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Similarities between precepting pharmacy students and coaching basketball

Similarities between precepting pharmacy students and coaching basketball
I mentioned earlier that we’re going to be taking a look at how experiential training and pharmacy compares to basketball and coaching basketball. If you stop and think about it the success of a basketball player depends on what they do in practice. It’s having successful practices that prepare players to be successful in a game. One of the things the coaches has to be very concerned about is what should players focus on during practice. There is no difference in an experiential rotation. Preceptor needs to determine what should students be focusing on during the rotation. Second thing a coach worries about is how the practice should be conducted. What specifically should students be doing? And how should the preceptor relate to the students.
So just as basketball players are coached to do well in practice so they can then perform effectively in the game. Preceptor have to provide students with meaningful experiences as they go through a rotation. So that when they complete the rotation, they will be able to perform effectively as pharmacists. Lastly, coaches are concerned about the attitude that players have toward the game. Likewise, the preceptor have to be concerned about the attitudes that students develop as they become pharmacist. Bottom line is preceptors can learn a lot from basketball coaches. Just knowing how to play the game is not enough. That knowledge has to be translated into action and performance.
The first principle of experiential learning I like to focus on is a good precepting starts with defining good learning outcomes. I mention this is the first step and be coming a super preceptor and it really is an important element of teaching. In fact, I use this same slide in all the presentations that I give, to faculty or preceptors regardless of what you might be teaching. It’s critically important that the first step is to identify what the student needs to achieve. It’s a part of their learning. That sets the target. And it’s that target that defines the relationship between the receptor and the students or the teacher and the student.
And it’s the target that determines the methods that should be used in training the students. What activities and what assignments should they be involved. It is the target that determines what kind of assessment should be used to evaluate student learning. It’s the target that determines specifically what content students should be expected to learn. So we’re going to be mentioning learning outcomes over and over again in this 5 session series. The first technique I like to share with you. And by the way, these are guaranteed techniques. I’ll be sharing total of twelve principles of experiential learning and 16 guaranteed preceptor techniques over the five sessions.
I guarantee that these will work if you follow these techniques, you will find them to be effective. The first one is to master the fundamentals. The idea here, as we see Michael Jordan being quoted. Michael Jordan, one of the great basketball players of all time, played for the Chicago Bulls, my favorite team.
And he said: “get the fundamentals down and the level of everything you do will rise.” That’s a very true statement that I believe in. If students master the fundamentals, they will become good pharmacists. It’s not a matter of achieving excellence by doing things that are extraordinary. Excellence in pharmacy can be achieved by doing ordinary things extraordinarily well. It’s a matter of learning to execute the basic fundamentals with king skill and reproducibility, mastering and precision. Now, a theory that lends itself here is the Pareto principle, which simply says that twenty percent of the effort produces eighty percent of the results. In other words, twenty percent of what pharmacist do on a daily basis produces eighty percent of the patient care impact.
So, if a preceptor can identify what are the 20 percent, what’s that most important high-yield element that produces eighty percent of the results. That’s what most of learning should be focused on. And according to the theory, the other 80 percent, that’s less high-yield lower yield activities produce only 20 percent of the outcome. So, if we’re talking about mastering fundamentals, we have to identify what those fundamentals are. It’s up to the precept to determine the fundamentals that are most critical for students to learn. Our second experiential learning principle as a learning is a product of thinking.
Primary role of the preceptor is not to just provide information to the students or tell the students what to think, tell the students what they should do. Primary role of the preceptor to get the students to think about what it is preceptor wants them to learn. If the preceptor has already identified the important learning outcomes and the preceptor should develop activities and assignments that will cause the students to think about what it is that they should learn. Socrates put it very
clearly said: “I cannot teach anybody anything.I can only make them think.” So the idea here is that learning is constructed, not transmitted. It’s not something that the preceptor can give to the student. As you can see on the left side of the slide. You can’t just hook up students brain, the preceptors brain and transmit knowledge into the students. The only way the students really going to learn effectively is to process new information, new knowledge himself and assimilate that knowledge into what the student already knows. You have to get the wheels turning, get the neurons firing. The learning takes place when the neurons develop new connections in deeper connections, more reinforced connection to facilitate the learning process.
It is like the wiring of a computer circuit. That’s what we want to achieve with our students. They only results when the students are actively engaged in learning themselves. Not just listening to someone else explain things to them. It’s deep learning that what really matters. What I mean by deep learning? This is a quote from Barbara Millis who wrote a paper on deep learning. She wrote “Keep learning leads to a genuine understanding that promotes long-term retention the learning material just as important the ability to retrieve it and apply it in new problems an unfamiliar concept.” Now compare that to surface learning, which she
says: “On the other hand, focuses on the uncritical acceptance of knowledge with an emphasis on memorization of unquestioned unrelated facts. Retention is fleeting and there’s little long-term retention.” So essentially what she’s saying is that surface learning is like learning to use a cookbook. Now if we compare pharmacy to the culinary arts. A gourmet chef doesn’t use a cookbook. Gourmet chef knows enough about cooking whatever he or she is trying to prepare that they prepare that based on their expertise. So deep learning is a type of learning that enables a student to apply that knowledge in the future and to retain that knowledge for a long period of time.
That’s like learning to be a chef or as superficial learning or surface learning. It’s not as deep. It’s more like learning to use a cookbook.

Prof. Brown explains the similarities between precepting pharmacy students and coaching basketball.

  • Similarities between precepting pharmacy students and coaching basketball.
  • Experiential learning principle 1: Good precepting starts with defining good learning outcomes.
  • Experiential learning principle 2: Learning is a product of thinking.
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