To determine the extent of pharmacoeconomics education at US pharmacy colleges and schools in 2007.
An e-mail survey was developed and sent to pharmacoeconomics instructors at all US colleges of pharmacy.
Of the 90 colleges and schools of pharmacy that completed the survey, 7 colleges and schools did not currently have someone teaching pharmacoeconomics (eg, new school or looking for instructor). For the 83 colleges and schools that had an instructor who taught pharmacoeconomics, 69 covered pharmacoeconomic-related topics in a required course only; 5, in an elective course only; and 9, in both a required and elective course. The number of hours of pharmacoeconomic-related topics presented in required courses ranged from 1 to 48 hours (mean = 21 ± 14; median = 19).
Pharmacoeconomics education courses are offered at the majority of US colleges and schools of pharmacy. There was a wide range of hours devoted to pharmacoeconomic-related topics and the topics covered in these colleges and schools varied. Although the majority of US colleges and schools of pharmacy offer pharmacoeconomics courses, official guidelines are needed for the specific aspects and topics that should be covered in the classroom.
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
Teachers of pharmacy self-care courses have met annually since 1998 at the Nonprescription Medicines Academy (NMA) held in Cincinnati, Ohio. During these meetings, self-care faculty members discuss methods of enhancing the teaching of self-care in US colleges and schools of pharmacy. Self-care courses are taught using a variety of methods and content is woven into pharmacy curricula in many different ways. This manuscript sets forth the current state of self-care instruction in pharmacy curricula including the recommended core curriculum, instructional methodologies, course mechanics, existing standards, and assessment and curricular placement, and makes recommendations for the future.
nonprescription medicines; curriculum; self-care; instruction
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
Several organizations representing pharmacy and other health professions stress the importance of teaching public health topics as part of training future practitioners. The objective of our study was to assess the number of U.S. pharmacy schools that incorporate lifestyle modification topics into their curricula.
We developed an electronic survey on lifestyle modification topics and sent it to each of the 89 pharmacy schools in the United States. The survey defined lifestyle modification topics as topics that address nutrition, exercise, weight loss, smoking cessation, and alcohol use.
Of 89 pharmacy schools contacted, 50 (56%) responded to the survey. Of the 50, four offer at least one required course in a lifestyle modification topic, seven offer at least one elective course, and one offers a required course that incorporates more than one lifestyle modification topic. Five required and nine elective courses were identified from the responses. Nutrition was the most commonly offered required course topic, followed by smoking cessation, exercise, weight loss, and alcohol use.
Few pharmacy schools are addressing recommendations to promote public health education through formalized didactic courses. More courses on lifestyle modification topics should be offered to pharmacy students, who will be highly accessible to the public as pharmacists and will be able to offer education to enhance public health focused on the prevention of chronic diseases.
To determine the content and extent, design, and relative importance of patient assessment courses in the professional pharmacy curriculum.
A 20-item questionnaire was developed to gather information pertaining to patient assessment. Pharmacy practice department chairs were mailed a letter with an Internet link to an online survey instrument.
Ninety-six percent of the programs indicated that patient assessment skills were taught. Forty-five percent of respondents indicated their course was a standalone course. The most common topics covered in assessment courses were pulmonary examination, vital signs, and cardiovascular assessment.
There is significant variability in the topics covered, depth of content, types of instruction, and evaluation methods used in patient assessment courses in US colleges of pharmacy. This survey was an initial assessment of what is being done regarding education of student pharmacists on patient assessment.
curriculum design; laboratory instruction; patient assessment; physical assessment
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
Approximately 38% of US pharmacy schools provide immunization education and training to pharmacy students as part of their core curricula. These deficiencies in immunization education and training may contribute to low immunization rates for some groups of people, particularly hard-to-reach consumers and those with misconceptions about vaccinations. In this paper, we call upon all pharmacy schools to mandate immunization education and training as part of their core curricula, not just as an elective course. In doing so, we encourage pharmacy schools to adopt the Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery program developed by the American Pharmacists Association. We recognize that implementation of these recommendations will require sufficient resources and that it will take time to change the curricula in colleges and schools of pharmacy.
immunization; vaccine; health care barriers; disease prevention; curriculum
Objective. To determine trends among departments of pharmacy practice regarding use of adjunct faculty members for classroom-based teaching and to assess departmental support provided to these faculty members.
Methods. Chairs of pharmacy practice departments in US colleges and school of pharmacy were contacted by e-mail and asked to complete an 11-item electronic survey instrument.
Results. Chair respondents reported an average of 5.7 adjunct faculty members hired to teach required courses and 1.8 adjunct faculty members hired to teach elective courses. Compensation averaged $108 per lecture hour and $1,257 per 1-credit-hour course. Twenty-five percent of the respondents expected to hire more adjunct faculty members to teach required courses in the upcoming year due to curricular changes, faculty hiring freezes, and the shortage of full-time faculty members. Only 7% of respondents reported that they provided a teaching mentor and 14% offered no support to their adjunct faculty members.
Conclusions. Departments of pharmacy practice commonly use adjunct faculty members to teach required and elective courses. Given the pharmacy faculty shortage, this trend is expected to increase and may be an area for future faculty development.
adjunct faculty; faculty; teaching
Objectives. To compare the elective courses offered by US colleges and schools of pharmacy to establish a benchmark for individual colleges and schools to use in assessing whether they offer a sufficient amount and variety of electives.
Methods. Internet Web sites of US doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) programs were reviewed to identify the number of elective lecture-based courses and elective advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPE) offered and required. Elective courses were grouped into categories to determine the variety of offerings.
Results. Pharmacy students were required to complete a mean of 7 hours of classroom-based elective courses. Thirty-two lecture-based elective courses were offered per college or school, and the mean number of categories of courses offered was 24. An average of 3 required APPEs was offered within 24 categories.
Conclusions. Pharmacy programs varied in the number of and requirements for elective courses. Most elective courses expanded on what was taught in the required curriculum vs informing on unique concepts or skills.
elective course; curriculum; pharmacy practice experiences
The present study aims to explore the perceptions among pharmacy practitioners in Libya on the importance of social pharmacy education. A qualitative methodology was employed to conduct this study. Using a purposive sampling technique, a total of ten Libyan registered pharmacists were interviewed. Based on the content analysis of the interviews, two major themes emerged, namely the understanding of social pharmacy education and the need for incorporating social pharmacy courses into the pharmacy education curriculum. The majority of the respondents knew about the concept. Of those that had no prior knowledge of this term, half of them expressed interest in knowing more about it. There was a positive perception of introducing social pharmacy into the undergraduate curricula among the respondents, and they believed that it is necessary for future pharmacists to know about social pharmacy components. The findings from the pharmacy practitioners' evaluation suggest the need to incorporate social pharmacy courses into the curricula of all pharmacy schools in Libya.
Social pharmacy; Education; Curriculum; Libya
Objective. To investigate users’ initial perceptions of and potential applications for the Educating Pharmacy Students and Pharmacists to Improve Quality (EPIQ) program, a 5-module education program designed to educate pharmacists and pharmacy students about quality improvement in pharmacy practice.
Methods. The 5-module EPIQ program was distributed to pharmacy faculty members, pharmacy practitioners, and other health professionals across the country upon request. A 6-item survey instrument was sent to the first 97 people who requested the program.
Results. Twenty-seven (56%) of the 55 respondents had reviewed the EPIQ program and 22 (82%) intended to use some or all of the content to teach about quality improvement or patient safety primarily in pharmacy management and medication safety courses.
Conclusion. Initial perceptions of the EPIQ program were positive; however, further evaluation is needed after more extensive implementation of the program in pharmacy colleges and schools and other settings.
medication safety; qualitative research; science of safety; education; pharmacy curriculum
To evaluate the impact of a mental health elective on pharmacy students' perceptions and stigmatizing views of mental illness.
An elective was designed that featured an advanced overview of psychopharmacology; student training in motivational interviewing; a presentation by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) local chapter; introduction to pharmacy collaborations with peer support specialists, social workers, and psychiatrists; mock patient counseling sessions; and a required psychiatric patient interview at a local community mental health center.
A survey instrument with 17 Likert-scale items was constructed to measure 2 distinct areas: social distance and stigmatizing views. The survey instrument was administered at the beginning and end of the spring 2010 semester to pharmacy students enrolled in the mental health elective course and to a control group of pharmacy students enrolled in an unrelated clinical elective. The course had a positive impact on pharmacy students' perceptions of mental illnesses. Students' social distance and stigmatizing views of mental illnesses improved, while no significant change in views occurred among students in the control group.
Advanced training in psychiatric medicine and exposure to mental health care are vital to prepare pharmacy students to provide unbiased, patient-centered care to this population.
pharmacy student; mental health; elective course
The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act proposes strategies to address the workforce shortages of primary care practitioners in rural America. This review addresses the question, “What specialized education and training are colleges and schools of pharmacy providing for graduates who wish to enter pharmacy practice in rural health?” All colleges and schools accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education or those in precandidate status as of December 2011 were included in an Internet-based review of Web sites. A wide scope of curricular offerings were found, ranging from no description of courses or experiences in a rural setting to formally developed programs in rural pharmacy. Although the number of pharmacy colleges and schools providing either elective or required courses in rural health is encouraging, more education and training with this focus are needed to help overcome the unmet need for quality pharmacy care for rural populations.
rural health; pharmacy curriculum; underserved; experiential
To assess the train-the-trainer component of an initiative (Partners in D) to train pharmacy students to facilitate patient enrollment in the best Medicare Part D prescription drug plan (Part D).
Faculty members from 6 California colleges or schools of pharmacy were taught how to train pharmacy students about Medicare Part D and how to conduct outreach events targeting underserved patient populations. A preintervention and postintervention survey instrument was administered to determine participants' (1) knowledge of the Part D program; (2) skill using the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder tool; and (3) confidence in their ability to train pharmacy students. Implementation of the Partners in D curriculum in faculty members' colleges or schools of pharmacy was also determined.
Participants' knowledge of Part D, mastery of the Plan Finder, and confidence in teaching the material to pharmacy students all significantly improved. Within 8 weeks following the program, 5 of 6 colleges or schools of pharmacy adopted Partners in D coursework and initiated teaching the Partners-in-D curriculum. Four months afterwards, 21 outreach events reaching 186 Medicare beneficiaries had been completed.
The train-the-trainer component of the Partners in D program is practical and effective, and merits serious consideration as a national model for educating patients about Medicare Part D.
Medicare Part D; Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder; train-the-trainer; faculty development
Objective. To develop and assess the impact of an elective course (HealthWISE) on student pharmacists’ skills in communication and health promotion and elementary school students’ knowledge of and attitudes toward science.
Design. Three colleges and schools of pharmacy collaborated to develop a 1-credit elective course that used online and classroom teaching and learning techniques to prepare student pharmacists to teach science in elementary school classrooms. Student pharmacists delivered 6 science lessons to elementary students over the course of 2 months.
Assessment. In weekly journal reflections and a final paper, student pharmacists reported improved communication and health promotion skills. Elementary teachers reported they were satisfied with student pharmacists’ performance in the classroom. On pretest and posttest evaluations, elementary students demonstrated increased science knowledge and enhanced enthusiasm for science following the lessons taught by student pharmacists.
Conclusions. The HealthWISE elective course provided positive benefit for student pharmacists, elementary school teachers, and elementary students.
service-learning; communication skills; health promotion; STEM education
Objective. To describe the development of an integrated pain and palliative care course and to investigate the long-term effectiveness of the course during doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students’ advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs) and in their practice after graduation.
Design. Roseman University College of Pharmacy faculty developed a 3-week elective course in pain and palliative care by integrating relevant clinical and pharmaceutical sciences. Instructional strategies included lectures, team and individual activities, case studies, and student presentations.
Assessment. Students who participated in the course in 2010 and 2011 were surveyed anonymously to gain their perception about the class as well as the utility of the course during their APPEs and in their everyday practice. Traditional and nontraditional assessment of students confirmed that the learning outcomes objectives were achieved.
Conclusions. Students taking the integrated course on pain management and palliative care achieved mastery of the learning outcome objectives. Surveys of students and practicing pharmacists who completed the course showed that the learning experience as well as retention was improved with the integrated mode of teaching. Integrating basic and clinical sciences in therapeutic courses is an effective learning strategy.
curricular design; pain; palliative care; integrated course
In a series of 3 papers on survey practices published from 2008 to 2009, the editors of the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education presented guidelines for reporting survey research, and these criteria are reflected in the Author Instructions provided on the Journal’s Web site. This paper discusses the relevance of these criteria for publication of survey research regarding pharmacy colleges and schools. In addition, observations are offered about surveying of small "universes" like that comprised of US colleges and schools of pharmacy. The reason for revisiting this issue is the authors’ concern that, despite the best of intentions, overly constraining publication standards might discourage research on US colleges and schools of pharmacy at a time when the interest in the growth of colleges and schools, curricular content, clinical education, competence at graduation, and other areas is historically high. In the best traditions of academia, the authors share these observations with the community of pharmacy educators in the hope that the publication standards for survey research about US pharmacy schools will encourage investigators to collect and disseminate valuable information.
survey; pharmacy education; sample size; response rate; research
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
The development and present status of the Emergency Health Services (EHS) national and educational programs are discussed. Instituted in 1951 for medical and dental practitioners at a military school at Camp Borden, professional civilian indoctrination was later assumed by EHS at Canadian Emergency Measures College (CEMC). The federally sponsored courses there are now specialized; provincial EHS authorities undertake general indoctrination. Courses for graduates in pharmacy and nursing are also offered at CEMC. Hospital Disaster Institutes have been held across the country since 1954; Public Health Disaster Institutes, since 1966. Schools of Hygiene include the subject in graduate programs. Some years ago, three medical faculties introduced undergraduate teaching in mass casualty care; now, encouraged by the Association of Canadian Medical Colleges, a larger number are doing so. Several faculties of Dentistry, all faculties of Pharmacy, and 132 of 177 nursing schools teach apposite aspects. Professional journals have published many articles on this subject; this, for example, is the fourth Emergency Health Services Symposium presented by The Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Despite decades of public health initiatives, tobacco use remains the leading known preventable cause of death in the United States. Clinicians have a proven, positive effect on patients’ ability to quit, and pharmacists are strategically positioned to assist patients with quitting. The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy recognizes health promotion and disease prevention as a key educational outcome; as such, tobacco cessation education should be a required component of pharmacy curricula to ensure that all pharmacy graduates possess the requisite evidence-based knowledge and skills to intervene with patients who use tobacco. Faculty members teaching tobacco cessation-related content must be knowledgeable and proficient in providing comprehensive cessation counseling, and all preceptors and practicing pharmacists providing direct patient care should screen for tobacco use and provide at least minimal counseling as a routine component of care. Pharmacy organizations should establish policies and resolutions addressing the profession’s role in tobacco cessation and control, and the profession should work together to eliminate tobacco sales in all practice settings where pharmacy services are rendered.
academic pharmacy; policy; public health; smoking; tobacco
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 assess mental health education in the undergraduate pharmacy curricula in the United Kingdom and gauge how well prepared graduates are to manage mental health patients.
Method. The authors conducted semi-structured telephone interviews with pharmacy educators and administered an electronic self-administered survey instrument to pharmacy graduates.
Results. The mental health conditions of depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and Parkinson disease were taught, in detail, by all schools, but more specialized areas of mental health (eg, personality disorder, autism) were generally not taught. Just 5 of 19 schools attempted to teach the broader social aspects of mental health. A third of the schools provided experiential learning opportunities. Graduates and recently registered pharmacists stated that undergraduate education had prepared them adequately with regard to knowledge on conditions and treatment options, but that they were not as well prepared to talk with mental health patients and deal with practical drug management-related issues.
Conclusion. The mental health portion of the undergraduate pharmacy curricula in colleges and schools of pharmacy in the United Kingdom is largely theoretical, and pharmacy students have little exposure to mental health patients. Graduates identified an inability to effectively communicate with these patients and manage common drug management-related issues.
mental health; pharmacy education; graduate; curriculum
Objective. To implement and assess an elective course that engages pharmacy students’ interest in and directs them toward a career in academia.
Design. A blended-design elective that included online and face-to-face components was offered to first through third-year pharmacy students
Assessment. Students’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes toward academic pharmacy were measured by pre- and post-course assessments, online quizzes, personal journal entries, course assignments, and exit interviews. The elective course promoting academic pharmacy as a profession was successful and provided students with an awareness about another career avenue to consider upon graduation. The students demonstrated mastery of the course content.
Conclusions. Students agreed that the elective course on pharmacy teaching and learning was valuable and that they would recommend it to their peers. Forty percent responded that after completing the course, they were considering academic pharmacy as a career.
academic pharmacy; teaching; student awareness; faculty; career
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