Korean J Clin Pharm.  2017 Mar;27(1):9-14. 10.24304/kjcp.2017.27.1.9.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Outbreak and Responsiveness of the Pharmacy Programs on the Pharmacy Practice Education

  • 1Korean College of Clinical Pharmacy, Committee on Pharmacy Practice Experience Programs, Gyeonggi-do 13496, Republic of Korea. eunilee@snu.ac.kr
  • 2College of Pharmacy, Suncheon University, Suncheon, Joellanam-do 57922, Republic of Korea.
  • 3Department of pharmacy, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Gyeonggi-do 13620, Republic of Korea.
  • 4Department of Pharmacy, Keimyung University, Daegu 42601, Republic of Korea.
  • 5Department of Pharmacy, Asan Medical Center, Seoul 05505, Republic of Korea.
  • 6College of Pharmacy, Chung-Ang University, Seoul 06974, Republic of Korea.
  • 7College of Pharmacy, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Republic of Korea.
  • 8College of Pharmacy, Cha University, Pocheon-si, Gyeonggi-do 11160, Republic of Korea.
  • 9College of Pharmacy, The Catholic University of Korea, Bucheon-si, Gyeonggi-do 14662, Republic of Korea. hola@catholic.ac.kr


Pharmacy curriculum change was made from a 4-year program to a 2+4 year program in year 2009 in Korea. The change has resulted in more educational exposures on patient-centered practice environments for about 1,400 hours in the last year of the professional pharmacy program. When the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak hit Seoul and suburban areas and propagated to other provinces in Korea, emergency response to avoid student infection in the pharmacy practice sites became an urgent issue. While other health professional programs such as medicine and nursing had activated emergency preparedness manuals, timely and clear guidelines were not disseminated to all pharmacy programs and protective measures largely relied on individual pharmacy program.
A survey was developed by the Committee on Pharmacy Practice Experience Programs in the Korean College of Clinical Pharmacy to document the status of pharmacy programs during the Korea MERS outbreak in 2015. The 10-question survey was distributed to the pharmacy practice experience coordinators to 34 out of 35 pharmacy schools in Korea by emails.
Our findings showed that 82.4% of the program coordinators (28/34) responded to the survey, 96.4% of the programs did not have emergency preparedness manuals, administrative meetings were held in 89.3% of the pharmacy programs, the rotation schedules were modified or withheld in 53.6% of schools, and the changes were mostly observed from the programs classified as MERS outbreak regions.
Further needs in establishing the emergency preparedness manual should be explored for pharmacy education stakeholders.


Emergency preparedness; pharmacy practice experience; MERS

MeSH Terms

Appointments and Schedules
Civil Defense
Coronavirus Infections*
Education, Pharmacy
Electronic Mail
Health Occupations
Middle East*
Schools, Pharmacy
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