To characterize pharmacy program standards and trends in drug information education.
A questionnaire containing 34 questions addressing general demographic characteristics, organization, and content of drug information education was distributed to 86 colleges and schools of pharmacy in the United States using a Web-based survey system.
Sixty colleges responded (73% response rate). All colleges offered a campus-based 6-year first-professional degree PharmD program. Didactic drug information was a required course in over 70% of these schools. Only 51 of the 60 colleges offered an advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE) in drug information, and 62% of these did so only on an elective basis.
Although almost all of the PharmD programs in the US include a required course in drug information, the majority do not have a required APPE in this important area.
drug information; course; curriculum; pharmacy education; experiential training; advanced pharmacy practice experience
Objectives. To determine the extent of implementation of Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommendations for 5 core competencies within the doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) curricula in US colleges and schools of pharmacy.
Methods. A survey instrument that used IOM language to define each of the recommended competencies (patient-centered care, interdisciplinary teaming, evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and informatics) was sent to 115 US colleges and schools of pharmacy.
Results. Evidence-based practice and patient-centered care were the most widely implemented of the 5 core competencies (in 87% and 84% of colleges and schools, respectively), while informatics, interdisciplinary teaming, and quality improvement were implemented to a lesser extent (at 36%, 34%, and 29% of colleges and schools, respectively).
Conclusions. Significant progress has been made by colleges and schools of pharmacy for inclusion of IOM competencies relating to evidence-based practice and patient-centered care within curricula. However, the areas of informatics, interdisciplinary teaming, and quality improvement are lagging in inclusion.
Institute of Medicine; competency; curriculum
Pharmacy education in China focuses on pharmaceutical sciences, with the bachelor of science (BS) of pharmacy as the entry-level degree. Pharmacy practice curricula in these programs are centered on compounding, dispensing, pharmacy administration, and laboratory experiences, which are the traditional responsibilities for pharmacists. Additional graduate-level training is available at the master of science (MS) and the doctor of philosophy (PhD) levels, most of which concentrate on drug discovery and drug development research. Presently, the emphasis in practice is beginning to shift to clinical pharmacy. With this change, additional degree offerings are being developed to meet the growing demand for clinical pharmacists. There is also interest in developing more clinical skills in practicing pharmacists through additional non-degree training. The Ministry of Education is considering a proposal for an entry-level professional degree of master and/or doctor in clinical pharmacy similar to the doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree in the United States.
China; international pharmacy education; clinical pharmacy
Accredited pharmacy programs in Australia provide a high standard of pharmacy education, attracting quality students. The principal pharmacy degree remains the 4-year bachelor of pharmacy degree; however, some universities offer graduate-entry master of pharmacy degrees taught in 6 semesters over a 2-year period. Curricula include enabling and applied pharmaceutical science, pharmacy practice, and clinical and experiential teaching, guided by competency standards and an indicative curriculum (a list of topics that are required to be included in a pharmacy degree curriculum before the program must be accredited by the Australian Pharmacy Council). Graduate numbers have increased approximately 250% with a dramatic increase from 6 pharmacy degree programs in 1997 to 21 such programs in 2008. Graduates must complete approximately 12 months of internship in a practice setting after graduation and prior to the competency-based registration examinations. An overview of pharmacy education in Australia is provided in the context of the healthcare system, a national system for subsidizing the cost of prescription medicines, the Australian National Medicines Policy and the practice of pharmacy. Furthermore, the innovations in practice and technology that will influence education in the future are discussed.
pharmacy education; Australia; curriculum; international
To compare practice settings and activities of pharmacists with bachelor of science (BS) in pharmacy and doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degrees.
Data from the 2009 National Pharmacist Workforce Survey instrument were analyzed. Multivariate regression was used to examine the association of the PharmD degree with time spent in dispensing and patient care.
The survey response rate by pharmacists was 52%, and 562 usable responses met our inclusion criteria. Sixty-three percent of BS and 39% of PharmD pharmacists were employed in community pharmacies, compared with 21% of BS and 38% of PharmD pharmacists employed in hospital pharmacy settings. Practicing in a community setting had the strongest influence on time spent in dispensing and time spent in patient care. Among respondents with PharmD degrees, a residency was associated with less time in dispensing and more time in patient care.
Time spent in dispensing and patient care were influenced more by practice setting than by educational degree and residency training.
degrees; graduates; pharmacist; workforce
The practice of pharmacy, as well as pharmacy education, varies significantly throughout the world. In Jordan, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, the profession of pharmacy appears to be on the ascendance. This is demonstrated by an increase in the number of pharmacy schools and the number of pharmacy graduates from pharmacy programs. One of the reasons pharmacy is on the ascendance in these countries is government commitment to fund and support competitive, well-run pharmacy programs.
In this report we describe pharmacy education in 3 Middle East countries: Jordan, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. All 3 countries offer bachelor of pharmacy (BPharm) degrees. In addition, 2 universities in Jordan and 1 in Saudi Arabia offer PharmD degree programs. The teaching methods in all 3 countries combine traditional didactic lecturing and problem-based learning.
Faculties of pharmacy in all 3 countries are well staffed and offer competitive remuneration. All 3 countries have a policy of providing scholarships to local students for postgraduate training abroad. The majority of students in Jordan and Kuwait are female, while the ratio of male to female students in Saudi Arabia is even. Students’ attitudes towards learning are generally positive in all 3 countries. In Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, most pharmacy graduates work in the public sector, while in Jordan, the majority work in the private sector.
pharmacy education; Jordan; Saudi Arabia; Kuwait
To identify compounding practices of independent community pharmacy practitioners in order to make recommendations for the development of curricular objectives for doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) programs.
Independent community practitioners were asked about compounding regarding their motivations, common activities, educational exposures, and recommendations for PharmD education.
Most respondents (69%) accepted compounding as a component of pharmaceutical care and compounded dermatological preparations for local effects, oral solutions, and suspensions at least once a week. Ninety-five percent were exposed to compounding in required pharmacy school courses and most (98%) who identified compounding as a professional service offered in their pharmacy sought additional postgraduate compounding education. Regardless of the extent of compounding emphasis in the practices surveyed, 84% stated that PharmD curricula should include compounding.
Pharmacy schools should define compounding curricular objectives and develop compounding abilities in a required laboratory course to prepare graduates for pharmaceutical care practice.
pharmaceutical care; compounding; independent community pharmacy; curricula
Objective. To determine the extent of pharmacoeconomics education in US colleges and schools of pharmacy provided to doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students in 2011.
Methods. E-mails requesting syllabi and information about courses covering pharmacoeconomic topics were sent to all US colleges and schools of pharmacy from which PharmD students had graduated in 2011 (n=103).
Results. Of 87 responding pharmacy colleges and schools, 85 provided pharmacoeconomics education in 2011. The number of hours dedicated to pharmacoeconomic-related topics varied from 2 to 60 per year (mean=20).
Conclusions. Pharmacoeconomics education is provided at almost all US colleges and schools of pharmacy; however, variation in the number of teaching hours and topics covered demonstrates a lack of standardization in the PharmD curriculum. Pharmacy administrators and educators should invest more resources and tools to standardize training in this area.
pharmacoeconomics; pharmacy education; curriculum
Objectives. To examine changes in preprofessional pharmacy curricular requirements and trends, and determine rationales for and implications of modifications.
Methods. Prerequisite curricular requirements compiled between 2006 and 2011 from all doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) programs approved by the Accreditation Council of Pharmacy Education were reviewed to ascertain trends over the past 5 years. An online survey was conducted of 20 programs that required either 3 years of prerequisite courses or a bachelor’s degree, and a random sample of 20 programs that required 2 years of prerequisites. Standardized telephone interviews were then conducted with representatives of 9 programs.
Results. In 2006, 4 programs required 3 years of prerequisite courses and none required a bachelor’s degree; by 2011, these increased to 18 programs and 7 programs, respectively. Of 40 programs surveyed, responses were received from 28 (70%), 9 (32%) of which reported having increased the number of prerequisite courses since 2006. Reasons given for changes included desire to raise the level of academic achievement of students entering the PharmD program, desire to increase incoming student maturity, and desire to add clinical sciences and experiential coursework to the pharmacy curriculum. Some colleges and schools experienced a temporary decrease in applicants.
Conclusions. The preprofessional curriculum continues to evolve, with many programs increasing the number of course prerequisites. The implications of increasing prerequisites were variable and included a perceived increase in maturity and quality of applicants and, for some schools, a temporary decrease in the number of applicants.
prepharmacy curriculum; prerequisites; admissions
To assess pharmacy informatics education, identify current competencies, and develop a foundational set of recommendations.
Accredited pharmacy programs were contacted. Data were collected using a mixed-mode procedure. Didactic and experiential syllabi were analyzed for compliance with informatics competencies in Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) Standards 2007.
Thirty-two of 89 schools responded; 25 provided syllabi (36% response rate, 28% submission rate). Twenty-seven didactic and 9 experiential syllabi were received. The syllabi contained a diverse mix of educational content, some of which represented pharmacy informatics content as defined by ACPE. Schools are teaching clinical system terminology, applications, and evaluation.
Many professional programs are not providing instruction in pharmacy informatics. There may be confusion within the academy/profession between pharmacy informatics and drug information practice. Much work is required for programs to become compliant with the ACPE 2007 pharmacy informatics competencies.
informatics; information; technology; curriculum
Objective. To describe the integration of science of safety (SoS) topics in doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) curricula of US colleges and schools of pharmacy.
Methods. A questionnaire that contained items pertaining to what and how SoS topics are taught in PharmD curricula was e-mailed to representatives at 107 US colleges and schools of pharmacy.
Results. The majority of the colleges and schools responding indicated that they had integrated SoS topics into their curriculum, however, some gaps (eg, teaching students about communicating risk, Food and Drug Administration [FDA] Sentinel Initiative, utilizing patient databases) were identified that need to be addressed.
Conclusions. The FDA and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) should continue to collaborate to develop resources needed to ensure that topics proposed by the FDA in their SoS framework are taught at all colleges and schools of pharmacy.
medication safety; pharmacy education; curriculum; science of safety
Objectives. To characterize the use of high-fidelity mannequins and standardized patients in US pharmacy colleges and schools.
Methods. A survey instrument was sent to 105 doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) programs to collect data on the use of simulation and to identify barriers to using simulation-based teaching methods.
Results. Eighty-eight colleges and schools completed the survey instrument (response rate 84%). Of these, 14 did not use high-fidelity mannequins or standardized patients within the curriculum. Top barriers were logistical constraints and high resource cost. Twenty-three colleges and schools used simulation for introductory pharmacy practice experiences (IPPEs), 34 for interprofessional education, and 68 for evaluation of at least 1 core competency prior to advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs).
Conclusions. Although the majority of US colleges and schools of pharmacy use simulation-based teaching methodologies to some extent in the pharmacy curricula, the role of simulation in IPPEs, interprofessional education, and assessment of competency-based skills could be expanded.
simulation; high-fidelity mannequins; standardized patients; survey research
Evaluate the academic experience and satisfaction of students enrolled in the dual PharmD/MBA degree program between the South Carolina College of Pharmacy and The Citadel's School of Business Administration. Compare grade point averages of students enrolled in the dual degree program with those of traditional student colleagues.
A standardized satisfaction survey instrument was administered to 32 students currently enrolled in the dual PharmD/MBA degree program. Grade point averages (GPAs) in both pharmacy and business coursework were also collected for analysis.
There were slightly higher percentages of both female and minority students in the dual degree program compared to the pharmacy class as a whole. Eighteen (56%) of students completed the survey, and responses were generally positive. The mean GPA of students in the dual degree program was higher than that of both pharmacy (3.37 vs 3.08, p < 0.001) and business (3.72 vs 3.64, not statistically significant) students not enrolled in the dual degree program.
Students enrolled in the dual degree program did better academically than their counterparts and indicated an overall high level of satisfaction with the program.
dual degree; PharmD/MBA; master of business administration; business
To assess differences in the practice of pharmacy and in job satisfaction between graduates of a nontraditional doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) program and a bachelor of science (BS) in pharmacy program.
Two separate survey instruments were mailed to 293 PharmD graduates and 293 BS graduates.
Two hundred fourteen (73.0%) of the 293 nontraditional PharmD graduates and 189 (64.5%) of the 293 BS graduates completed the survey instruments. Nontraditional PharmD graduates expressed greater satisfaction, both in their current position and with pharmacy as a career, compared to BS graduates. Nontraditional PharmD graduates were more likely than BS graduates to practice in a hospital and have more clinical responsibilities.
Nontraditional PharmD graduates are more likely to have greater satisfaction with their job and with pharmacy as a career compared to BS-trained pharmacists.
nontraditional PharmD degree; job responsibilities; job satisfaction
A set of PharmD program curricular outcomes form the foundation of a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum and are critical to the development of both the structure/courses of the curriculum and the assessment plan for the program. A goal for developing these outcomes is to craft a set of clear, concise, assessable statements that accurately reflect competencies of the generalist entry-level pharmacist or graduate of the first-professional doctor of pharmacy degree. This article will provide a review of one specific type of outcome, ability-based outcomes, and present a case study of how one college revised their PharmD program-level outcomes. A discussion of key elements for the successful adoption of these outcomes is also presented.
ability-based outcomes; outcomes; assessment; curricular design; competencies
This paper reviews the literature on the various types of simulation and their incorporation into health professions curricula, describes how simulation training is recognized in other professions, and evaluates the feasibility of integrating simulation into experiential education programs of colleges and schools of pharmacy. The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) Board of Directors develop standards and guidelines on the use of simulation as part of introductory pharmacy practice experiences within the doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum.
simulation; experiential education; introductory pharmacy practice experience
Objective. To characterize and describe admission variables predictive of poor grade attainment by students in 2 pathways to a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) program.
Methods. A retrospective analysis of course grades of PharmD students admitted from 2000 to 2009 (N= 1,019) in the traditional degree pathway (“1 plus 5” degree program) and the provisional pathway (admitted directly from high school) was performed.
Results. Four hundred three grades of D or less were earned by 183 (18%) students. There were more grades of D or less in the first pharmacy year. Receipt of an unsatisfactory grade was associated with all Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) subcategory scores, PCAT composite score, cumulative prepharmacy coursework hours, prepharmacy grade point average (GPA), prepharmacy science and math GPA, and interview score for accepted students in the traditional pathway. For students in the provisional pathway, PCAT-quantitative analysis, PCAT composite score, prepharmacy cumulative GPA, prepharmacy science and math GPA, English American College Testing (ACT) score, and composite ACT score predicted poor grades.
Conclusion. Admissions committees should heed PCAT scores and GPAs, regardless of program pathway, while progression committees should focus on early program coursework when designing strategies to optimize retention.
admission; pharmacy students; grades; academic performance; retention
Curricular maps can be used to link ability-based outcomes (ABOs) and content to courses in PharmD curricula as one component of an overall assessment plan. Curricular maps can also be used to meet some of the requirements delineated by Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, Standards 2007. Five steps can be followed to help ensure the successful production of a curricular map that both meets accreditation requirements and helps to inform curricular improvements. A case study is presented detailing how one college implemented a curricular mapping process that was subsequently used as data to inform curricular revisions.
Objective. To evaluate the level of competency and knowledge about health disparities among third-year doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students at 2 Florida public colleges of pharmacy and to explore the demographic correlates of these variables.
Methods. A cross-sectional survey study design was used to collect data from participants.
Results. The students had low health-disparities knowledge and moderate skills in dealing with sociocultural issues and cross-cultural encounters. Speaking a language(s) other than English and having exposure to cultural-competency instruction were the demographic variables found to be most significantly associated with clinical cultural competency and/or knowledge of health disparities.
Conclusions. Clinical cultural competency and health-disparities instruction may not be adequately incorporated into the pharmacy school curricula in the institutions studied. Relevant education and training are necessary to enhance cultural competency among pharmacy students.
cultural competence; health disparities; student pharmacist; curriculum
Pharmacy education in India traditionally has been industry and product oriented. In contrast to the situation in developed nations, graduate pharmacists prefer placements in the pharmaceutical industry. To practice as a pharmacist in India, one needs at least a diploma in pharmacy, which is awarded after only 2 years and 3 months of pharmacy studies. These diploma-trained pharmacists are the mainstay of pharmacy practice. The pharmacy practice curriculum has not received much attention. In India, there has been a surge in the number of institutions offering pharmacy degrees at various levels and a practice-based doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree program was started in some private institutions in 2008. However, relatively little information has been published describing the current status of complex pharmacy education of India. In this paper we describe pharmacy education in India and highlight major issues in pharmacy practice including deficiencies in curriculum. The changing face of the profession is discussed, including the establishment of the PharmD program. The information presented in this paper may stimulate discussion and critical analysis and planning, and will be of value in further adaptation of the pharmacy education to desired educational outcomes.
pharmacy education; pharmacy practice; India
To ascertain background factors that influence pharmacy students' willingness to cheat, describe attitudes regarding methods of cheating, assess prevalence of cheating and determine atmospheres that may aid in preventing academic dishonesty.
Third-professional year PharmD students at 4 institutions participated in a survey administered by a class representative.
Of the 296 students who completed survey instruments, 16.3% admitted to cheating during pharmacy school. Approximately 74% admitted that either they or their classmates had worked on an individual assignment with a friend. Students who cheated during high school or in a prepharmacy program were more likely to cheat during pharmacy school (p < 0.0001). Those who possessed a bachelor of science (BS) degree prior to pharmacy school were less likely to cheat (p < 0.0001).
Academic dishonesty is prevalent among pharmacy students. While few respondents directly admitted to cheating, many admitted to activities traditionally defined as dishonest.
academic dishonesty; cheating; honesty
Objectives. To evaluate scholarship, as represented by peer-reviewed journal articles, among US pharmacy practice faculty members; contribute evidence that may better inform benchmarking by academic pharmacy practice departments; and examine factors that may be related to publication rates.
Methods. Journal articles published by all pharmacy practice faculty members between January 1, 2006, and December 31, 2010, were identified. College and school publication rates were compared based on public vs. private status, being part of a health science campus, having a graduate program, and having doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) faculty members funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Results. Pharmacy practice faculty members published 6,101 articles during the 5-year study period, and a pharmacy practice faculty member was the primary author on 2,698 of the articles. Pharmacy practice faculty members published an average of 0.51 articles per year. Pharmacy colleges and schools affiliated with health science campuses, at public institutions, with NIH-funded PharmD faculty members, and with graduate programs had significantly higher total publication rates compared with those that did not have these characteristics (p<0.006).
Conclusion. Pharmacy practice faculty members contributed nearly 6,000 unique publications over the 5-year period studied. However, this reflects a rate of less than 1 publication per faculty member per year, suggesting that a limited number of faculty members produced the majority of publications.
academia; pharmacy practice; faculty; publications; scholarship
To examine the impact of implementation of the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education's (ACPE's) Standards 2007 on pharmacy students’ preparation for their first advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE).
The doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum was altered to include introductory pharmacy practice experiences (IPPE), second-year therapeutics, classroom integration of practice experiences, more biomedical sciences, an electronic portfolio system, life-long learning exercises, and additional content based on Appendix B of Standards 2007. Curricular outcomes and the assessment plan also were revised based on Standards 2007.
To evaluate the impact of these changes to the curriculum, faculty members rated 9 behaviors of students observed during the third week of their first APPE and compared their scores with those of students who were evaluated in 2004 before the curriculum had been revised. Students completing the revised curriculum performed all 9 behaviors more often and had a better average score than students evaluated in 2004.
Curricular revisions implemented to address ACPE Standards 2007 were associated with positive clinical behaviors in students beginning their experiential education.
Standards 2007; accreditation; assessment; curriculum; Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education; advanced pharmacy practice experience
Objective. To determine if defined subgroups of pharmacists’ have variability in their expectations for competency of entry-level practitioners.
Methods. Rating scale data collected from the 2009 National Pharmacy Practice Survey were analyzed to determine to what extent pharmacists' degree, practice setting, and experience as a preceptor were associated with the ratings they assigned to 43 competency statements for entry-level practitioners. The competency statements determine the content on the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX).
Results. Pharmacists with a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree rated the co mpetency statements higher in terms of criticality to entry-level practice than did those with a bachelor of science (BS) degree (p< 0.05). Pharmacists working in inpatient settings gave slightly higher ratings to the competency statements than did pharmacists working in outpatient settings, pharmacists without direct patient care responsibilities, and those in academia. However, there were no significant differences among practitioner subgroups' criticality ratings with regard to practice setting. Preceptor pharmacists' criticality ratings of the competency statements were not significantly different from those of non-preceptor practitioners.
Conclusion. Pharmacists exhibited a fair amount of agreement in their expectations for the competence of entry-level practitioners independent of their practice sites and professional roles. As the pharmacy profession embraces patient-centered clinical practice, evaluating practicing pharmacists’ expectations for entry-level practitioners will provide useful information to the practitioners and academicians involved in training future pharmacists. Stakeholders in pharmacy education and regulation have vested interests in the alignment of the education of future practitioners with the needs of the profession.
pharmacist; NAPLEX; competency; performance standards
To compare didactic migraine education in doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) programs in the United States with the Headache Consortium's evidence-based migraine treatment recommendations.
A self-administered survey instrument was mailed to all 90 Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) approved PharmD programs in the United States.
Seventy-seven programs responded (86%) and 69 useable survey instruments were analyzed. Fifty-five percent of programs discussed the Consortium's guidelines, 49% discussed the selection of nonprescription versus prescription agents, 45% recommended a butalbital-containing product as migraine treatment, and 20% educated students about tools for assessing migraine-related debilitation. At least 50% of programs taught information consistent with the remaining Consortium recommendations.
Approximately half of the PharmD programs teach concepts about migraine headache treatment consistent with the US Headache Consortium's recommendations.
pharmacy education; migraine; evidence-based; headache