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 develop, implement, and assess a required pharmacy practice course to prepare pharmacy students to develop, implement, and evaluate clinical pharmacy services using a business plan model.
Course content centered around the process of business planning and pharmacoeconomic evaluations. Selected business planning topics included literature evaluation, mission statement development, market evaluation, policy and procedure development, and marketing strategy. Selected pharmacoeconomic topics included cost-minimization analysis, cost-benefit analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, cost-utility analysis, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Assessment methods included objective examinations, student participation, performance on a group project, and peer evaluation.
One hundred fifty-three students were enrolled in the course. The mean scores on the objective examinations (100 points per examination) ranged from 82 to 85 points, with 25%-35% of students in the class scoring over 90, and 40%-50% of students scoring from 80 to 89. The mean scores on the group project (200 points) and classroom participation (50 points) were 183.5 and 46.1, respectively. The mean score on the peer evaluation was 30.8, with scores ranging from 27.5 to 31.7.
The course provided pharmacy students with the framework necessary to develop and implement evidence-based disease management programs and to assure efficient, cost-effective utilization of pertinent resources in the provision of patient care.
clinical pharmacy services; pharmacoeconomics; business plan
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
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
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
Objective. To assess course instructors’ and students’ perceptions of the Educating Pharmacy Students and Pharmacists to Improve Quality (EPIQ) curriculum.
Methods. Seven colleges and schools of pharmacy that were using the EPIQ program in their curricula agreed to participate in the study. Five of the 7 collected student retrospective pre- and post-intervention questionnaires. Changes in students’ perceptions were evaluated to assess their relationships with demographics and course variables. Instructors who implemented the EPIQ program at each of the 7 colleges and schools were also asked to complete a questionnaire.
Results. Scores on all questionnaire items indicated improvement in students’ perceived knowledge of quality improvement. The university the students attended, completion of a class project, and length of coverage of material were significantly related to improvement in the students’ scores. Instructors at all colleges and schools felt the EPIQ curriculum was a strong program that fulfilled the criteria for quality improvement and medication error reduction education.
Conclusion The EPIQ program is a viable, turnkey option for colleges and schools of pharmacy to use in teaching students about quality improvement.
quality improvement; medication error; pharmacy education; pharmacy student; assessment; 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
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 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 implement and assess the effectiveness of a 2-course collaborative decision analysis project intended to help students understand the relevance of pharmacoeconomics to clinical pharmacy practice and provide them an opportunity to apply skills taught in pharmacoeconomics to a “real world” problem.
Design. Students were assigned a pair of drugs, 1 commonly used as standard therapy and 1 newly approved, and conducted a decision analysis. The results were then used in a mock pharmacy and therapeutics (P&T) committee meeting.
Assessment. Ninety-eight of 106 (92%) students completed a 4-question survey instrument. Ninety-six percent of students agreed or somewhat agreed that the decision analysis project met the learning objectives. Students felt the shared assignment influenced their choice of formulary drug, augmented understanding of factors influencing decisions, broadened their thinking about drug costs, and was a good approximation of a “real world” application.
Conclusion. An innovative joint-course assignment proved to be a successful technique for teaching decision analysis.
pharmacoeconomics; decision analysis; formulary; pharmacy and therapeutics committee
To characterize the current strategies used in the instruction and assessment of pharmaceutical calculations content through the administration of a nationwide survey.
Instructors of pharmaceutical calculations were invited to complete a 34-item questionnaire designed to gather information on course logistics, content delivery, covered topics, homework, examinations, and retention measures.
Seventy-two colleges and schools responded to the survey. Exactly half of the respondents indicated that they had a standalone pharmaceutical calculations course, while the other half indicated this material was integrated into other coursework. An average of 24.8 hours was devoted to calculations topics. A minimum passing examination score of 70% was reported by 53% of programs. Knowledge retention was formally measured in 16% of programs, while 27% responded that they did not measure retention.
This survey provided the first assessment of the strategies used to teach and assess pharmaceutical calculations content. Further work is needed to determine the optimal teaching and assessment strategies for pharmaceutical calculations, as well as optimal methods of evaluating and promoting retention of this material.
calculations; pharmaceutical calculations; survey; assessment
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
Accreditation standards require that colleges and schools of pharmacy establish and conduct ongoing assessment of their programs. A case study of the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy's experience developing and implementing an assessment program is described. A historical perspective of the School, implementation of an office of education, and steps taken to establish a college culture of assessment are discussed. Successful aspects of the program, including student course/instructor evaluations and curriculum committee review of individual courses, are outlined. Finally, roadblocks encountered while establishing the assessment program and lessons learned that may benefit other schools currently in the process of developing an assessment program are discussed.
assessment; course assessment; student assessment; culture
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
Objectives. To identify the prevalence of portfolio use in US pharmacy programs, common components of portfolios, and advantages of and limitations to using portfolios.
Methods. A cross-sectional electronic survey instrument was sent to experiential coordinators at US colleges and schools of pharmacy to collect data on portfolio content, methods, training and resource requirements, and benefits and challenges of portfolio use.
Results. Most colleges and schools of pharmacy (61.8%) use portfolios in experiential courses and the majority (67.1%) formally assess them, but there is wide variation regarding content and assessment. The majority of respondents used student portfolios as a formative evaluation primarily in the experiential curriculum.
Conclusions. Although most colleges and schools of pharmacy have a portfolio system in place, few are using them to fulfill accreditation requirements. Colleges and schools need to carefully examine the intended purpose of their portfolio system and follow-through with implementation and maintenance of a system that meets their goals.
portfolio; assessment; evaluation; competency achievement; pharmacy practice experiences; pharmacy education
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
To assess the prevalence of curricular programs or other structured activities designed to prepare students for and to promote residency training.
An electronic survey instrument containing 12 questions regarding institutional demographics and activities related to pharmacy student preparation for residency training was sent to administrators of all US colleges and schools of pharmacy.
Ninety-one survey instruments were e-mailed to US colleges and schools of pharmacy administrators, and an overall response rate of 78% was attained. Twenty-two percent of respondents identified a structured curricular program to prepare students for postgraduate training. In addition, informal programs or informational sessions varying in scope and content were offered by many colleges and schools to prepare students for residency training.
Many of the US colleges and schools of pharmacy reported structured activities or programs that promote residency training to students. Ten programs had a designated clinical-track curriculum.
students; curriculum; residency; survey
To document teaching evaluation practices in colleges and schools of pharmacy.
A 51-item questionnaire was developed based on the instrument used in a previous study with modifications made to address changes in pharmacy education. An online survey service was used to distribute the electronic questionnaire to the deans of 98 colleges and schools of pharmacy in the United States.
Completed surveys were received from 89 colleges and schools of pharmacy. All colleges/schools administered student evaluations of classroom and experiential teaching. Faculty peer evaluation of classroom teaching was used by 66% of colleges/schools. Use of other evaluation methods had increased over the previous decade, including use of formalized self-appraisal of teaching, review of teaching portfolios, interviews with samples of students, and review by teaching experts. While the majority (55%) of colleges/schools administered classroom teaching evaluations at or near the conclusion of a course, 38% administered them at the midpoint and/or conclusion of a faculty member's teaching within a team-taught course. Completion of an online evaluation form was the most common method used for evaluation of classroom (54%) and experiential teaching (72%).
Teaching evaluation methods used in colleges and schools of pharmacy expanded from 1996 to 2007 to include more evaluation of experiential teaching, review by peers, formalized self-appraisal of teaching, review of teaching portfolios, interviews with samples of students, review by teaching experts, and evaluation by alumni. Procedures for conducting student evaluations of teaching have adapted to address changes in curriculum delivery and technology.
teaching; evaluation; assessment; survey
This paper provides baseline information on integrating the science of safety into the professional degree curriculum at colleges and schools of pharmacy. A multi-method examination was conducted that included a literature review, key informant interviews of 30 individuals, and in-depth case studies of 5 colleges and schools of pharmacy. Educators believe that they are devoting adequate time to science of safety topics and doing a good job teaching students to identify, understand, report, manage, and communicate medication risk. Areas perceived to be in need of improvement include educating pharmacy students about the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) role in product safety, how to work with the FDA in post-marketing surveillance and other FDA safety initiatives, teaching students methods to improve safety, and educating students to practice in interprofessional teams. The report makes 10 recommendations to help pharmacy school graduates be more effective in protecting patients from preventable drug-related problems.
safety; curriculum; pharmacy education; FDA; quality
Objectives. To determine the extent of implementation of Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommendations for 5 core competencies within the doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) curricula in US colleges and schools of pharmacy.
Methods. A survey instrument that used IOM language to define each of the recommended competencies (patient-centered care, interdisciplinary teaming, evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and informatics) was sent to 115 US colleges and schools of pharmacy.
Results. Evidence-based practice and patient-centered care were the most widely implemented of the 5 core competencies (in 87% and 84% of colleges and schools, respectively), while informatics, interdisciplinary teaming, and quality improvement were implemented to a lesser extent (at 36%, 34%, and 29% of colleges and schools, respectively).
Conclusions. Significant progress has been made by colleges and schools of pharmacy for inclusion of IOM competencies relating to evidence-based practice and patient-centered care within curricula. However, the areas of informatics, interdisciplinary teaming, and quality improvement are lagging in inclusion.
Institute of Medicine; competency; curriculum
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
the purpose of this study was to conduct a comparative audit of the jurisprudence and business management courses offered at a number of different accredited chiropractic colleges.
Faculty members responsible for teaching students jurisprudence and/or business management courses at a number of accredited colleges were contacted and asked to electronically submit their course outlines for review.
Of the 62 different topics delivered at the 11 chiropractic colleges surveyed, not one topic was taught at all of them. The following topics were taught at 10 of the 11 respondent chiropractic colleges: business plan development; ethics and codes of conduct and; office staff/employees. Several topics were only taught at one accredited chiropractic college.
While most chiropractic colleges provide some education in the areas of jurisprudence and business management, it would appear that there is no consensus opinion or ‘model curriculum’ on these topics towards which chiropractic programs may align themselves. Based on a literature search, this study is the first of its kind. A more extensive study is required, as well as a Delphi process to determine what should be taught to chiropractic students with respect to jurisprudence and business management in order to protect the public interest.
jurisprudence; management; college; curriculum; chiropractic; jurisprudence; gestion; collège; programme d’études; chiropratique
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 document the type and extent of active-learning techniques used in US colleges and schools of pharmacy as well as factors associated with use of these techniques.
A survey instrument was developed to assess whether and to what extent active learning was used by faculty members of US colleges and schools of pharmacy. This survey instrument was distributed via the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) mailing list.
Ninety-five percent (114) of all US colleges and schools of pharmacy were represented with at least 1 survey among the 1179 responses received. Eighty-seven percent of respondents used active-learning techniques in their classroom activities. The heavier the teaching workload the more active-learning strategies were used. Other factors correlated with higher use of active-learning strategies included younger faculty member age (inverse relationship), lower faculty member rank (inverse relationship), and departments that focused on practice, clinical and social, behavioral, and/or administrative sciences.
Active learning has been embraced by pharmacy educators and is used to some extent by the majority of US colleges and schools of pharmacy. Future research should focus on how active-learning methods can be used most effectively within pharmacy education, how it can gain even broader acceptance throughout the academy, and how the effect of active learning on programmatic outcomes can be better documented.
pharmacy education; active learning; teaching; survey