Objective. To assess the prevalence and characteristics of curriculum in dual doctor of pharmacy (PharmD)/master of public health (MPH) degree programs offered by US pharmacy programs.
Methods. An 18-item survey instrument was developed and distributed online to faculty members at US colleges and schools of pharmacy.
Results. Of the 110 colleges and schools that responded, 23 (21%) offered a PharmD/MPH degree. Common characteristics of these 23 programs included current PharmD program structure (3 + 1 year), early curricular recruitment, small enrollment, and interdisciplinary coursework occurring online and in the classroom. The impact of the dual degree on the curriculum and longevity of the dual-degree programs varied. About 55% of responding programs without a formal dual-degree program reported that additional public health training was available.
Conclusion. Twenty-one percent of colleges and schools of pharmacy offer a combined PharmD/MPH dual degree. Most programs required an additional 1 or 2 semesters to complete both degrees.
pharmacy education; public health; masters of public health; dual degree
The aim of this study was to evaluate the awareness and perception of general educated Indian individuals about Doctor of Pharmacy course.
A cross-sectional structured Pharm.D questionnaire survey was conducted at educational institutions of India mainly through e-mails. Pharm.D questionnaire survey was conducted over a period of six months. The questionnaire was classified into four major categories, including course-related questions, roles-related questions, critical comparative questions, and opinion-based questions. The responses were collected and analyzed to assess the opinions and attitudes of the study population regarding the course Pharm.D.
Out of 2819 responses, 66.01% agreed that Indian syllabus, teaching procedure, and hospital training in institutions are enough to prepare an ideally graduated Pharm.D. Respondents of about 70.59% agreed that Pharm.Ds should take care of complete responsibility of drug therapy rather than physicians prescribing the medications and Pharm.Ds fixing the dose. The statement “Pharm.Ds play a vital role in improving medication adherence through patient counseling” was accepted by 47.80%, whereas 41.40% did not accept it as they felt that the Pharm.D's role in this regard is not more than the physician's role, and 10.80% suggested that other healthcare professionals would play a better role. Among all the respondents, 73.64% of the study population was found to be ready for giving equal credit and respect to Pharm.Ds as physicians.
Our survey emphasizes on the opinion of educated people of having Pharm.Ds in both government and private hospitals to take care of complete therapy and for improving medication adherence.
Doctor of pharmacy; pharmacy education; questionnaire; survey
Objective. To determine the perceptions of junior pharmacy faculty members with US doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degrees regarding their exposure to residency, fellowship, and graduate school training options in pharmacy school. Perceptions of exposure to career options and research were also sought.
Methods. A mixed-mode survey instrument was developed and sent to assistant professors at US colleges and schools of pharmacy.
Results. Usable responses were received from 735 pharmacy faculty members. Faculty members perceived decreased exposure to and awareness of fellowship and graduate education training as compared to residency training. Awareness of and exposure to academic careers and research-related fields was low from a faculty recruitment perspective.
Conclusions. Ensuring adequate exposure of pharmacy students to career paths and postgraduate training opportunities could increase the number of PharmD graduates who choose academic careers or other pharmacy careers resulting from postgraduate training.
pharmacy faculty members; residency programs; fellowships; graduate education; careers
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
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 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
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
To examine the type and extent of pharmacoepidemiology education offered by US colleges and schools of pharmacy.
An electronic Web-survey was sent to all 89 US colleges and schools of pharmacy between October 2005 and January 2006 to examine the type and extent of pharmacoepidemiology education offered to professional (PharmD) and graduate (MS/PhD) students.
The response rate was 100%. Of the 89 schools surveyed, 69 (78%) provided pharmacoepidemiology education to their professional students. A mean of 119 (±60) PharmD students per college/school per year received some pharmacoepidemiology education (range 1-60 classroom hours; median 10 hours). Thirty-five schools (39%) provided education to a mean of 6 (±5) graduate students (range 2-135 classroom hours; median 15 hours).
A majority of US colleges and schools of pharmacy offer some pharmacoepidemiology education in their curriculum. However, the topics offered by each school and number of classroom hours varied at both the professional and graduate level.
pharmacoepidemiology; epidemiology; curriculum
Objective. To evaluate the impact of including Health Sciences Reasoning Test (HSRT) scores in the doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) admissions process compared with other criteria used.
Methods. The HSRT was administered to all prepharmacy students who were selected for an interview (n=122) as part of the PharmD program admissions process. The HSRT score and other evaluation criteria were used to establish candidate rankings. The correlation between total HSRT scores and other measures used in the admissions process then was evaluated.
Results. Candidate rankings were not noticeably different when the HSRT scores were excluded from the admission process. The HSRT scores were significantly and highly correlated with applicants’ Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) cumulative percentile scores.
Conclusions. The HSRT can be an effective method to evaluate critical-thinking ability as part of the admissions process into a PharmD program. However, the usefulness of the HSRT as an admissions screening tool is mitigated by information redundancies with other evaluation criteria, specifically the PCAT.
health sciences reasoning test; admissions; critical thinking
To describe the University of Tennessee PharmD/PhD program and assess the prevalence and characteristics of PharmD/PhD programs in the United States.
Survey instruments were mailed in May 2004 to UT dual-degree program participants and deans of US colleges and schools of pharmacy.
University of Tennessee PharmD/PhD students completed more than 30 hours of graduate credit before obtaining their PharmD and 72.2% agreed or strongly agreed that the program met their professional goals. More than 40% of US pharmacy colleges and schools have or plan to have PharmD/PhD programs. A wide variation exists in the level of integration, PhD concentrations offered, entrance requirements, and student benefits. Most schools with PharmD/PhD programs had few students enrolled in the program, but attrition rates were low (<20%) for 69% of the schools.
Dual-degree programs attract and retain pharmacy students in research programs and 47.6% of graduates entered academia and industry.
dual-degree programs; faculty shortage; pharmacy education; PharmD/PhD; graduate education
Objective. To determine the extent to which pediatrics is taught at US doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) programs and to characterize what is being taught and how.
Methods. A 40-question online survey instrument was sent to accredited and candidate-status US PharmD programs.
Results. Of 86 participating programs (67.2% response rate), 81 (94.2%) indicated that pediatric topics were included in their required classroom curricula (mean, 21.9 contact hours). A pediatric elective course was offered by 61.0% of programs (mean, 25.9 contact hours). Advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs) in pediatrics were offered by 97.4% of programs, with an average of 27 students per program completing this practice experience annually.
Conclusions. Almost all responding programs incorporated pediatrics in their required curricula. Pediatric elective courses provided an adequate mean number of contact hours, but 39.0% of programs did not offer an elective course. One-fifth of students completed a pediatric APPE prior to graduation. Continued expansion of pediatric-focused classroom and experiential curricula across US PharmD programs is recommended.
pharmacy education; pediatrics; curriculum
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
To describe current objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) practices in doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) programs in the United States.
Structured interviews were conducted with PharmD faculty members between September 2008 and May 2010 to collect information about awareness of and interest in OSCE, current OSCE practices, and barriers to OSCEs.
Of 108 US colleges and schools of pharmacy identified, interviews were completed for a representative sample of 88 programs (81.5% participation rate). Thirty-two pharmacy programs reported using OSCEs; however, practices within these programs varied. Eleven of the programs consistently administered examinations of 3 or more stations, required all students to complete the same scenario(s), and had processes in place to ensure consistency of standardized patients' role portrayal. Of the 55 programs not using OSCEs, approximately half were interested in using the technique. Common barriers to OSCE implementation or expansion were cost and faculty members' workloads.
There is wide interest in using OSCEs within pharmacy education. However, few colleges and schools of pharmacy conduct OSCEs in an optimal manner, and most do not adhere to best practices in OSCE construction and administration.
objective structured clinical examination (OSCE); assessment; testing; examination
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
To assess the prevalence of curricular programs or other structured activities designed to prepare students for and to promote residency training.
An electronic survey instrument containing 12 questions regarding institutional demographics and activities related to pharmacy student preparation for residency training was sent to administrators of all US colleges and schools of pharmacy.
Ninety-one survey instruments were e-mailed to US colleges and schools of pharmacy administrators, and an overall response rate of 78% was attained. Twenty-two percent of respondents identified a structured curricular program to prepare students for postgraduate training. In addition, informal programs or informational sessions varying in scope and content were offered by many colleges and schools to prepare students for residency training.
Many of the US colleges and schools of pharmacy reported structured activities or programs that promote residency training to students. Ten programs had a designated clinical-track curriculum.
students; curriculum; residency; survey
To determine doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students’ perceptions of a PharmD
and master of public health (MPH) dual degree program.
A seven-item survey instrument was developed and distributed to students at a
large metropolitan school of pharmacy during scheduled class time in April
Among the 611 students enrolled in the PharmD program, 447 (73%) responded.
Of those who responded, 72.3% were either “very likely” or “likely” to
consider enrolling in such a PharmD/MPH dual degree program, and 77.4%
believed that it would be attractive to future students. The most commonly
identified potential limitations to pursuing the dual degree were time
commitment (19.9%), increased workload and stress (11.2%), and tuition cost
(10.3%). The most notable advantages documented were increased job
opportunities for public health-related pharmacy positions (26.9%),
increased ability to serve patients and the community (13.4%), and increased
marketability for future jobs (8.7%).
PharmD student participants demonstrated overall positive attitudes and
interest towards a PharmD/MPH dual degree program.
Education, Pharmacy; Students, Pharmacy; Students, Public Health; Schools, Pharmacy; Program Development; Attitude; United States
Objective. To describe the education, training, and academic experiences of newly hired faculty members at US colleges and schools of pharmacy during the 2012-2013 academic year.
Methods. A survey regarding education, training, and academic experiences was conducted of all first-time faculty members at US colleges and schools of pharmacy hired during the 2012-2013 academic year.
Results. Pharmacy practice faculty members accounted for the majority (68.2%) of new hires. Ambulatory care was the most common pharmacy specialty position (29.8%). Most new faculty members had a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) as their terminal degree (74.8%), and 88.3% of pharmacy practice faculty members completed a residency. Of new faculty members who responded to the survey, 102 (67.5%) had at least 3 prior academic teaching, precepting, or research experiences.
Conclusion. New faculty members were hired most frequently for clinical faculty positions at the assistant professor level and most frequently in the specialty of ambulatory care. Prior academic experience included precepting pharmacy students, facilitating small discussions, and guest lecturing.
faculty member; pharmacy education; training; hiring; survey
To assess the breadth, depth, and perceived importance of pharmacogenomics instruction and level of faculty development in this area in schools and colleges of pharmacy in the United States.
A questionnaire used and published previously was further developed and sent to individuals at all US schools and colleges of pharmacy. Multiple approaches were used to enhance response.
Seventy-five (83.3%) questionnaires were returned. Sixty-nine colleges (89.3%) included pharmacogenomics in their PharmD curriculum compared to 16 (39.0%) as reported in a 2005 study. Topic coverage was <10 hours for 28 (40.6%), 10-30 hours for 29 (42.0%), and 31-60 hours for 10 (14.5%) colleges and schools of pharmacy. Fewer than half (46.7%) were planning to increase course work over the next 3 years and 54.7% had no plans for faculty development related to pharmacogenomics.
Most US colleges of pharmacy include pharmacogenomics content in their curriculum, however, the depth may be limited. The majority did not have plans for faculty development in the area of pharmacogenomic content expertise.
pharmacogenomics education; pharmacogenetics education; curriculum
Objectives. To assess pharmacy student involvement in leadership and service roles and to evaluate the association between admissions data and student involvement.
Methods. Doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students were invited to complete a 56-item online survey instrument containing questions regarding leadership and service involvement, work experiences, perceived contribution of involvement to skill development, and perceived importance of involvement. Responses were linked to admissions data to identify possible associations.
Results. Five hundred fourteen (82.4%) pharmacy students completed the survey instrument. Students with higher admissions application and interview scores were more likely to be involved in organizations and hold leadership roles, while students with higher admissions grade point averages were less likely to be involved in organizations and leadership roles.
Conclusions. Assessing students’ involvement in leadership and service roles can assist in the evaluation of students’ leadership skills and lead to modification of curricular and co-curricular activities to provide development opportunities. Student involvement in extracurricular activities may encourage future involvement in and commitment to the pharmacy profession.
student leadership; academic performance; admission criteria
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
To evaluate the research-related coursework and research experiences in doctor of pharmacy programs and compare the findings to those of 2 previous studies.
A questionnaire was mailed to 88 colleges and schools of pharmacy in the United States and Puerto Rico. The survey instrument sought information on formal research-related coursework; required and elective research experiences; and perceptions of student-conducted research.
Seventy-nine colleges and schools completed the questionnaire for a response rate of 88%. Most colleges (>90%) required students to study/complete courses in biostatistics and drug information/literature evaluation; approximately half required research methods coursework. Twenty-five percent required some form of project and requirements were not influenced by class size. Students could often work in teams to complete projects. Respondents generally thought participation in research had some value for motivated students.
This study demonstrates the variability in extent of research-related coursework and research experiences in PharmD programs across the country.
research education; education; pharmacy research
Objective. To assess pharmacy faculty trainers’ perceptions of a Web-based train-the-trainer program for PharmGenEd, a shared pharmacogenomics curriculum for health professional students and licensed clinicians.
Methods. Pharmacy faculty trainers (n=58, representing 39 colleges and schools of pharmacy in the United States and 1 school from Canada) participated in a train-the-trainer program consisting of up to 9 pharmacogenomics topics. Posttraining survey instruments assessed faculty trainers’ perceptions toward the training program and the likelihood of their adopting the educational materials as part of their institution’s curriculum.
Results. Fifty-five percent of faculty trainers reported no prior formal training in pharmacogenomics. There was a significant increase (p<0.001) in self-reported ability to teach pharmacogenomics to pharmacy students after participants viewed the webinar and obtained educational materials. Nearly two-thirds (64%) indicated at least a “good” likelihood of adopting PharmGenEd materials at their institution during the upcoming academic year. More than two-thirds of respondents indicated interest in using PharmGenEd materials to train licensed health professionals, and 95% indicated that they would recommend the program to other pharmacy faculty members.
Conclusion. As a result of participating in the train-the-trainer program in pharmacogenomics, faculty member participants gained confidence in teaching pharmacogenomics to their students, and the majority of participants indicated a high likelihood of adopting the program at their institution. A Web-based train-the-trainer model appears to be a feasible strategy for training pharmacy faculty in pharmacogenomics.
pharmacogenomics; curriculum; pharmacy colleges and schools; faculty development; train-the-trainer
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
Assessment has become a major aspect of accreditation processes across all of higher education. As the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) plans a major revision to the standards for doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) education, an in-depth, scholarly review of the approaches and strategies for assessment in the PharmD program accreditation process is warranted. This paper provides 3 goals and 7 recommendations to strengthen assessment in accreditation standards. The goals include: (1) simplified standards with a focus on accountability and improvement, (2) institutionalization of assessment efforts; and (3) innovation in assessment. Evolving and shaping assessment practices is not the sole responsibility of the accreditation standards. Assessment requires commitment and dedication from individual faculty members, colleges and schools, and organizations supporting the college and schools, such as the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. Therefore, this paper also challenges the academy and its members to optimize assessment practices.
assessment; standards; accreditation
To describe PharmD students' work experiences and activities; examine their attitudes towards their work; examine perceptions of preceptor pharmacists they worked with; and determine important issues associated with career preference.
A written survey was administered to third-year doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students at 8 colleges and schools of pharmacy in the Midwest.
Five hundred thirty-three students (response rate = 70.4%) completed the survey instrument. Nearly 100% of PharmD students reported working in a pharmacy by the time their advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs) began. Seventy-eight percent reported working in a community pharmacy, and 67% had worked in a chain community pharmacy. For all practice settings, students reported spending 69% of their time on activities such as compounding, dispensing, and distribution of drug products.
Most students are working in community pharmacy (mainly chain) positions where their primary function is traditional drug product dispensing and distribution. Having a controllable work schedule was the variable most strongly associated with career choice for all students.
pharmacy student; work experience; work activities; attitudes; career choice