The aim of this study was to evaluate the awareness and perception of general educated Indian individuals about Doctor of Pharmacy course.
A cross-sectional structured Pharm.D questionnaire survey was conducted at educational institutions of India mainly through e-mails. Pharm.D questionnaire survey was conducted over a period of six months. The questionnaire was classified into four major categories, including course-related questions, roles-related questions, critical comparative questions, and opinion-based questions. The responses were collected and analyzed to assess the opinions and attitudes of the study population regarding the course Pharm.D.
Out of 2819 responses, 66.01% agreed that Indian syllabus, teaching procedure, and hospital training in institutions are enough to prepare an ideally graduated Pharm.D. Respondents of about 70.59% agreed that Pharm.Ds should take care of complete responsibility of drug therapy rather than physicians prescribing the medications and Pharm.Ds fixing the dose. The statement “Pharm.Ds play a vital role in improving medication adherence through patient counseling” was accepted by 47.80%, whereas 41.40% did not accept it as they felt that the Pharm.D's role in this regard is not more than the physician's role, and 10.80% suggested that other healthcare professionals would play a better role. Among all the respondents, 73.64% of the study population was found to be ready for giving equal credit and respect to Pharm.Ds as physicians.
Our survey emphasizes on the opinion of educated people of having Pharm.Ds in both government and private hospitals to take care of complete therapy and for improving medication adherence.
Doctor of pharmacy; pharmacy education; questionnaire; survey
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
The curriculum of pharmacy institutions in India is regulated by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) at degree and diploma levels. However, it has been over two decades that the syllabi have been revised by these regulatory agencies. Considering the dynamic character of pharmacology, it is essential to prepare a syllabus that caters to the contemporary needs of the academic institutions and pharmaceutical industry, the community. Pharmacists are also witnessing a greater role in community pharmacy practice as well as in several healthcare sectors. Considering these facts, a panel discussion was held at IPSCON 2013, (the Annual Conference of Indian Pharmacological Society) at Bangalore. The discussion saw several recommendations for syllabi for institutions offering various pharmacy courses to meet the objectives of teaching, learning and research in Pharmacology. This article documents a summary of the discussion. For B. Pharm. course, a balance between industry-oriented pharmacology and clinical pharmacy has been recommended. Redundant animal experiments should be replaced with the simulation experiments or those which are feasible in the light of stringent regulations of the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals (CPCSEA). It is recommended that the M. Pharm curriculum should focus on preclinical research with the inclusion of molecular biology and experiments on gene expression, proteomics, pharmacogenomics, cell culture and tissue culture. In general, at all levels, exposure of students to hospitals and clinicians is needed. Pharm. D., syllabus too should lay lesser emphasis on experimental pharmacology. Present experiments in the D. Pharm. course have no relevance to the program objectives and hence, only experiments through demonstrations or simulated preparations or interactive videos maybe undertaken. Regulatory bodies as well as universities should design a comprehensive syllabus and plan an effective pedagogy to prepare graduates who are competent and capable of bringing positive changes in the community and healthcare in India.
B. Pharm; M. Pharm; Pharm D.; pharmacology curriculum; pharmacy institutions
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
To evaluate the curricula content of Thai pharmacy schools based on the Thai pharmacy competency standards.
Course syllabi were collected from 11 pharmacy schools. A questionnaire was developed based on the Thai pharmacy competency standards. Course coordinators completed the questionnaire assessing the curricula content.
The curricula for both the bachelor of science in pharmacy degree (BS Pharm) and doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree programs included the minimum content required by the 8 competency domains. The dominant content area in BS Pharm degree programs was product-oriented material. The content ratio of patient to product to social and administrative pharmacy in the BS Pharm degree programs was 2:3:1, respectively. However, the content ratio suggested by the Thai Pharmacy Council was 3:2:1, respectively. For the PharmD programs, the largest content area was patient-oriented material, which was in agreement with the framework suggested by the Thai Pharmacy Council.
The curricula of all Thai pharmacy schools met the competency standards; however, some patient-oriented material should be expanded and some product-oriented content deleted in order to meet the recommended content ratio.
pharmacy education; curriculum; competency; evaluation; Thailand
Objective. To explore the current status of pharmacy education in Thailand.
Methods. The International Pharmaceutical Federation of the World Health Organization’s (FIP-WHO) Global Survey of Pharmacy Schools was used for this study. The survey instrument was distributed to the deans of the 19 faculties (colleges) of pharmacy in Thailand.
Results. More than half the colleges have been in existence less than 20 years, and the government owns 80% of them. There were 2 paths of admission to study pharmacy: direct admission and central admission system. The doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) programs can be divided into 4 types. Approximately 60% of all teaching staff holds a doctoral degree. Regarding the work balance among teaching staff, around 60% focus on teaching activities, 20% focus on research, and less than 20% focus on patient care services concurrent with real practice teaching. The proportion of student time dedicated to theory, practice, and research in PharmD programs is 51.5%, 46.7%, and 1.8%, respectively. Sites owned by the colleges or by others were used for student training. Colleges followed the Office of the National Education Standards’ Internal Quality Assurance (IQA) and External Quality Assurance (EQA), and the Pharmacy Council’s Quality Assessment (ONESQA) .
Conclusion. This study provides a picture of the current status of curriculum, teaching staff, and students in pharmacy education in Thailand. The curriculum was adapted from the US PharmD program with the aim of meeting the country’s needs and includes industrial pharmacy and public health tracks as well as clinical tracks. However, this transition in pharmacy education in Thailand needs to be monitored and evaluated.
pharmacy education; Thailand; PharmD; International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) Global Survey
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 determine the net present value (NPV) and internal rate of return (IRR) for earning a doctor of philosophy (PhD) degree and pursuing careers commonly associated with that degree after completion of a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree compared to entering pharmacy practice directly upon completion of the PharmD degree.
Income profiles were constructed based on 2008 annual salary data. NPV and IRR were calculated for careers resulting from the PhD degree and compared to those of the practicing community pharmacist. Trends in IRR also were examined across career paths from 1982 to 2008. A priori assumptions were developed and sensitivity analyses were conducted.
The NPVs for all careers associated with the PhD degree were negative compared to that of the practicing community pharmacist. IRRs ranged from -1.4% to 1.3% for PhD careers. Longitudinal examination of IRRs indicated a negative trend from 1982 to 2008.
Economic financial incentives for PharmD graduates to pursue graduate school are lacking. The study illustrates the need to consider financial incentives when developing recruitment methods for PharmD graduates to pharmacy graduate programs.
salary; internal rate of return; graduate education; economic analysis; 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
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
Objectives. To evaluate whether a novel integrated longitudinal curricular activity to prepare graduating doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students for 2 comprehensive examinations was successful, and to assess whether it engaged other pharmacy students in curricular discussion and learning.
Design. Thirty-eight of 91graduating third-year (P3) students in a PharmD program formed 11 teams to create and present pharmacotherapeutic posters to their peers. The impact of the novel activity on graduating students’ performance on the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) and a comprehensive commercial examination was assessed. All first-year (P1), second-year (P2), and P3 students reviewed and discussed the content of each poster.
Assessment. Participants in the integrated longitudinal curricular activity performed better than nonparticipants on the commercial examination (p=0.023) and NAPLEX (p=0.033). However, regardless of participation, commercial examination scores predicted a significant amount of variance (ie, 34%) in NAPLEX scores. The P3 participants (83%) believed the curricular activity assisted them in their NAPLEX preparation, while 75% of P1 students, 79% of P2 students, and 80% of P3 students agreed that poster review provided an effective summary of different disease states. Ninety percent of faculty poster evaluators reported that the posters were professional, and all evaluators agreed that participants effectively conveyed their message to the intended audience.
Conclusion. The integrated longitudinal curricular activity provided a positive learning environment for all pharmacy students and may have better prepared graduating students’ for the NAPLEX.
NAPLEX; student learning; curricular activity; posters
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
Objective. To design and implement 2 pharmaceutical industry elective courses and assess their impact on students’ selection of advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs) and pursuit of pharmaceutical industry fellowships.
Methods. Two 2-credit-hour elective courses that explored careers within the prescription and nonprescription pharmaceutical drug industries were offered for second- and third-year pharmacy students in a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree program.
Results. The impact of the courses on pharmacy students’ pursuit of a pharmaceutical industry fellowship was evaluated based on responses to annual graduating students’ exit surveys. A greater percentage (17.9%) of students who had taken a pharmaceutical industry elective course pursued a pharmaceutical industry fellowship compared to all PharmD graduates (4.8%). Of the students who enrolled in pharmaceutical industry APPEs, 31% had taken 1 of the 2 elective courses.
Conclusion. Exposure to a pharmaceutical industry elective course within a college or school of pharmacy curriculum may increase students’ interest in pursuing pharmaceutical industry fellowships and enrolling in pharmaceutical industry APPEs.
pharmacy; student; education; pharmaceutical industry
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
Objective. To determine if defined subgroups of pharmacists’ have variability in their expectations for competency of entry-level practitioners.
Methods. Rating scale data collected from the 2009 National Pharmacy Practice Survey were analyzed to determine to what extent pharmacists' degree, practice setting, and experience as a preceptor were associated with the ratings they assigned to 43 competency statements for entry-level practitioners. The competency statements determine the content on the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX).
Results. Pharmacists with a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree rated the co mpetency statements higher in terms of criticality to entry-level practice than did those with a bachelor of science (BS) degree (p< 0.05). Pharmacists working in inpatient settings gave slightly higher ratings to the competency statements than did pharmacists working in outpatient settings, pharmacists without direct patient care responsibilities, and those in academia. However, there were no significant differences among practitioner subgroups' criticality ratings with regard to practice setting. Preceptor pharmacists' criticality ratings of the competency statements were not significantly different from those of non-preceptor practitioners.
Conclusion. Pharmacists exhibited a fair amount of agreement in their expectations for the competence of entry-level practitioners independent of their practice sites and professional roles. As the pharmacy profession embraces patient-centered clinical practice, evaluating practicing pharmacists’ expectations for entry-level practitioners will provide useful information to the practitioners and academicians involved in training future pharmacists. Stakeholders in pharmacy education and regulation have vested interests in the alignment of the education of future practitioners with the needs of the profession.
pharmacist; NAPLEX; competency; performance standards
There is limited research on pharmacy specialization based differences with regards to usage of antibiotics.
To compare the knowledge, attitude and practice of Bachelor of Pharmacy (BPharm) and Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) students about usage and resistance of antibiotics in Southern India.
This was a cross sectional study involving final year BPharm and PharmD students studying in two private institutions located in Andra Pradesh, India. The study was conducted for the period of 3 months. The questionnaire was divided into 5 components: demographics, knowledge about antibiotic use, attitude towards antibiotic use and resistance, self-antibiotic usage, and possible causes of antibiotic resistance. The study questionnaire was assessed for reliability. Data were analysed by employing Mann Whitney and chi square tests using SPSS version 19.
The sample size comprised of 137 students. The response rate was 76.11% for the study. There was a significant difference in the knowledge of antibiotic use in BPharm and PharmD students (Mean score: 5.09 vs 6.18, p<0.001). The overall attitude of PharmD students about antibiotic use and resistance was positive compared to BPharm students (Mean score: 3.05 vs 2.23, p<0.05). The self-antibiotic practices was higher in BPharm students than PharmD students (36.4% vs 20%, p<0.05). A significantly high number of PharmD students believed that empirical antibiotic therapy led to antibiotic resistance (19.5% versus 48%, P<0.05).
PharmD students were more knowledgeable about antibiotic usage and resistance compared to BPharm students who did not have accurate and the much needed information about the same. Future interventions should be targeted towards educating the BPharm students so that they can implement the acquired knowledge in their practice.
Students; Pharmacy; Health Knowledge; Attitudes; Practice; Anti-Bacterial Agents; Drug Resistance; Bacterial; India
Objective. To determine the extent to which pediatrics is taught at US doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) programs and to characterize what is being taught and how.
Methods. A 40-question online survey instrument was sent to accredited and candidate-status US PharmD programs.
Results. Of 86 participating programs (67.2% response rate), 81 (94.2%) indicated that pediatric topics were included in their required classroom curricula (mean, 21.9 contact hours). A pediatric elective course was offered by 61.0% of programs (mean, 25.9 contact hours). Advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs) in pediatrics were offered by 97.4% of programs, with an average of 27 students per program completing this practice experience annually.
Conclusions. Almost all responding programs incorporated pediatrics in their required curricula. Pediatric elective courses provided an adequate mean number of contact hours, but 39.0% of programs did not offer an elective course. One-fifth of students completed a pediatric APPE prior to graduation. Continued expansion of pediatric-focused classroom and experiential curricula across US PharmD programs is recommended.
pharmacy education; pediatrics; curriculum
Objective. To evaluate the advanced clinical track, a curricular track designed to prepare doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students for residency training and institutional practice.
Design. The advanced clinical track required completion of elective coursework, an additional advanced practice experience, 8 clinical experiences, and a skills checklist, and participation in a clinical skills competition.
Assessment. Thirty-two graduates of the advanced clinical track were surveyed. Of the 23 respondents, 95% of those who pursued residency training were successfully matched with a residency program. Ninety-one percent of respondents felt that the advanced clinical track increased their confidence and 74% felt it was definitely an advantage when applying to a residency program. All participants agreed that the advanced clinical track met their expectations or goals and would recommend it to other students.
Conclusion. Completion of an advanced clinical track was viewed by PharmD graduates as valuable preparation for residency training and institutional practice and would be recommended to other students.
students; curricular track; curriculum; residency; training; survey
The trends in the quality of biomedical education in pharmacy schools have witnessed significant changes in the 21st century. With the advent of continuous revision and standardization processes of medical curricula throughout the world, the focus has been on imparting quality education. This pedagogic paradigm has shifted to pharmacy schools. In Saudi Arabia, the concept of “medical and pharmacy education” is relatively new as mainstream pharmacy curriculum and universities were established only half a century ago. This period has seen major changes in the dimension of “pharmacy education” to keep pace with the education systems in the United States and Europe. As our knowledge and perceptions about pharmaceuticals change with time, this motivates educators to search for better teaching alternatives to the ever increasing number of enthusiastic and budding pharmacists. Recently, the academic system in Saudi Arabian Pharmacy has adopted a more clinically-oriented Pharm. D. curriculum. This paper deals with the major changes from the inception of a small pharmacy faculty in 1959, the College of Pharmacy at the King Saud University, Riyadh, to the model of progress and a prototype of pharmacy colleges in Saudi Arabia. The fifty year chronological array can be regarded as an epitome of progress in pharmacy education in Saudi Arabia from its traditional curriculum to the modern day Pharm. D. curriculum with a high population growth and expanding health care sector, the demand for qualified pharmacists is growing and is projected to grow considerably in the future. The number of pharmacy graduates is increasing each year by many folds and to meet the needs the system lays stress upon a constant revising and updating of the current curriculum from a global perspective.
Pharmacy education; Pharmacy curriculum; Pharm. D.; King Saud University; Saudi Arabia
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
Historically, academic success has been a major outcome for evaluating the effectiveness of pharmacy education programs and admission criteria. In other words, students’ overall grades and/or specific course grades have determined academic success. However, there is a disconnection between students’ grades and their performance during practicums or in practice. It was postulated that professionalism might be an alternative outcome for measuring graduates’ abilities.
To construct an objective measure of professional attitudes and behaviours for recently graduated pharmacists.
A self-report instrument was developed using the American Board of Internal Medicine’s 6-tenet definition of professionalism. Four months after completing the doctor of pharmacy degree (PharmD), pharmacists were asked to complete an online version of the professionalism instrument. The Rasch Measurement Model (Winsteps, Chicago, Illinois) was used to construct a measure from the responses. Using data that fit the model, the Rasch Measurement Model can build the interval-level measurements needed for future inferential statistical interpretations of ordinal-level data gathered with this instrument.
Twenty-seven PharmD graduates completed the 15-item instrument. The Rasch Measurement Model was used to construct continuous, linear measures of pharmacist professionalism from these instrument rating scale data. Most of the scales functioned without modification, but 2 of the scales functioned only after being collapsed. One person and one item “misfit” the Rasch Measurement Model and were omitted from the analysis. After these adjustments, the data fit the model well. As a measurement tool, this instrument was overwhelmingly unidimensional; the linear model explained 99.9% of the variation in the data using principal contrast analysis. Item separation was 3.64 logits, person separation was 2.31 logits, and reliability was 0.93 by Cronbach’s α.
The Rasch Measurement Model was used to construct an objective measure of pharmacists’ professionalism. The results of this pilot project suggest a promising outcome measure for evaluating pharmacy graduates soon after completion of university.
Rasch Measurement Model; measurement; professionalism; pharmacist; outcome; modèle de Rasch; mesure; professionnalisme; pharmaciens; résultat
Objectives. To examine changes in preprofessional pharmacy curricular requirements and trends, and determine rationales for and implications of modifications.
Methods. Prerequisite curricular requirements compiled between 2006 and 2011 from all doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) programs approved by the Accreditation Council of Pharmacy Education were reviewed to ascertain trends over the past 5 years. An online survey was conducted of 20 programs that required either 3 years of prerequisite courses or a bachelor’s degree, and a random sample of 20 programs that required 2 years of prerequisites. Standardized telephone interviews were then conducted with representatives of 9 programs.
Results. In 2006, 4 programs required 3 years of prerequisite courses and none required a bachelor’s degree; by 2011, these increased to 18 programs and 7 programs, respectively. Of 40 programs surveyed, responses were received from 28 (70%), 9 (32%) of which reported having increased the number of prerequisite courses since 2006. Reasons given for changes included desire to raise the level of academic achievement of students entering the PharmD program, desire to increase incoming student maturity, and desire to add clinical sciences and experiential coursework to the pharmacy curriculum. Some colleges and schools experienced a temporary decrease in applicants.
Conclusions. The preprofessional curriculum continues to evolve, with many programs increasing the number of course prerequisites. The implications of increasing prerequisites were variable and included a perceived increase in maturity and quality of applicants and, for some schools, a temporary decrease in the number of applicants.
prepharmacy curriculum; prerequisites; admissions
Community pharmacists are well placed to deliver adherence support services as well as other pharmaceutical services to patients. They are often the last point of contact with patients collecting medicines in the healthcare chain, and they tend to be visited by patients on a regular basis to collect prescription medicines. They have the opportunity to reinforce information already received from other health practitioners, provide further information and monitor adherence to therapy.
The past decade has seen an increase in focus on the importance of adherence to therapy, not only in the higher education sector, but also in government policy and community pharmacy practice. Adherence monitoring and promotion has not only become the foundation of courses taught in pharmacy schools, but has become an essential component of disease management and pharmaceutical services delivered by community pharmacists.
This article aims to describe the education, research, practice and policy in the area of adherence to therapy in Australia with a focus on community pharmacists.
A search of MEDLINE and International Pharmaceutical Abstracts as well as hand searches of the bibliographies of retrieved articles was conducted for the period 2000-2008. All pharmacy schools in Australia were also contacted to obtain information on the patient adherence to therapy content of their courses.
Ten studies met the inclusion criteria. Only one study had a specific adherence focus, with the remainder including adherence support and monitoring as part of the overall interventions delivered by the community pharmacists. In the majority of cases the interventions resulted in an improvement in patients’ adherence to therapy. The research was supported by government and pharmacy professional organisation initiatives in the area of cognitive pharmaceutical services. All universities which responded delivered specific patient adherence courses.
Australian pharmacy schools are educating cohorts of students who will have the skills to monitor and support patient medication adherence in the context of contemporary pharmacy practice. This is supported by research evidence, government policy and fits well into the move to expand community pharmacy services to include chronic disease state management and primary health care.
Medication Adherence; Pharmacists; Australia
Objective. To address the academic gap (or lack of adequate training and programs) between 4- and 6-year pharmacy programs and suggest methods for reducing this gap and to evaluate pharmacists’ perceptions of preceptorship.
Methods. We surveyed a convenience sample of 200 community pharmacists who graduated from a 4-year program who were participating in a continuing education program for clinical pharmacy as organized by the Daejeon branch of the Korea Pharmaceutical Association in 2011. Twenty-one questions were asked about the academic gap, needs for an education program, preceptorship, and medication therapy management services. International precedents were examined through a literature review to glean ideas of how to bridge the academic gap between the 4- and 6-year programs.
Results. In total, 132 pharmacists answered the survey (return rate=66.0%). The survey findings included problems caused by the academic gap, high need for an adequate education program, low acceptability of preceptorship, and the possibility of medication therapy management services. US-based, non-traditional PharmD programs and new curriculum-support training in Japan provided examples of how the academic gap has been successfully bridged.
Conclusion. Nationwide efforts and government support are urgently required to close the academic gap, and experiential education should be included in transitional programs for 4-year pharmacy program pharmacists.
academic gap; survey; preceptorship; transitional program; South Korea
Objective. To implement and assess a pharmacy dermatology and cosmeceutical compounding elective course and its impact on graduates’ careers.
Design. A 3-credit elective course that incorporated classroom lectures on ambulatory dermatologic diseases and cosmeceutical products with case studies, weekly quizzes, and a comprehensive business plan project was implemented in a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) program in 2010.
Assessment. Assessment instruments including weekly quizzes, a business plan project, and pre- and post-course tests were used to evaluate course content. Across 3 offerings of the course (2010, 2011, 2012), pre- and post-course test scores improved. Results of a postgraduate survey showed that 54% of respondents worked at a pharmacy offering compounding services, and 57% felt that the course played a significant or very significant role in their counseling on dermatologic conditions.
Conclusions. Assessment methods revealed student learning of course content and the course appeared moderately beneficial to graduates’ early careers. A more longitudinal analysis is needed to assess the course’s impact on long-term career choices, particularly those dealing with compounding of cosmeceutical products.
dermatology; elective course; cosmetics; compounding