Executive Summary – PharmD Retreat June 2015

Dr. Linda Suveges has provided the following executive summary for the most recent PharmD retreat. As always, if you have any questions, comments, or feedback, you’re welcome to comment below, on our social media channels, or email our communications specialist at kieran.kobitz@usask.ca.


Division of Pharmacy faculty and academic staff came together for a PhamD retreat on June 24 and 25th , 2015 at Wanuskewin, in Saskatoon.   The retreat was facilitated by Dr. Linda Suveges.

Top Takeaways:

  • Learning outcomes will be further developed to include the condition elements (e.g., case-based examination) and the expected standard (level) of achievement for each course and year.
  • Faculty adopted two taxonomies (methods of categorization) for further curriculum development: Bloom’s taxonomy will be utilized for development of knowledge-based competencies and the SOLO taxonomy (Biggs) will be adopted for development of global assessment and skills-based competencies.
  • Learning outcomes will be linked to AFPC educational outcomes and cross referenced to NAPRA competencies to enter practice.
  • Faculty recognized that, although graduates will meet the AFPC outcomes and NAPRA competencies, they may still require specific employment-related training and experience after graduation.
  • Faculty also confirmed the use of the ‘simple patient – simple problem, simple patient – complex problem, complex patient – simple problem, complex patient – complex patient’ strategy to develop cases and course examples.
  • A common method of patient assessment will be adopted.
  • Throughout the program, emphasis will be on the development of professional skills (e.g., taking a medication history) which the student/graduate can then use to provide a service (e.g., medication reconciliation).
  • The delivery of key material will be coordinated across courses, rather than being integrated within one big course (e.g., dosage forms such as inhalers will be taught in a pharmaceutical sciences course during the same term as the drug therapy of asthma).
  • Bridging of current BSP students into the PharmD will not be offered ; rather, graduates will be offered the opportunity to enroll in a post-baccalaureate PharmD program, once the undergraduate PharmD is up and running.


  • To review work completed by content stream working groups and the Curriculum Development Working Group since February 2015
  • To discuss the proposed curriculum and the learning outcomes generated by content stream working groups
  • To determine any omissions or changes required in the proposed curriculum structure
  • To confirm that the proposed curriculum structure is cohesive and coordinated through all years
  • To establish next steps and review timeline of progress

Action Plans:

  • Learning outcomes generated by content working groups will be finalized and standardized across the streams into a cohesive document, using Bloom’s and the SOLO taxonomy.
  • Learning outcomes will be linked (mapped) to the AFPC educational outcomes and the NAPRA competencies to enter practice.
  • Gaps in the curriculum draft which were identified will be forwarded to the appropriate content stream working group for consideration.
  • The Experiential Education Working Group will develop a proposal for the experiential education component of the program, based on the learning outcomes and curriculum draft.
  • A glossary of common terms used in the program will be created and agreed upon by faculty.
  • Ideas for ‘electives’ will be further developed and forwarded to the Curriculum Development Working Group.
  • Dates for submission of various components of the program proposal will be confirmed and the timeline for completion will be established and communicated to faculty.
  • As the curriculum continues to be developed, the dean and faculty will work on a short descriptive message about the program which can be used in discussions with interested stakeholders.
  • A retreat will be held on Tuesday, September 1st , 2015 to review progress.

In closing, we wish to thank all faculty for their hard work enthusiastic commitment to the development of the Pharm.D. program over the past four months.  Special thanks to Shauna Gerwing and Susan Bens for their major contributions in moving the project forward.

Linda Suveges