Monday, June 20, 2011
Joe (Wilkes Student) & Joseph (MakCHS Student) on CampusA view of Mulago Hospital
Today we had a “special hire” driver (that is what Ugandan’s call our American Taxis) pick us up to go to Makerere University to meet with a faculty member and pharmacy student. The meeting was fabulous. I loved talking with them and was able to learn all about their school system and the pharmacy program at Makerere. It was really interesting to learn that their entire curriculum is Problem Based Learning (PBL). This is started at year 1 of pharmacy and all of the basic sciences are taught in an integrated fashion with students of the medical school, nursing school, dental school, and pharmacy school together in 1 class. In brief, PBL is a teaching technique where the faculty create problems or assignments to teach a concept or material that student must solve on their own by working in groups and reading on their own. The faculty member might give a short overview lecture but most of the time the faculty are acting as facilitators rather than “spoon-feeding” the students information. Makerere College of Health Sciences (MakCHS) has been using this teaching method since 2005. Another interesting part of their curriculum is their Community Based Education and Service course (CoBES). This is part of every year of pharmacy school and involves the same multidisciplinary group of students as in the PBL and they go out into the community to visit patients together. In the US there is a big movement to do this same thing where students of multiple health disciplines can learn together to help patients and we call it Interprofessional Education (IPE). And MakCHS has been doing this same thing already! In the afternoon, the pharmacy student from MakCHS took my student and I on a walking tour of the campus and Mulago Hospital. It was very interesting to get to see much more of the city and the walking wore us out. It wasn’t so much the distance- that was not a problem- but at every street crossing you have to be very careful not to get hit by a car pulling out or a boda-boda weaving in and out of traffic. But, after this walk and our couple of special hire rides, I am getting much more comfortable with Kampala. Traffic is not actually bad all the time. Sometimes we move along quite well at the less busy times of day.