving new medications or returning for refills
- The pharmacist introduces oneself to the patient and explains the purpose and duration of the counseling session. The patient’s major spoken language is determined after the pharmacist obtains the patients consent to participate.
- The pharmacist then uses open-ended questions to assess the patients understanding of his or her health problems and medications, physical and mental capability to use the medications appropriately, and attitude toward the health problems and medications.
- Provide information orally and may employ visual aids or demonstrations to fill patients’ gaps in knowledge and understanding. As a supplement to face-to-face oral communication, provide written handouts to help the patient recall the information. If a patient is experiencing problems with his or her medications, gather appropriate data and assess the problems and notify the prescriber. Patients returning for refill medications should be asked to describe or show how they have been using their medications. They should also be asked to describe any problems, concerns, or uncertainties they are experiencing with their medications
- Verify patients’ knowledge and understanding of medication use by asking them to describe or show how they will use their medications and identify their effects.
Counseling is beneficial to students since it is a learning experience. Students will be able to listen and learn about the patients concerns, questions, and needs; helps student to ask questions, show empathy and encouragement, tailor counselling to meet the patients’ needs, and motivate patients. They will also learn to effectively communicate in simple language and tailor the necessary information according to the patients understanding.
STRUCTURED MEDICATION REVIEW MODULE:
Medicine Use Review (MUR) is defined by the World Health Organization as a "structured examination of a patients medicines with the goal of optimizing medicines use and improving health outcomes." This comprises diagnosing drug-related issues and making recommendations for treatment. MUR allows the healthcare team to evaluate a patient’s current medications considering a variety of clinical factors, including the patient’s current health condition, past medical and surgical history, and current treatment plan, while also considering the patients preferences and concerns. MUR should also consider the use of over-the-counter drugs and natural health items, all in the context of the patients’ lifestyle and nutritional habits. As pharmacist must play a more clinical, patient centered role, the MUR has become a major activity in both hospital and community settings, and it will ensure the critical role of pharmacist in patient care. The main goal of MUR is to identify, resolve and prevent drug-related issues, reduce adverse drug events and to optimize medication therapy and improve clinical outcomes and quality of life. Pharmacists can prevent medication errors by identifying patients who are on polypharmacy or on high-risk medications through medication history interview. They can develop and propose strategies to improve patients’ use and understanding of their medicines, and their adherence to treatments. They can also develop stewardship programs, such as antimicrobial, analgesic, and anti-coagulant stewardship, are examples. Formal MUR programs have been implemented in different countries and territories worldwide, showcasing the opportunity for pharmacists to contribute to improve patient safety and directly take on the fight against medication errors. The students will conduct the structured medication review by regular follow-up of the patient during the hospital stay and documented as their clinical activity. They will present the case in their academic meeting and all the other students will get to learn from the presentation on all issues relevant to that case.