Monash University’s virtual pharmacy platform: MyDispense
Why is Monash University Pharmacy School so world-renowned?
Well, not only is Monash University ranked #1 in the world and #1 in Australia (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022), but also their online pharmacy simulation MyDispense has experienced exponential growth since the beginning of the pandemic, enabling tens of thousands of pharmacy students worldwide to develop and practice their dispensing skills throughout remote learning.
In January 2020, MyDispense had accumulated 16,000 student accounts since its inception in 2011. In the last two years, this number has nearly tripled to 42,300 student accounts.
The number of partner universities has also significantly increased, from 79 universities in January 2020, to 208 today. The strongest period of growth was between January and December 2020 which led to 90 new university partners in just 11 months.
What is MyDispense?
Developed by Monash University‘s Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, MyDispense is a free service that has been customized for 10 different regions. Some of the countries using the tool include Germany, South Africa, Sweden, Somalia, Pakistan, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Nepal and many more. There has been a particularly notable surge in users based in the Philippines and Sweden.
Monash Learning Technologies Project Manager Keith Sewell said MyDispense is designed to provide a safe environment in which students can hone their dispensing skills, but also make mistakes without experiencing the serious consequences of practicing in the real world.
“Students get to have the full dispensing experience, from initial communication with the patient and prescriber, right through to providing professional advice when handing medicine to patients, and the whole experience is completely online,” said Mr Sewell.
“Early in 2020 it quickly became evident that there was going to be strong global demand for access to MyDispense to help pharmacy students continue to develop important dispensing skills throughout lockdowns and campus closures.
“It was a lot of work for the team, but from the outset the purpose of MyDispense has been to share the platform for free with our pharmacy peers around the world, so it has been wonderful to see so many students benefit from it since COVID emerged just over two years ago.”
The MyDispense environment utilizes virtual representations of patients, barcodes, labels, and products. There is no requirement for a physical space with label printers and shelves full of empty product boxes. This means that pharmacy students have no restrictions on their access to dispensing exercises.
Almost 1.5 million exercises and activities have been completed in MyDispense by students all over the world since 2011. The 1 million exercises completed milestone was hit in December 2020, highlighting that usage growth is continuing to increase.
Graduate with a Bachelor and a Master of Pharmacy Degree
Monash University offers a Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) / Master of Pharmacy combined degree, Australia’s first integrated BPharm (Hons)/ MPharm degree, with the fifth year of the course offering an internship, so you will get valuable work experience—and get paid for it! If you don’t wish to further your studies with the master’s portion, you may exit the program after the bachelor’s degree portion is completed.
Program: Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) / Master of Pharmacy
Location: Parkville campus, Melbourne, Victoria
Semester intake: January
Graduate-entry Duration: 2–3 years (2 years for BPharm Hons; or 3 years for BPharm Hons/MPharm)
Undergraduate-entry Duration: 5 years
Application deadline: November; however, if you are you are applying to the graduate-entry program, you are strongly encouraged to submit your application as early as possible.
Curious about studying pharmacy? Check out blog “Everything you need to know about pharmacy degrees” for helpful tips!