Journal Title:  Journal of Pharmacy Teaching | Vol:  13 | Issue:  2 | Year:  2006   
Print ISSN:  1044-0054 | Online ISSN:     

Problem-Based Learning in Pharmacy Management

Mei-Jen Ho Pharm.D. and MSPH
Carmen Kirkness M.Sc. and P.T.
Associate Professor and Chair Diana Brixner Ph.D. and R.Ph.

pages: 39 - 56


The development and implementation of a modified problem-based learning (PBL) exercise in a pharmacy management course for Doctor of Pharmacy candidates at the University of Utah is described in this article. This course used a combination of didactic lectures, group projects, and individual reports to aid students in developing essential management skills. Teams comprising 5 to 6 students were given four real-life scenarios to develop a plan for managing a hypothetical managed care organization (MCO). Students also prepared reports describing their position and contributions to the success of their MCO. The outcome of this exercise for each team was an annual report, which included their MCO's organizational structure, mission and vision, financial statements, and various clinical and community services. After the reports were evaluated, the team with the best annual report presented a poster presentation at the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) annual meeting. The use of PBL allowed students to develop lifelong skills for management. Although management skills cannot be taught overnight, this course provided students with a solid foundation of management skills for the future.