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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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 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
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 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
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 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 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
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
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
Objectives. To identify the prevalence of portfolio use in US pharmacy programs, common components of portfolios, and advantages of and limitations to using portfolios.
Methods. A cross-sectional electronic survey instrument was sent to experiential coordinators at US colleges and schools of pharmacy to collect data on portfolio content, methods, training and resource requirements, and benefits and challenges of portfolio use.
Results. Most colleges and schools of pharmacy (61.8%) use portfolios in experiential courses and the majority (67.1%) formally assess them, but there is wide variation regarding content and assessment. The majority of respondents used student portfolios as a formative evaluation primarily in the experiential curriculum.
Conclusions. Although most colleges and schools of pharmacy have a portfolio system in place, few are using them to fulfill accreditation requirements. Colleges and schools need to carefully examine the intended purpose of their portfolio system and follow-through with implementation and maintenance of a system that meets their goals.
portfolio; assessment; evaluation; competency achievement; pharmacy practice experiences; pharmacy education
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
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
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
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
To establish and assess the effectiveness of a 10-week summer research program on increasing doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students' interest in research, particularly as it related to future career choices.
Survey instruments were sent to 25 participants who had completed the research program in the summer of 2004, 2005, or 2006 to assess their satisfaction with the program and its influence on their career choices after graduation.
Respondents reported a high degree of satisfaction with the program, indicating that the program allowed them to determine their suitability for a career in research, and 55% reported their intention to pursue additional research training.
A brief introduction to the clinical research environment helped pharmacy students understand the clinical sciences and careers in research. The introduction increased the likelihood of students pursuing a research career path after obtaining their PharmD degree.
research; career; students
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
Objective. To assess the doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students’ desire to obtain additional degrees after graduation.
Methods. During the spring 2011 semester, an anonymous 14-question survey instrument was administered to students across all 6 years of the PharmD program to evaluate their interest in obtaining an additional degree after graduation. Demographic data was also collected and analyzed from this convenience sample.
Results. Approximately 34% of the respondents (n=1,239) indicated a desire to seek an additional degree. Of the additional degrees offered in the survey instrument, more than one-third of the students expressed interest in the master of business administration (MBA). Also, 79% of those respondents were willing to take summer courses to achieve a dual or additional degree.
Conclusion. Pharmacy students are interested in obtaining an additional degree(s) after graduation and are willing to complete summer courses to achieve their career goals.
doctor of pharmacy students; career goals; graduate degree; dual degree
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