Over The Counter Drugs (and Dietary Supplement) Exercise: A Team-Based Introduction to Biochemistry for Health Professional Students

Sangita Phadtare, Emine Abali, Barbara Brodsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

For successful delivery of basic science topics for health-professional students, it is critical to reduce apprehension and illustrate relevance to clinical settings and everyday life. At the beginning of the Biochemistry course for Physician Assistants, a team-based assignment was designed to develop an understanding of the mechanism of action, effectiveness, and toxicity of five common over the counter (OTC) drugs and dietary supplements, and place these familiar medicines in a political and historical context. The objectives of this exercise were to stimulate interest in biochemistry; to provide basic information on enzymes and enzyme inhibitors related to these drugs to be expanded upon later in the course; and to encourage active and interactive learning. Teams of five students were formed, and each student was given an information sheet on aspirin, alpha-galactosidase, orlistat, dextromethorphan, or simvastatin, a low dose statin, which was previously available without prescription at pharmacies in the UK. After each member of the team acquired information on one OTC drug/dietary supplement by reading an assigned information sheet, the team was asked to go through a series of questions, and then submit answers to a quiz as a group. A high rate of success on the quiz, an overwhelmingly positive response on formal course evaluations, and enthusiastic exchanges during class suggested this team-based session accomplished its goals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)384-387
Number of pages4
JournalBiochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Volume41
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology

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