The Annual Conference of the Association of Medical Schools was held recently in Romania and addressed the theme of Digital Transformation for Healthcare Professions: Patient Care, Education and Research. In one of the keynote sessions I had the opportunity to provide considerations from a pharmacy educator perspective. Two pillars identified in the EAFP Position Paper are dedicated to preparing students to develop competencies to act as Team Players and to develop the capability of Preparedness for lifelong learning and innovation. In this context, the AMSE platform served an opportunity to expose the relevance within pharmacy education programmes of interprofessional education and of establishing teaching methods that contribute to digital innovation within the healthcare ecosystem.
The evolvements in the digital age are providing opportunities for pharmaceutical processes and pharmaceutical services to transform whereby the contributions of pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists are taking new dimensions. With the digital evolution, we have witnessed e-prescribing, remote pharmacist-led patient counselling, big data generation. A reflection is that in line with the EAFP Position Paper, our curricula should be focused on preparing graduates for digital evolvements rather than focusing on knowledge and skills to contribute to pharmaceutical processes and provide pharmaceutical services in the conventional ways that we have been doing pharmacy over the past years. Pharmacy in industry and in the healthcare settings is changing, and the change is being spearheaded amongst other things due to the digital innovations- let’s make sure that our curricula prepare graduates for the digital opportunities of tomorrow in pharmaceutical sciences and practice.
Lilian M. Azzopardi
University of Malta