Objectives. To examine pharmacist-targeted master of business administration (MBA) degree programs and investigate pharmacists’ perceptions regarding them.
Methods. Specialized MBA programs in pharmaceutical marketing and management offered at US colleges and schools of pharmacy were identified in the literature and compared. Pharmacists’ perceptions of MBA programs were evaluated through a survey of clinical preceptors affiliated with a school of pharmacy.
Results. Seven US universities that offer an MBA program in pharmaceutical marketing and management were identified. Thirty-three percent of the 57 pharmacist preceptors who responded to the survey reported plans to pursue an MBA degree program. Respondents preferred MBA programs related to healthcare or pharmacy (66%) over general MBA programs (33%).
Conclusion. An MBA in pharmaceutical marketing and management could provide pharmacists with advanced knowledge of the operational and strategic business aspects of pharmacy practice and give pharmacy graduates an advantage in an increasingly competitive job market.
master of business administration (MBA); marketing; management; business; pharmaceutical industry; dual PharmD/MBA degree program
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 compare practice settings and activities of pharmacists with bachelor of science (BS) in pharmacy and doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degrees.
Data from the 2009 National Pharmacist Workforce Survey instrument were analyzed. Multivariate regression was used to examine the association of the PharmD degree with time spent in dispensing and patient care.
The survey response rate by pharmacists was 52%, and 562 usable responses met our inclusion criteria. Sixty-three percent of BS and 39% of PharmD pharmacists were employed in community pharmacies, compared with 21% of BS and 38% of PharmD pharmacists employed in hospital pharmacy settings. Practicing in a community setting had the strongest influence on time spent in dispensing and time spent in patient care. Among respondents with PharmD degrees, a residency was associated with less time in dispensing and more time in patient care.
Time spent in dispensing and patient care were influenced more by practice setting than by educational degree and residency training.
degrees; graduates; pharmacist; workforce
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
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
In Canada, the education of pharmacists is built upon a foundation of strong, research-intensive publicly funded universities and a universal health-care system that balances government and private financing for prescription medications. The evolution of pharmacy education and practice in Canada has laid the foundation for a variety of emerging trends related to expanded roles for pharmacists, increasing interprofessional collaboration for patient-centered care, and emergence of pharmacy technicians as a soon-to-be regulated professional group in parts of the country. Current challenges include the need to better integrate internationally educated pharmacists within the domestic workforce and tools to ensure continuous professional development and maintenance of competency of practitioners. Academic pharmacy is currently debating how best to manage the need to enhance the pharmacy curriculum to meet current and future skills needs, and whether a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree ought to become the standard entry-to-practice qualification for pharmacists in Canada.
Canada; comparative education; international pharmacy education
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 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
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 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
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
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
Objective. To determine whether a correlation exists between third-year PharmD students’ perceived pharmacy knowledge and actual pharmacy knowledge as assessed by the Pharmacy Curricular Outcomes Assessment (PCOA).
Methods. In 2010 and 2011, the PCOA was administered in a low-stakes environment to third-year pharmacy students at North Dakota State University College of Pharmacy, Nursing, and Allied Sciences (COPNAS). A survey instrument was also administered on which students self-assessed their perceived competencies in each of the core areas covered by the PCOA examination.
Results. The pharmacy students rated their competencies slightly higher than average. Performance on the PCOA was similar to but slightly higher than national averages. Correlations between each of the 4 content areas (basic biomedical sciences, pharmaceutical sciences, social/administrative sciences, and clinical sciences) mirrored those reported nationally by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP). Student performance on the basic biomedical sciences portion of the PCOA was significantly correlated with students’ perceived competencies in the biomedical sciences. No other correlations between actual and perceived competencies were significant.
Conclusion. A lack of correlation exists between what students perceive they know and what they actually know in the areas of pharmaceutical science; social, behavioral, and administrative science; and clinical science. Therefore, additional standardized measures are needed to assess curricular effectiveness and provide comparisons among pharmacy programs.
Pharmacy Curricular Outcomes Assessment; competencies; self-assessment; perception
To develop an assessment that would (1) help doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students review therapeutic decision making and build confidence in their skills, (2) provide pharmacy practice residents with the opportunity to lead small group discussions, and (3) provide the assessment committee with program-level assessment data.
A case-based interactive assessment was developed and delivered to PharmD students immediately prior to advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs). The assessment used an audience response system to allow immediate feedback followed by small group discussions led by pharmacy-practice residents. Students self-assessed their knowledge and confidence levels and developed personalized learning objectives for APPEs.
Eighty-nine percent of students found the assessment useful, and pharmacy practice residents reported that it was helpful in developing precepting skills. The college assessment committee was able to use the data to supplement the ongoing College curricular mapping process.
An interactive assessment process can help students build confidence for experiential training, provide a learning opportunity for pharmacy residents, and produce program-level data for college assessment purposes. Planned modifications of the assessment include expanding the content areas covered and adding ability-based assessments such as communication skills.
audience response system; assessment; ability-based outcomes; confidence; advanced pharmacy practice experience
To analyze the impact of recent pharmacy graduates on a local economy.
Input-output analysis was applied to data from Spokane County, Washington, in 2006 and the findings were reviewed and conclusions were drawn.
The local college of pharmacy added nearly $1 million (in 2006) directly to the local economy. New pharmacists added nearly $400,000 in direct value. However, because the graduates alleviated a shortage of pharmacists in the area, thereby avoiding both the tangible and intangible (eg, human health) economic costs of a continued shortage, the true economic impact may have been even greater.
Doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) graduates entering the workforce add substantial value, both to the local retail pharmacy industry specifically and the local economy in general. Thus, the economic impact of the pharmacy practice program training these students is also substantial.
economic impact; input-output modeling; program assessment
To characterize pharmacy program standards and trends in drug information education.
A questionnaire containing 34 questions addressing general demographic characteristics, organization, and content of drug information education was distributed to 86 colleges and schools of pharmacy in the United States using a Web-based survey system.
Sixty colleges responded (73% response rate). All colleges offered a campus-based 6-year first-professional degree PharmD program. Didactic drug information was a required course in over 70% of these schools. Only 51 of the 60 colleges offered an advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE) in drug information, and 62% of these did so only on an elective basis.
Although almost all of the PharmD programs in the US include a required course in drug information, the majority do not have a required APPE in this important area.
drug information; course; curriculum; pharmacy education; experiential training; advanced pharmacy practice experience
To implement and assess a required public health poster project in a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) program.
Third-year PharmD students collaborated in pairs to research a public health topic relating to pharmacy practice. Each student group prepared an informational poster, while receiving feedback from a faculty mentor at each stage of the project. The students presented their completed posters at a statewide pharmacy conference.
Faculty members evaluated the posters with a grading rubric, and students completed a survey instrument that assessed the overall experience. In general, faculty members rated the class highly across all domains of the grading rubric. The class generally agreed that the poster project increased their awareness of public health issues related to pharmacy practice, overall knowledge of public health, and presentation skills.
The implementation of a poster project was well received by students and faculty members as an effective method for enhancing public health instruction in the PharmD program at North Dakota State University.
poster presentations; public health; active-learning
Objective. To assess the prevalence and characteristics of curriculum in dual doctor of pharmacy (PharmD)/master of public health (MPH) degree programs offered by US pharmacy programs.
Methods. An 18-item survey instrument was developed and distributed online to faculty members at US colleges and schools of pharmacy.
Results. Of the 110 colleges and schools that responded, 23 (21%) offered a PharmD/MPH degree. Common characteristics of these 23 programs included current PharmD program structure (3 + 1 year), early curricular recruitment, small enrollment, and interdisciplinary coursework occurring online and in the classroom. The impact of the dual degree on the curriculum and longevity of the dual-degree programs varied. About 55% of responding programs without a formal dual-degree program reported that additional public health training was available.
Conclusion. Twenty-one percent of colleges and schools of pharmacy offer a combined PharmD/MPH dual degree. Most programs required an additional 1 or 2 semesters to complete both degrees.
pharmacy education; public health; masters of public health; dual degree
Objective. To determine practice outcomes associated with doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) graduates from 2 universities who completed a diabetes-concentration.
Methods. An online survey instrument was sent to 93 PharmD graduates who completed a concentration in diabetes and 94 control graduates to determine their knowledge of and skills in providing diabetes care and how frequently they provided diabetes care services.
Results. Ninety-seven graduates (52%) responded. Significantly more graduates with a diabetes concentration rated their ability to instruct patients on insulin administration, blood glucose monitoring, foot care, and insulin dose adjustment as good or excellent compared to a control group of graduates. Graduates with a diabetes concentration also rated their ability to perform blood glucose monitoring and foot examinations higher than graduates without a diabetes concentration (P < 0.05).
Conclusion. Completing a diabetes concentration increased graduates' knowledge of diabetes and confidence in their ability to provide care but did not appear to alter their practice patterns significantly. Further study is needed to determine whether other barriers to pharmacists providing diabetes care exist in practice settings.
diabetes; pharmacy practice; medication therapy management
Objective. To describe the development of an integrated pain and palliative care course and to investigate the long-term effectiveness of the course during doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students’ advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs) and in their practice after graduation.
Design. Roseman University College of Pharmacy faculty developed a 3-week elective course in pain and palliative care by integrating relevant clinical and pharmaceutical sciences. Instructional strategies included lectures, team and individual activities, case studies, and student presentations.
Assessment. Students who participated in the course in 2010 and 2011 were surveyed anonymously to gain their perception about the class as well as the utility of the course during their APPEs and in their everyday practice. Traditional and nontraditional assessment of students confirmed that the learning outcomes objectives were achieved.
Conclusions. Students taking the integrated course on pain management and palliative care achieved mastery of the learning outcome objectives. Surveys of students and practicing pharmacists who completed the course showed that the learning experience as well as retention was improved with the integrated mode of teaching. Integrating basic and clinical sciences in therapeutic courses is an effective learning strategy.
curricular design; pain; palliative care; integrated course
To determine what influenced pharmacy students to pursue a career in pharmacy and how those influences varied among different racial groups.
A 30-question survey instrument was developed and administered to doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students at the University of Georgia and Florida A&M University. Data were analyzed to identify differences between students at different institutions and of different racial groups.
Most students were encouraged by someone to pursue pharmacy. Students cited encouragement by family members, pharmacists, and students as important influences. Work and volunteer experiences were also important influences. Few students were influenced by “career day” events.
Influences for pursuing a degree in pharmacy were remarkably similar across student groups. Public awareness campaigns that emphasize the benefits of the profession and programs that are designed to bring students into contact with the profession may be effective recruiting methods/strategies.
diversity; career choice; student recruitment
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
To develop, implement, and evaluate the use of virtual patients as a teaching tool for third-professional year PharmD students within an advanced elective self-care course.
Practicing community pharmacists, faculty members, and pharmacy residents with alias e-mail accounts served as virtual patients and corresponded on a weekly basis via e-mail with pharmacy students regarding an assortment of fictional health concerns. Self-care inquiries were e-mailed to the students who replied and then forwarded their response to the course coordinator for evaluation and class discussion. At the end of the course, students were asked to assess the value of the learning activity.
Students demonstrated significant improvement in knowledge, problem-solving, communication, and professional skills upon course completion. Student's assessments of the virtual patient activity have suggested positive feedback on developing self-care skills, patient interactions, and group dynamics.
This teaching tool was designed to enhance student's knowledge base, assessment, and counseling skills when interacting with patients in various situations. Instructor evaluation of responses, student feedback, and self-evaluation indicated the activity improved overall knowledge and communication skills.
self-care; nonprescription drugs; virtual patients; assessment
At the time of this writing, both authors were Managed Care Pharmacy Practice Residents at Kaiser Permanente in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Maddox is currently the Drug Informatics and Drug Information Specialist at Kaiser Permanente in Atlanta. Dr. Rahman is a Solid Organ Transplant Pharmacist with the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Drug Forecast is a regular column coordinated by Alan Caspi, PhD, PharmD, MBA, President of Caspi & Associates in New York, New York.
Pharmacists' clinical interventions have been the subject of a substantial body of literature that focuses on the process and outcomes of establishing an intervention documentation program within the acute care setting. Few reports describe intervention documentation as a component of doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) programs; none describe the process of selecting an intervention documentation application to support the complete array of pharmacy practice and experiential sites. The process that a school of pharmacy followed to select and implement a school-wide intervention system to document the clinical and financial impact of an experiential program is described. Goals included finding a tool that allowed documentation from all experiential sites and the ability to assign dollar savings (hard and soft) to all documented interventions. The paper provides guidance for other colleges and schools of pharmacy in selecting a clinical intervention documentation system for program-wide use.
intervention; documentation; software; selection