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PHCY547 Medicines and Culture

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Information sources and critical assessment; approaches to studying medicines; cultural understandings of health, illness and medicines; implications for practice.

Are you interested in how cultures influence how people think about health and illness and whether and how people take medicine? Are you interested in thinking about how your own culture affects your practice? This paper introduces students to the importance of culture in how people experience illness and use medicines. Both New Zealand and overseas examples will be used. This paper will expose students to literature from a range of disciplines and encourage them to reflect on implications for their own practice.

Paper title Medicines and Culture
Paper code PHCY547
Subject Pharmacy
EFTS 0.2500
Points 30 points
Teaching period Second Semester (Distance learning)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $2,801.50
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $9,869.50

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PHCX 547
Limited to
PGCertPharm, PGDipClinPharm, MPharm
(i) Can normally only be taken for the qualifications listed above; other students may be admitted with approval from the Dean of the School of Pharmacy. (ii) May not be offered if fewer than five students enrol.
This paper is targeted at health professionals from any professional background.
Teaching staff

Paper Co-ordinator: Dr Susan Heydon

Paper Structure
This paper covers:
  • Case studies of cultural views about health/illness/medicines
  • Implications for practice - an introduction
  • Models of good practice
Teaching Arrangements

One compulsory 2-day weekend workshop (July), one other weekend (online only), and four 2-hour video-conferences.

No specific textbook requirements.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Lifelong learning, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the paper will
  • Understand the importance of culture in how people experience illness and use medicines
  • Identify ways in which cultural differences may affect the successful delivery of healthcare
  • Identify strategies to optimise outcomes

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Second Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system