To assess differences in the practice of pharmacy and in job satisfaction between graduates of a nontraditional doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) program and a bachelor of science (BS) in pharmacy program.
Two separate survey instruments were mailed to 293 PharmD graduates and 293 BS graduates.
Two hundred fourteen (73.0%) of the 293 nontraditional PharmD graduates and 189 (64.5%) of the 293 BS graduates completed the survey instruments. Nontraditional PharmD graduates expressed greater satisfaction, both in their current position and with pharmacy as a career, compared to BS graduates. Nontraditional PharmD graduates were more likely than BS graduates to practice in a hospital and have more clinical responsibilities.
Nontraditional PharmD graduates are more likely to have greater satisfaction with their job and with pharmacy as a career compared to BS-trained pharmacists.
nontraditional PharmD degree; job responsibilities; job satisfaction
Evaluate the academic experience and satisfaction of students enrolled in the dual PharmD/MBA degree program between the South Carolina College of Pharmacy and The Citadel's School of Business Administration. Compare grade point averages of students enrolled in the dual degree program with those of traditional student colleagues.
A standardized satisfaction survey instrument was administered to 32 students currently enrolled in the dual PharmD/MBA degree program. Grade point averages (GPAs) in both pharmacy and business coursework were also collected for analysis.
There were slightly higher percentages of both female and minority students in the dual degree program compared to the pharmacy class as a whole. Eighteen (56%) of students completed the survey, and responses were generally positive. The mean GPA of students in the dual degree program was higher than that of both pharmacy (3.37 vs 3.08, p < 0.001) and business (3.72 vs 3.64, not statistically significant) students not enrolled in the dual degree program.
Students enrolled in the dual degree program did better academically than their counterparts and indicated an overall high level of satisfaction with the program.
dual degree; PharmD/MBA; master of business administration; business
To examine the type and extent of pharmacoepidemiology education offered by US colleges and schools of pharmacy.
An electronic Web-survey was sent to all 89 US colleges and schools of pharmacy between October 2005 and January 2006 to examine the type and extent of pharmacoepidemiology education offered to professional (PharmD) and graduate (MS/PhD) students.
The response rate was 100%. Of the 89 schools surveyed, 69 (78%) provided pharmacoepidemiology education to their professional students. A mean of 119 (±60) PharmD students per college/school per year received some pharmacoepidemiology education (range 1-60 classroom hours; median 10 hours). Thirty-five schools (39%) provided education to a mean of 6 (±5) graduate students (range 2-135 classroom hours; median 15 hours).
A majority of US colleges and schools of pharmacy offer some pharmacoepidemiology education in their curriculum. However, the topics offered by each school and number of classroom hours varied at both the professional and graduate level.
pharmacoepidemiology; epidemiology; curriculum
Objective. To determine which student characteristics and performance criteria in the prepharmacy and doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) program predict success on the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX).
Methods. Transcripts and NAPLEX scores were reviewed for 432 graduates from the Xavier University of Louisiana College of Pharmacy between 2008 and 2011.
Results. The preadmission variables that correlated with NAPLEX scores included math-science grade point average (GPA), cumulative GPA, student type (internal or transfer), and having no unsatisfactory grades (p<0.001). In the PharmD program, cumulative GPA, on-time graduation, and having no unsatisfactory grades in the prepharmacy and PharmD programs correlated with NAPLEX scores (p<0.001).
Conclusion. Having no unsatisfactory grades in the prepharmacy program and a high cumulative GPA in the PharmD program were identified as significant predictors of success on the NAPLEX.
North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination; admissions; grade point average
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 enhance the clinical training and financial support of graduate students in a Clinical Pharmaceutical Scientist PhD Program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy.
The School of Pharmacy and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center entered into a collaborative agreement to develop the Clinical Scientist Associate (CSA) program, as well as financially support students enrolled in a Pharmaceutical Sciences PhD program. These clinical training experiences are in addition to the didactic and laboratory experiences in the pharmaceutical sciences graduate program.
Since 2002, three students have participated as CSAs, simultaneously working on their graduate research and meeting the requirements of the CSA program.
The CSA program is a novel model for clinical training and support of post-PharmD graduate students enrolled in a PhD clinical pharmaceutical scientist program.
clinical pharmaceutical sciences; graduate education; research; financial support; clinical pharmacy training
Objective. To assess the prevalence and characteristics of curriculum in dual doctor of pharmacy (PharmD)/master of public health (MPH) degree programs offered by US pharmacy programs.
Methods. An 18-item survey instrument was developed and distributed online to faculty members at US colleges and schools of pharmacy.
Results. Of the 110 colleges and schools that responded, 23 (21%) offered a PharmD/MPH degree. Common characteristics of these 23 programs included current PharmD program structure (3 + 1 year), early curricular recruitment, small enrollment, and interdisciplinary coursework occurring online and in the classroom. The impact of the dual degree on the curriculum and longevity of the dual-degree programs varied. About 55% of responding programs without a formal dual-degree program reported that additional public health training was available.
Conclusion. Twenty-one percent of colleges and schools of pharmacy offer a combined PharmD/MPH dual degree. Most programs required an additional 1 or 2 semesters to complete both degrees.
pharmacy education; public health; masters of public health; dual degree
The rapid growth and evolution of the pharmacy profession has created a wide array of opportunities for graduating pharmacists beyond traditional community pharmacy or hospital practice. Management and leadership positions in federal and state healthcare agencies, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, retail pharmacies, academia and managed care organizations increasingly require the pharmaceutical knowledge obtained through a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree combined with financial, organizational, and management skills. In these innovative positions, pharmacists are being called upon to assume responsibilities as executives and administrators in systems providing pharmacist care services to patients.
To endow students with knowledge and skills required to perform the duties required in these decision-making positions, the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy has established 3 joint degree programs: the PharmD/Master of Business Administration (PharmD/MBA), PharmD/Master of Public Administration (PharmD/MPA), and PharmD/Master of Science in Economics (PharmD/MS). This paper describes these joint degree programs.
dual degree; joint degree; education; doctor of pharmacy degree; master of business administration; master of public administration
To evaluate the academic experience and satisfaction of students who completed a dual PharmD/MBA degree program and the program's long-term impact on the students' career choice and earning potential.
GPAs, job placement, and starting job salaries were compared between graduates who completed the dual PharmD/MBA program and those who completed only the PharmD program. A satisfaction survey instrument was administered to 17 students who completed the dual PharmD/MBA degree program in May 2007. Data from a standardized job placement and starting salary survey instrument completed by all PharmD graduates were also obtained, as well as all students' final grade point averages (GPAs). GPAs, job placement, and starting job salaries were compared between graduates who had completed the dual PharmD/MBA program and those who had completed only the PharmD program.
The graduating GPAs of dual-degree students were higher than those of both pharmacy (3.52 vs 3.41, p > 0.10) and business (3.82 vs. 3.68, p = 0.018) students not enrolled in the dual-degree program. Dual-degree students were slightly less likely to enter a residency (17% vs. 27%, p = 0.44) than other pharmacy graduates. Among those who elected not to pursue a residency, both mean starting salaries ($111,090 vs. $101,965) and mean total first-year compensation ($127,290 vs. $110,388) were significantly higher for dual-degree graduates compared to the PharmD graduates.
Students enrolled in the dual-degree program did slightly better academically than students who completed only the MBA or PharmD programs and indicated a high level of satisfaction with the program. Dual-degree graduates reported increased career opportunities and were slated to earn significantly more during their first year in the workforce. These results affirm continuation of our program and make the case for support of similar programs across the nation.
dual degree; master of business administration (MBA) degree; curriculum; grade point average; salary; career opportunities
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
Objective. To assess the doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students’ desire to obtain additional degrees after graduation.
Methods. During the spring 2011 semester, an anonymous 14-question survey instrument was administered to students across all 6 years of the PharmD program to evaluate their interest in obtaining an additional degree after graduation. Demographic data was also collected and analyzed from this convenience sample.
Results. Approximately 34% of the respondents (n=1,239) indicated a desire to seek an additional degree. Of the additional degrees offered in the survey instrument, more than one-third of the students expressed interest in the master of business administration (MBA). Also, 79% of those respondents were willing to take summer courses to achieve a dual or additional degree.
Conclusion. Pharmacy students are interested in obtaining an additional degree(s) after graduation and are willing to complete summer courses to achieve their career goals.
doctor of pharmacy students; career goals; graduate degree; dual degree
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 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
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 compare student and faculty perceptions of the delivery and achievement of professional competencies in a doctor of pharmacy program in order to provide data for both accountability and curricular improvement purposes.
A survey instrument was designed based on current learning theory, and 76 specific competency statements generated from mission and goal statements of The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy and the Center for the Advancement of Pharmaceutical Education. This instrument was administered to PharmD program students and faculty.
The number of competencies by program year that are delivered in the curriculum, the percent of students and faculty reporting individual competency delivery and achievement, and differences between student and faculty perceptions of competency delivery and achievement are reported.
The faculty and student opinions provided an in-depth view of curricular outcomes. Gathering perception data from faculty and students about the delivery and achievement of competencies in a PharmD program can be used to both meet accreditation requirements (accountability) and to improve the curriculum (improvement).
outcomes assessment; assessment; survey research; curriculum reform; competency
Objectives. To determine projected growth in pharmacy education and research from 2010 to 2015 and to relate findings to external and internal factors.
Methods. An e-mail survey instrument was sent to all US pharmacy deans, and responses were used to estimate growth in the number of first-professional-degree doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) graduates, residents/fellows, graduate students, faculty members, graduate research faculty members, and postdoctoral fellows. Results were related to the national economy, trends in faculty vacancies, growth trends in other health professions, pharmacist roles, and healthcare reform.
Results. Five-year growth projections were: 58% increase in the number of residents/fellows, 23% in postdoctoral fellows, 21% in entry-level PharmD graduates, 19% in graduate/research faculty members, 17% in graduate students, and 13% in total pharmacy faculty members. Residencies/fellowships showed the highest projected growth rates (58%). Graduate education and research data suggest a growing research enterprise. Faculty vacancy trends were downward and this suggests better faculty availability in coming years.
Conclusions. Substantial growth is expected from 2010 to 2015 in all areas of pharmacy education. External factors and how well the profession is able to demonstrate its contribution to resolving healthcare problems may influence the actual growth rates achieved.
pharmacy education; pharmacy faculty members; residents; fellows; graduate students; growth; research
Objective. To determine the perceptions of junior pharmacy faculty members with US doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degrees regarding their exposure to residency, fellowship, and graduate school training options in pharmacy school. Perceptions of exposure to career options and research were also sought.
Methods. A mixed-mode survey instrument was developed and sent to assistant professors at US colleges and schools of pharmacy.
Results. Usable responses were received from 735 pharmacy faculty members. Faculty members perceived decreased exposure to and awareness of fellowship and graduate education training as compared to residency training. Awareness of and exposure to academic careers and research-related fields was low from a faculty recruitment perspective.
Conclusions. Ensuring adequate exposure of pharmacy students to career paths and postgraduate training opportunities could increase the number of PharmD graduates who choose academic careers or other pharmacy careers resulting from postgraduate training.
pharmacy faculty members; residency programs; fellowships; graduate education; careers
To 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
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 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
Objective. To characterize and describe admission variables predictive of poor grade attainment by students in 2 pathways to a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) program.
Methods. A retrospective analysis of course grades of PharmD students admitted from 2000 to 2009 (N= 1,019) in the traditional degree pathway (“1 plus 5” degree program) and the provisional pathway (admitted directly from high school) was performed.
Results. Four hundred three grades of D or less were earned by 183 (18%) students. There were more grades of D or less in the first pharmacy year. Receipt of an unsatisfactory grade was associated with all Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) subcategory scores, PCAT composite score, cumulative prepharmacy coursework hours, prepharmacy grade point average (GPA), prepharmacy science and math GPA, and interview score for accepted students in the traditional pathway. For students in the provisional pathway, PCAT-quantitative analysis, PCAT composite score, prepharmacy cumulative GPA, prepharmacy science and math GPA, English American College Testing (ACT) score, and composite ACT score predicted poor grades.
Conclusion. Admissions committees should heed PCAT scores and GPAs, regardless of program pathway, while progression committees should focus on early program coursework when designing strategies to optimize retention.
admission; pharmacy students; grades; academic performance; retention
To establish and assess the effectiveness of a 10-week summer research program on increasing doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students' interest in research, particularly as it related to future career choices.
Survey instruments were sent to 25 participants who had completed the research program in the summer of 2004, 2005, or 2006 to assess their satisfaction with the program and its influence on their career choices after graduation.
Respondents reported a high degree of satisfaction with the program, indicating that the program allowed them to determine their suitability for a career in research, and 55% reported their intention to pursue additional research training.
A brief introduction to the clinical research environment helped pharmacy students understand the clinical sciences and careers in research. The introduction increased the likelihood of students pursuing a research career path after obtaining their PharmD degree.
research; career; students
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
Pharmacy education in China focuses on pharmaceutical sciences, with the bachelor of science (BS) of pharmacy as the entry-level degree. Pharmacy practice curricula in these programs are centered on compounding, dispensing, pharmacy administration, and laboratory experiences, which are the traditional responsibilities for pharmacists. Additional graduate-level training is available at the master of science (MS) and the doctor of philosophy (PhD) levels, most of which concentrate on drug discovery and drug development research. Presently, the emphasis in practice is beginning to shift to clinical pharmacy. With this change, additional degree offerings are being developed to meet the growing demand for clinical pharmacists. There is also interest in developing more clinical skills in practicing pharmacists through additional non-degree training. The Ministry of Education is considering a proposal for an entry-level professional degree of master and/or doctor in clinical pharmacy similar to the doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree in the United States.
China; international pharmacy education; clinical pharmacy
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