Experiential education in the pharmacy undergraduate curricula in Brazil
Objective: Considering the curriculum reform process taking place in pharmacy undergraduate programs in Brazil and the importance of practical experience to students throughout their learning process in university, this study aims to provide an overview of pharmacy undergraduate programs in Brazil and their respective internships.
Methods: An observational, descriptive, cross-sectional study. A documentary analysis of pharmacy undergraduate programs in the face-to-face modality was carried out, with data obtained from the Political Pedagogical Projects of the programs, the curricula, and course descriptions containing information on internships, all provided by the Brazilian Ministry of Education. The data collected concerned higher education institutions (HEIs), pharmacy programs and internships.
Results: Pharmacy undergraduate programs in Brazil have a median duration of 10 semesters, requiring from students a median of 6 internships, from the 6th semester on, totalizing 826 hours. The programs lack uniformity among their internships, mainly regarding total hours and the semester in which internships start. The pharmacy internships cover, in greater number, the areas of outpatient and community pharmacy, clinical analysis, and pharmaceutical technology, respectively, being clinical analysis the area with more hours. Public and private HEIs have different internship proceedings in their curricula, hence no homogeneity among them in the different regions of Brazil.
Conclusions: This study demonstrates the diversity of pharmacy programs in Brazil in the context of internships, reflecting on the training and the activity of pharmacists in recent decades. Further studies are needed to deepen the understanding of this theme.
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