Three fourth year pharmacy students from Qatar University College of Pharmacy (QU-CPH) completed a training course in Scotland, UK as part of their Structured Practical Experience Placements (SPEP) programme in CPH.

One student trained at PAMIS, a community charity providing support for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD), while two other students trained at Rowlands Pharmacy, one of the largest and longest established UK chain of local community pharmacies.

The trip is part of a collaboration which was established last year between CPH and Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon University (RGU).

The students – Nawal Bensmail, Noora Al Hamad and Amani Faisal Al Haddad completed a one-month rotation in Scotland. They spent their time shadowing the pharmacists, learning about pharmacy procedures for dispensing medications to patients as well as performing pharmacy administrative and legislation related tasks. Under the supervision of their preceptors, they provided direct care to patients including reviewing prescriptions and counselling patients about their medications. They also collaborated with RGU faculty and students.

The students also had the opportunity to meet with Lord Provost, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant Queen’s Representative of Aberdeen with whom they discussed their academic journey at QU and Qatar’s developments in the recent years.

Dr Mohammed Diab, CPH Dean, said:

The College of Pharmacy at Qatar University puts great emphasis on providing students with a wide range of learning opportunities and experiences to enrich their education. Maintaining strong relationships with our international partners allows our students to gain professional experience and enhance their education. It also provides them with an opportunity to network with their peers and mentors in the global professional community.’

Alla El Awaisi, CPH Assistant Dean for Student Ms Affairs, said:

International SPEP experiences are great opportunities for our students to gain various perspectives on pharmaceutical care and practice in different countries. CPH is committed to providing students with the best opportunities to broaden their learning experiences and travelling internationally is one of them. Our students continually excel, locally and abroad and are always great ambassadors of the College.’

Prof Lesley Diack, Professor of Transdisciplinary and Technology Enhanced Learning at RGU School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences and student rotation Supervisor, said:

The students showed high standards of professionalism and dedication. They have worked hard engaging with various pharmacists and patients. It has been a privilege to work with them over the last four weeks, and I would like to congratulate the College of Pharmacy at Qatar University for the level of quality of its studentship.’

Amani Faisal Al Haddad said:

I have learned that pharmacists should understand all aspects related to patients’ life such as medication history and psychological situation. I have also noticed that hospitals and health care centres in Qatar are advanced and equipped with cutting-edge technologies that are not found elsewhere.’

Nawal Bensmail said:

Pharmacists in Scotland are seen as doctors who are eligible to make medical diagnosis and write prescriptions. We learned how to interact and respect patients from different cultures, which contributed to enriching our learning experience.’

Noora Al Hamad added:

What I liked about the pharmacy system in Rowlands is the unified database that shows the medication history of patients. This facilitates the pharmacist’s job and ensures the provision of the appropriate medication.’