Philosophy of Teaching
To summarize in single sentence, the goal of my teaching is to foster conceptual learners, who care deeply about their patients, and are skilled in problem solving,. I attempt to cultivate in my students a passion for improving patient care through correctly identifying the problem and finding the best solution. Students who successfully complete my rotation should have a knowledge of the pharmacotherapy for common medical conditions in Ambulatory Care. But more importantly, they should be able to apply that knowledge to the benefit of patients.
My teaching approach is characterized by questions, role modeling, and humor.
My teaching, whether in the clinic or in the classroom is sprinkled with questions. This is the tool I use to stimulate engagement with the concept , rather than just passively absorbing the fact. So when students present a patient case, I ask questions until I an area for more in depth learning is discovered. This becomes the assignment to prepare for the next discussion session. Likewise in the classroom setting, the questions serve to encourage the student to mentally connect with the material.
I also apply this philosophy when I have students evaluate literature. I insist that attention be given to the specific benefit to a patient, rather than only the statistical significance.
However I do recognize the need for improving the basic knowledge of content. Wherever possible, I focus on the mechanisms and the pathophysiology involved, so they can reason their way to answers. I do use slogans, acronyms, games and repetition when simple facts are necessary to remember.
Students learn skills best when it is modeled for them. I make sure that each of my students has the opportunity to observe me seeing patients, evaluating problems and serving as a consultant to physicians and nurses.
Finally, I believe that humor has an important role to play in learning and I attempt to integrate it into my lectures, my website, and my clinical precepting.
My Role in Context
I believe that my teaching is only valuable as part of the entire curriculum. I teach students the areas that I do best. I spend extra time on things such as pharmacokinetic concepts, literature evaluation, motivational interviewing and Diabetes management because I rely on my colleagues at the College of Pharmacy to teach things other things such as detailed SOAP notes, HIV and oncology drugs, and appropriate monitoring of heparin.
As William Butler Yeats put it:”Education is not the filling of a pail, but the igniting of a fire”. I get great joy out of helping patients. I believe that Pharmacy Profession of the future will become bigger and better if Pharmacists find joy in helping their patients. Likewise, it will dwindle to a technical job if they do not. My goal is to ignite the fire of Pharmacy Practice in students entrusted to my teaching.