Preparing people to develop into an advanced practitioner, with enhanced leadership and research skills to enhance their professional career is the aim of the Master of Pharmacy Practice programme at IMU. This programme, which had its inaugural intake on 9 January 2017, enriched its students’ experience by bringing together diverse backgrounds of students. One of the students who joined the inaugural intake is Dunia Osman Shire, a lecturer from Somalia. Dunia teaches pharmacology and medical dosage calculations to undergraduate medical and pharmacy students in the Somali National University. To gain a career advantage and for professional development, she opted to undertake Masters study in Pharmacy Practice.
“I am very much interested in pharmacy and people management. It’s good to know that I am going to learn about business and people management in my Master of Pharmacy Practice Programme. When I decided to study my masters, the Masters of Pharmacy Practice sounded very comprehensive, with a lot of exciting modules, and a specialisation in Pharmacy Management, I strongly believe that this postgraduate degree will prepare me to reach higher positions in my job.”
Jo-Ann Belotindos from the Philippines has chosen to study in Malaysia because of its proximity and similarity in culture. Jo-Ann has been in academia since 2004, and before that was a community pharmacist. She loves teaching and discussing subjects with students. As a healthcare provider Jo-Ann feels that continuing development is vital, particularly with continuing innovations in educational technologies. She wants a postgraduate degree that will help her do her job better and has been tasked by her University to share her knowledge with her colleagues in the Philippines.
“After more than a decade in my academic career in the Philippines, I was keen to explore the world and broaden my vistas – and I wanted to start in Malaysia. I had been fascinated with Malaysia and I knew about IMU from my employer. My employer has encouraged me to join in the Master’s in IMU as it provides an option to choose a specialisation in Pharmacy Practice. The clinical pharmacy specialisation in this Master’s programme has attracted me to do this programme. I chose IMU because of the university’s good reputation in the Philippines, and Malaysia has a higher standard education system in Asia and is a multicultural society. I am sure that the multiculturalism in the University will help me to interact with different people and have a meaningful educational experience”.
Part-time student Dinesh, a registered pharmacist in Malaysia, brings seven years of hospital pharmacy experience to the course. Dinesh is an alumnus of IMU’s Bachelor of Pharmacy programme. His goal as a clinical pharmacy practitioner is to improve patient outcomes, particularly through patient education and empowerment. Dinesh wants to broaden his knowledge and enhance his skills, and was attracted to the Masters programme because of its flexible schedule catering to working pharmacists. As an alumnus, he was also entitled to a fee reduction.
“My experience with IMU has been unique and rewarding on so many different fronts. I enjoy being back here as a student again after 8 years. I currently work as pharmacist in a Ministry of Health tertiary hospital. I chose IMU for postgraduate study because it allowed me to plan my study to complement my professional focus in areas of particular interest.”
|Commenting on the composition of the pioneer student cohort, Programme Director Dr. Marikannan Maharajan said, “The great thing about this first cohort is that everyone is motivated and passionate about what they’re doing. We know it’s challenging to do a Masters in Pharmacy Practice, but the feeling of succeeding and progress is helping students. Their diversity of background brings richness to the course and enhances the educational experience for all. Students share their perspectives, beliefs and values, we gain insight into their professional challenges, and find that many of these challenges are common, showing that pharmacy is indeed a global profession.”|