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
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
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 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 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
The practice of pharmacy, as well as pharmacy education, varies significantly throughout the world. In Jordan, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, the profession of pharmacy appears to be on the ascendance. This is demonstrated by an increase in the number of pharmacy schools and the number of pharmacy graduates from pharmacy programs. One of the reasons pharmacy is on the ascendance in these countries is government commitment to fund and support competitive, well-run pharmacy programs.
In this report we describe pharmacy education in 3 Middle East countries: Jordan, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. All 3 countries offer bachelor of pharmacy (BPharm) degrees. In addition, 2 universities in Jordan and 1 in Saudi Arabia offer PharmD degree programs. The teaching methods in all 3 countries combine traditional didactic lecturing and problem-based learning.
Faculties of pharmacy in all 3 countries are well staffed and offer competitive remuneration. All 3 countries have a policy of providing scholarships to local students for postgraduate training abroad. The majority of students in Jordan and Kuwait are female, while the ratio of male to female students in Saudi Arabia is even. Students’ attitudes towards learning are generally positive in all 3 countries. In Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, most pharmacy graduates work in the public sector, while in Jordan, the majority work in the private sector.
pharmacy education; Jordan; Saudi Arabia; Kuwait
To 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 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
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
Objectives. To evaluate scholarship, as represented by peer-reviewed journal articles, among US pharmacy practice faculty members; contribute evidence that may better inform benchmarking by academic pharmacy practice departments; and examine factors that may be related to publication rates.
Methods. Journal articles published by all pharmacy practice faculty members between January 1, 2006, and December 31, 2010, were identified. College and school publication rates were compared based on public vs. private status, being part of a health science campus, having a graduate program, and having doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) faculty members funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Results. Pharmacy practice faculty members published 6,101 articles during the 5-year study period, and a pharmacy practice faculty member was the primary author on 2,698 of the articles. Pharmacy practice faculty members published an average of 0.51 articles per year. Pharmacy colleges and schools affiliated with health science campuses, at public institutions, with NIH-funded PharmD faculty members, and with graduate programs had significantly higher total publication rates compared with those that did not have these characteristics (p<0.006).
Conclusion. Pharmacy practice faculty members contributed nearly 6,000 unique publications over the 5-year period studied. However, this reflects a rate of less than 1 publication per faculty member per year, suggesting that a limited number of faculty members produced the majority of publications.
academia; pharmacy practice; faculty; publications; scholarship
To 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
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
Pharmacy education in India traditionally has been industry and product oriented. In contrast to the situation in developed nations, graduate pharmacists prefer placements in the pharmaceutical industry. To practice as a pharmacist in India, one needs at least a diploma in pharmacy, which is awarded after only 2 years and 3 months of pharmacy studies. These diploma-trained pharmacists are the mainstay of pharmacy practice. The pharmacy practice curriculum has not received much attention. In India, there has been a surge in the number of institutions offering pharmacy degrees at various levels and a practice-based doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree program was started in some private institutions in 2008. However, relatively little information has been published describing the current status of complex pharmacy education of India. In this paper we describe pharmacy education in India and highlight major issues in pharmacy practice including deficiencies in curriculum. The changing face of the profession is discussed, including the establishment of the PharmD program. The information presented in this paper may stimulate discussion and critical analysis and planning, and will be of value in further adaptation of the pharmacy education to desired educational outcomes.
pharmacy education; pharmacy practice; India
To 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
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.
To demonstrate a curriculum mapping technique and its use in program evaluation and assessment, as well as to provide specific recommendations for potential uses in pharmacy education.
This study employed a descriptive cross-sectional study design based on a learning outcomes document and several existing student and curricular data sets.
The population consisted of 209 PharmD students at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy (UACOP) during the 2004-2005 academic year and mapped 31 of the 34 required didactic courses in the curriculum. There was concordance between student and faculty member ranking of domain coverage in their respective curricular maps.
The agreement between the student and faculty graphical curriculum maps on the order of the ranking of the relative emphasis of each domain suggests concordance between the intended/delivered and received curriculums. This study demonstrated a curriculum mapping methodology that can be used to both make sense and use of existing data in curricular evaluation.
curriculum evaluation; curriculum mapping; assessment; curriculum
To describe the introduction of an education concentration in a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) program and to evaluate its impact on students' knowledge and attitudes about teaching.
A concentration consisting of 3 elective 2-credit didactic courses and an advanced pharmacy practice experience with a teaching focus were developed and implemented into the PharmD curriculum.
An attitudes survey instrument and knowledge test were administered to students enrolled in the education concentration track at baseline and after completing the 3 didactic education courses. Students' attitudes toward using various assessment tools and instructional strategies improved and knowledge about concepts in higher education and interest in pursuing a career in academia increased.
Pharmacy students completing an education concentration were more likely to consider a career in higher education.
education concentration; advanced pharmacy practice experience; faculty recruitment; career
University of Maryland School of Pharmacy was in a quandary: its comprehensive mission required meeting state workforce needs while increasing educational quality, expanding research, and responding to service needs, but state resources were declining, faculty members were stressed, construction of a long-needed new building was stalled, and pressure to increase doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) enrollment was growing. A sharp challenge from the Board of Regents mobilized the school to quickly launch a growth initiative to accelerate PharmD program expansion through a satellite campus. Within 4 months, a plan was approved that not only led to enrollment growth, but also to a significant expansion of the faculty and staff, increased operating and capital budgets, and ground breaking for an $83 million new building. This case study illustrates how seemingly competitive needs such as teaching, research, and service can be woven together synergistically to accomplish multiple goals.
satellite campus; planning; finance; distance education; enrollment; expansion
A set of PharmD program curricular outcomes form the foundation of a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum and are critical to the development of both the structure/courses of the curriculum and the assessment plan for the program. A goal for developing these outcomes is to craft a set of clear, concise, assessable statements that accurately reflect competencies of the generalist entry-level pharmacist or graduate of the first-professional doctor of pharmacy degree. This article will provide a review of one specific type of outcome, ability-based outcomes, and present a case study of how one college revised their PharmD program-level outcomes. A discussion of key elements for the successful adoption of these outcomes is also presented.
ability-based outcomes; outcomes; assessment; curricular design; competencies
To explore the nature of corporate gifts directed at PharmD programs and pharmacy student activities and the perceptions of administrators about the potential influences of such gifts.
A verbally administered survey of administrative officials at 11 US colleges and schools of pharmacy was conducted and responses were analyzed.
All respondents indicated accepting corporate gifts or sponsorships for student-related activities in the form of money, grants, scholarships, meals, trinkets, and support for special events, and cited many advantages to corporate partner relationships. Approximately half of the respondents believed that real or potential problems could occur from accepting corporate gifts. Forty-four percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that corporate contributions could influence college or school administration. Sixty-one percent agreed or strongly agreed that donations were likely to influence students.
Corporate gifts do influence college and school of administration and students. Policies should be in place to manage this influence appropriately.
development; gifts; fundraising; corporate influence; corporate partnerships
The impact of pharmacy practice has been enhanced through additional graduate training opportunities, such as pharmacy residencies and dual-degree programs. This article compares and contrasts key aspects of pharmacy residencies and dual-degree programs, as well as examines the efforts of US colleges and schools of pharmacy in promoting these advanced training opportunities on their Web sites. Pharmacy residencies and dual-degree programs are complementary opportunities that allow student pharmacists to gain advanced knowledge and specialized skills beyond the traditional Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree. The combination of these credentials can be highly advantageous in a variety of practice settings. As pharmacists collaborate with healthcare providers and professionals from other disciplines, more support is needed to expand the availability and use of these cross-profession, advanced training opportunities to enhance the future of the pharmacy profession.
dual degree; residency; graduate program; advanced educational training; leadership; master’s degree
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 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
To engage pharmacy students at the McWhorter School of Pharmacy in an authentic discussion of professionalism early in their education.
A booklet was prepared that included several classic short stories and essays that dealt with professionalism. This booklet was sent to all entering students in the class of 2008 and 2009 during the summer prior to their first-professional year of the PharmD program. The stories and essays were discussed in small groups with faculty facilitation during orientation when the students first arrived on campus. A survey instrument was created and administered to assess the impact of this innovative approach to enhancing professionalism.
The program was well received and engaged our pharmacy students in a productive discussion on professionalism. Both classes' mean scores on survey items related that the students were engaged in the discussion of professionalism. Survey results pertaining to professional behavior also indicated increased awareness of the importance of professionalism.
Enhancing professionalism requires a culture change that necessitates addressing professionalism at its core, a calling to serve, in a persistent and continual manner. Requiring students to read and think about professionalism in a novel way, before they even begin their first-professional year of pharmacy school, appears to be an effective approach to nurturing/encouraging professionalism.
professionalism; literature; humanities; vocation