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
Objective. To design and implement 2 pharmaceutical industry elective courses and assess their impact on students’ selection of advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs) and pursuit of pharmaceutical industry fellowships.
Methods. Two 2-credit-hour elective courses that explored careers within the prescription and nonprescription pharmaceutical drug industries were offered for second- and third-year pharmacy students in a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree program.
Results. The impact of the courses on pharmacy students’ pursuit of a pharmaceutical industry fellowship was evaluated based on responses to annual graduating students’ exit surveys. A greater percentage (17.9%) of students who had taken a pharmaceutical industry elective course pursued a pharmaceutical industry fellowship compared to all PharmD graduates (4.8%). Of the students who enrolled in pharmaceutical industry APPEs, 31% had taken 1 of the 2 elective courses.
Conclusion. Exposure to a pharmaceutical industry elective course within a college or school of pharmacy curriculum may increase students’ interest in pursuing pharmaceutical industry fellowships and enrolling in pharmaceutical industry APPEs.
pharmacy; student; education; pharmaceutical industry
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 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
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
To describe the extent of psychiatric pharmacy instruction in US pharmacy curricula, including course and faculty characteristics and mental health topics taught in clinical therapeutics-based courses.
An 11-item survey instrument (54% response) was developed and mailed to 91 colleges and schools of pharmacy.
Over 75% of colleges and schools employed a psychiatric pharmacist; however, less than 50% of faculty teaching psychiatric pharmacy content were psychiatric pharmacy specialists as defined in the study. All colleges and schools included psychiatric topics as part of a therapeutics-based course with an average of 9.5% of course content devoted to these topics. About 25% of colleges and schools offered elective didactic courses in psychiatric pharmacy. Only 2 schools required a psychiatric pharmacy advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE), but about 92% offered elective APPEs. The mean number of hours spent on lecture- and case-based instruction across all colleges and schools was highest for depression and lowest for personality disorders.
There is a need for colleges and schools of pharmacy to better identify and standardize the minimal acceptable level of didactic instruction in psychiatric pharmacy as well as the minimal level of specialty qualifications for faculty members who teach this subject.
psychiatric pharmacy; pharmacy education; curriculum; mental health
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 evaluate the learning outcomes of an online, distance education course in statistics for doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students.
Lectures for the course were produced by the course faculty, converted into digital format (mp4), placed within the college's course management system, and video streamed to students. The course required students to interact with the course content using workbooks and simulations and with the instructor via VoIP examination reviews.
A quasi-experimental study involving 4 groups of students was conducted. Second-year (P2) students were assigned randomly to 1 of 3 groups and asked to complete a precourse survey that contained: demographic information only (group 1); demographic items plus 10 items assessing statistics knowledge (group 2); or demographic items plus 20 items assessing statistics knowledge (group 3). At the end of the course, all students were given the same 20 items on the final examination (postcourse survey instrument). A control group consisting of randomly selected first-year (P1) students completed the 20-item precourse survey instrument. P1 and P2 students' scores on the 20-item precourse survey were not significantly different. Students who had taken a statistics course before entering the PharmD program scored higher on the precourse survey. P2 students in all 3 study groups had similar scores on the final examination (postcourse survey) (p = 0.43).
Students can be taught the basic principles of statistics and how to use statistics to read the pharmacy and medical literature entirely online. This study has significant implications for how classes traditionally taught in the classroom might be taught at a distance using innovative instructional technologies.
distance education; statistics; online learning
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 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
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 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 compare the attributes of US colleges and schools of pharmacy and describe the extent of change to the pharmacy education enterprise associated with the addition of new schools.
Attributes analyzed included whether the college or school of pharmacy was old or new, public or private, secular or faith-based, and on or not on an academic health center (AHC) campus; had 3- or 4- year programs; and had PhD students enrolled. PharmD student enrollment-to-faculty ratios and junior-to-senior faculty ratios also were examined.
Of the new colleges/schools, 76% were private and 79% were not located on a campus with an AHC; 6% had PhD enrollment compared with 80% of old colleges/schools. Faculty ratios were related to several college/school attributes, including the presence or absence of PhD students and whether the college/school was public or private.
Attributes of new colleges and schools of pharmacy have changed the overall profile of all colleges and schools of pharmacy. For example, smaller percentages of all colleges and schools of pharmacy are public and have PhD enrollees.
pharmacy education; faculty-to-student ratio; college/school attributes
To evaluate the curricula content of Thai pharmacy schools based on the Thai pharmacy competency standards.
Course syllabi were collected from 11 pharmacy schools. A questionnaire was developed based on the Thai pharmacy competency standards. Course coordinators completed the questionnaire assessing the curricula content.
The curricula for both the bachelor of science in pharmacy degree (BS Pharm) and doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree programs included the minimum content required by the 8 competency domains. The dominant content area in BS Pharm degree programs was product-oriented material. The content ratio of patient to product to social and administrative pharmacy in the BS Pharm degree programs was 2:3:1, respectively. However, the content ratio suggested by the Thai Pharmacy Council was 3:2:1, respectively. For the PharmD programs, the largest content area was patient-oriented material, which was in agreement with the framework suggested by the Thai Pharmacy Council.
The curricula of all Thai pharmacy schools met the competency standards; however, some patient-oriented material should be expanded and some product-oriented content deleted in order to meet the recommended content ratio.
pharmacy education; curriculum; competency; evaluation; Thailand
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
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 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
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
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 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
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
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 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 identify stress and stress-relieving mechanisms among second-year pharmacy students in a 3-year doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) program using a Mastery Learning Educational Model and to compare findings with those from a 4-year program.
Second-year PharmD students in a 3-year program were asked to complete a series of questionnaires including the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) regarding stress and stress-relieving activities.
The average PSS score for the 3-year PharmD cohort was significantly higher than the score of demographically similar students enrolled in a 4-year PharmD program (P = 0.04). There were significant differences between the 2 groups’ scores on 5 items on the PSS including how often they: were upset because something happened unexpectedly, felt unable to control important things, felt nervous and stressed, thought about things that had to be accomplished, and were able to control the way they spent their time. The rate of prescription drug misuse among those in the 3-year PharmD program was 11.6%.
Students in a 3-year PharmD program with a unique educational model experienced more stress than students in a traditional 4-year PharmD program.
doctor of pharmacy students; mental health; stress
To create a self-sufficient, innovative method for providing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) education within a college of pharmacy using a student-driven committee, and disseminating CPR education into the community through a service learning experience.
A CPR committee comprised of doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students at the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy provided CPR certification to all pharmacy students. The committee developed a service learning project by providing CPR training courses in the community. Participants in the course were required to complete an evaluation form at the conclusion of each training course.
The CPR committee successfully certified more than 1,950 PharmD students and 240 community members from 1996 to 2009. Evaluations completed by participants were favorable, with 99% of all respondents (n = 351) rating the training course as either “excellent” or “good” in each of the categories evaluated.
A PharmD student-directed committee successfully provided CPR training to other students and community members as a service learning experience.
cardiopulmonary resuscitation; basic life support; service learning; doctor of pharmacy student