STLCOP Faculty Discuss Pharmacy Education at Conference in Saudi Arabia

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A contingent of faculty from the College presented at a pharmacy conference in Saudi Arabia in late February. The trip was part of the College’s efforts to strengthen its relationship with the kingdom and improve its global outreach.

College President John A. Pieper, Pharm.D., Thomas D. Zlatic, Ph.D., professor of English, Patrick Finnegan, Pharm.D., assistant professor of pharmacy practice, and William Call, Pharm.D., PGY-1 resident and clinical instructor, spoke at the conference.

The conference, called “Optimizing Pharmacy Education & Training,” was organized by Adulkareem Belkairy from King Saud bin Abdulaaziz University for Health Sciences and Michael Maddux, Pharm.D., executive director of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) and former division director of pharmacy practice at STLCOP.  Six hundred pharmacists from Saudi Arabia enrolled in the conference.

According to Zlatic, the Saudi Arabian government is working to transform pharmacy education in the country. The conference was an effort to bring in some highly prominent educators from America to give an overview of current and best practices in pharmacy education.

Pieper and Zlatic joined internationally-recognized educators such as Alan Lau, Joseph DiPiro, John Murphy, Michael Rouse, Janet Teeters and Stephanie Phelps in providing overviews of trends in pharmacy education and training. Finnegan and Call participated in a panel on mentoring residents. In addition, Zlatic and Rouse consulted for two days with the Saudis regarding curriculum development and accreditation.

Zlatic, who has been to Saudi Arabia three times on behalf of the College and ACCP, said the conference was a chance to lead a conversation about pharmacy education on the global stage. In January 2013, under the direction of President Pieper, the College welcomed four students from Saudi Arabia, and College officials are investigating other forms of collaboration. “We have developed a relationship,” Zlatic said. “There’s potential for collaboration. I look forward to working with them some more.”

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