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clinmed/2002060001v1 (July 26, 2002)
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Importance of transferable skills in pharmacology

Ravi P Shankar, Pranaya Mishra, and Praveen Partha

Background: The increasing importance of self-learning in pharmacology places a greater responsibility on individual undergraduates to develop good ‘transferable’ skills. Objectives: To assess the attitudes of first year undergraduates towards transferable skills in pharmacology, and investigate gender, nationality and medium of instruction differences in these attitudes. To assess the contribution of integrated teaching to skills development. Methods: Second year students were given a questionnaire asking them to rate: a) the importance of the particular transferable skill in pharmacology; b) their own ability in these skills and c) the influence of integrated teaching. Results: All students regarded transferable skills as very important in pharmacology. Female students rated the importance of selection of drugs and communication skills more highly than men. Indian students rated the importance of communication skills higher than the other nationalities. Overall, students have a high level of confidence in their own skills. The Indian students rated their problem solving skills higher. The male students rated their skill at problem solving higher than women. The vernacular medium students rated their communication skills higher than the English medium students. Students felt that integrated teaching had enhanced their skills in pharmacology. Conclusions: Our results suggest that students are well equipped to succeed in the revised curriculum of Kathmandu university, Nepal which will place a greater responsibility on students for self-learning.