How Similar are Pharmacy Students and White Blood Cells? Curricular Content Reinforced Through Personification

  • Kenric Ware South University School of Pharmacy
Keywords: personification, white blood cells, immunology, pharmacy students


Description: This initiative sought to evaluate the use of personification to reinforce immunology concepts among pharmacy studentsA two-part question posed to first year pharmacy students asked if they could physically become two white blood cells (WBCs), which would they choose and why. Students received instruction in immunology prior to providing their feedback. Demographics included campus of enrollment and gender designation. Student ratings 1 to 5 reflected approval levels toward this activity’s usefulness (1: least; 5 most).

Key Findings: One hundred and ten of 117 students selected two WBCs they would physically become if possible (94%). Less than two-thirds of students were female (63%) and the Columbia campus featured approximately a quarter of the students (24%). The most and least common WBCs chosen, as first selections by campus and gender, were statistically significant being neutrophils and basophils, lymphocytes and eosinophils, respectively. The median approval values of the WBC personification activity by campus and gender were similar and did not reach statistical significance, 4.5 and 5, respectively.

Conclusion: Pharmacy students commended the personification activity for helping them learn the roles and responsibilities of WBCs. Unique and insightful rationales for the choices made for WBCs persisted among the students. In light of these favorable reviews, this type of activity can be adapted to other areas of pharmacy education.


Article Type: Note


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Received 2019-04-18
Accepted 2019-07-12
Published 2019-09-17