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
Objective. To examine how hidden and informal curricula shaped pharmacy students’ learning about patient safety.
Methods. A preliminary study exploring planned patient safety content in pharmacy curricula at 3 UK schools of pharmacy was conducted. In-depth case studies were then carried out at 2 schools of pharmacy to examine patient safety education as delivered.
Results. Informal learning from teaching practitioners was assigned high levels of credibility by the students, indicating the importance of role models in practice. Students felt that the hidden lessons received in the form of voluntary work experience compensated for limited practice exposure and elements of patient safety not adequately addressed in the formal curriculum, such as learning about safe systems, errors, and professionalism.
Conclusions. Patient safety is a multifaceted concept and the findings from this study highlight the importance of pharmacy students learning in a variety of settings to gain an appreciation of these different facets.
patient safety; curriculum; pharmacy education
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
Educational programs in pharmacy must focus on educating pharmacists of the future who are prepared to serve as competent and confident health care “providers” whose “practice” can occur in any number of current and future settings; and whose expertise is essential to an interprofessional health care team. Graduates must be able to incorporate a scholarly approach to their practice in identifying patient care problems; practicing in an evidence-based manner; and ensuring safe, effective, and appropriate use of medications. It is time for colleges and schools of pharmacy to implement contemporary teaching and assessment strategies that facilitate effective and efficient student learning that is focused at the graduate professional level, to evolve the content around which the curriculum is organized, and clearly articulate the abilities graduates must have to function effectively in the myriad professional roles in which they may find themselves.
Objective. To identify opinions about pharmacy graduates’ science of safety (SoS) educational needs.
Methods. Semi-structured interviews were performed with 25 educators and researchers at US pharmacy colleges and schools and 5 individuals from associations engaged in drug safety-related issues.
Results. Themes that emerged from the 30 interviews with key informants included: pharmacists should meet minimum SoS requirements; medication safety education is inconsistent; and barriers exist to improving SoS curricula. Student deficiencies noted included the lack of: student acceptance of a “culture of safety”: ability to effectively communicate verbally about medication safety; knowledge of the drug development process; and quality improvement skills. Key informants did not agree on how to address these gaps.
Conclusions. While educators, researchers, and other leaders in drug safety-related issues thought that US colleges and schools of pharmacy covered portions of SoS well, there were perceived deficiencies. Minimum standards should be set to assist with curricular adoption of SoS.
medication safety; patient safety pharmacy education; science of safety; education
Objective. To compare the science of safety (SoS) topic coverage and associated student competencies in the experiential education curricula of colleges and schools of pharmacy in the United States and Taiwan.
Methods. The experiential education director, assistant director, or coordinator at a random sample of 34 US colleges and schools of pharmacy and all 7 Taiwan schools of pharmacy were interviewed and then asked to complete an Internet-based survey instrument.
Results. Faculty members in both countries perceived that experiential curricula were focused on the postmarketing phase of the SoS, and that there is a need for the pharmacy experiential curricula to be standardized in order to fill SoS coverage gaps. Inter-country differences in experiential SoS coverage were noted in topics included for safety biomarkers that signal potential for drug-induced problems and pharmacogenomics.
Conclusions. Experiential SoS topic coverage and student ability gaps were perceived within and between US and Taiwan colleges and schools of pharmacy.
science of safety; experiential education; survey research; international
Objectives. To assess the effectiveness of human patient simulation to teach patient safety, team-building skills, and the value of interprofessional collaboration to pharmacy students.
Design. Five scenarios simulating semi-urgent situations that required interprofessional collaboration were developed. Groups of 10 to 12 health professions students that included 1 to 2 pharmacy students evaluated patients while addressing patient safety hazards.
Assessment. Pharmacy students’ scores on 8 of 30 items on a post-simulation survey of knowledge, skills, and attitudes improved over pre-simulation scores. Students’ scores on 3 of 10 items on a team building and interprofessional communications survey also improved after participating in the simulation exercise. Over 90% of students reported that simulation increased their understanding of professional roles and the importance of interprofessional communication.
Conclusions. Simulation training provided an opportunity to improve pharmacy students’ ability to recognize and react to patient safety concerns and enhanced their interprofessional collaboration and communication skills.
simulation; interprofessional; emergency department; patient safety; team work
Objective. To assess pharmacy faculty trainers’ perceptions of a Web-based train-the-trainer program for PharmGenEd, a shared pharmacogenomics curriculum for health professional students and licensed clinicians.
Methods. Pharmacy faculty trainers (n=58, representing 39 colleges and schools of pharmacy in the United States and 1 school from Canada) participated in a train-the-trainer program consisting of up to 9 pharmacogenomics topics. Posttraining survey instruments assessed faculty trainers’ perceptions toward the training program and the likelihood of their adopting the educational materials as part of their institution’s curriculum.
Results. Fifty-five percent of faculty trainers reported no prior formal training in pharmacogenomics. There was a significant increase (p<0.001) in self-reported ability to teach pharmacogenomics to pharmacy students after participants viewed the webinar and obtained educational materials. Nearly two-thirds (64%) indicated at least a “good” likelihood of adopting PharmGenEd materials at their institution during the upcoming academic year. More than two-thirds of respondents indicated interest in using PharmGenEd materials to train licensed health professionals, and 95% indicated that they would recommend the program to other pharmacy faculty members.
Conclusion. As a result of participating in the train-the-trainer program in pharmacogenomics, faculty member participants gained confidence in teaching pharmacogenomics to their students, and the majority of participants indicated a high likelihood of adopting the program at their institution. A Web-based train-the-trainer model appears to be a feasible strategy for training pharmacy faculty in pharmacogenomics.
pharmacogenomics; curriculum; pharmacy colleges and schools; faculty development; train-the-trainer
Recent educational initiatives by both the World Health Organization and the American Association of Medical Colleges have endorsed integrating teaching of patient safety and quality improvement (QI) to medical students. Curriculum development should take into account learners’ attitudes and preferences. We surveyed students to assess preferences and attitudes about QI and patient safety education.
An electronic survey was developed through focus groups, literature review, and local expert opinion and distributed via email to all medical students at a single medical school in the spring of 2012.
A greater proportion of students reported previous exposure to patient safety than to quality improvement topics (79% vs. 47%). More than 80% of students thought patient safety was of the same or greater importance than basic science or clinical skills whereas quality improvement was rated as the same or more important by about 70% of students. Students rated real life examples of quality improvement projects and participation in these projects with actual patients as potentially the most helpful (mean scores 4.2/5 and 3.9/5 respectively). For learning about patient safety, real life examples of mistakes were again rated most highly (mean scores 4.5/5 for MD presented mistakes and 4.1/5 for patient presented mistakes). Students rated QI as very important to their future career regardless of intended specialty (mean score 4.5/5).
Teaching of patient safety and quality improvement to medical students will be best received if it is integrated into clinical education rather than solely taught in pre-clinical lectures or through independent computer modules. Students recognize that these topics are important to their careers as future physicians regardless of intended specialty.
Medical education; Quality improvement; Patient safety; Curriculum development
Accredited pharmacy programs in Australia provide a high standard of pharmacy education, attracting quality students. The principal pharmacy degree remains the 4-year bachelor of pharmacy degree; however, some universities offer graduate-entry master of pharmacy degrees taught in 6 semesters over a 2-year period. Curricula include enabling and applied pharmaceutical science, pharmacy practice, and clinical and experiential teaching, guided by competency standards and an indicative curriculum (a list of topics that are required to be included in a pharmacy degree curriculum before the program must be accredited by the Australian Pharmacy Council). Graduate numbers have increased approximately 250% with a dramatic increase from 6 pharmacy degree programs in 1997 to 21 such programs in 2008. Graduates must complete approximately 12 months of internship in a practice setting after graduation and prior to the competency-based registration examinations. An overview of pharmacy education in Australia is provided in the context of the healthcare system, a national system for subsidizing the cost of prescription medicines, the Australian National Medicines Policy and the practice of pharmacy. Furthermore, the innovations in practice and technology that will influence education in the future are discussed.
pharmacy education; Australia; curriculum; international
The relevance of medicinal chemistry to pharmacy practice has been questioned by many pharmacy educators as more emphasis has been placed on linking clinical knowledge and practice to pharmacy student educational outcomes. Faculty teaching in medicinal chemistry and other biomedical and pharmaceutical science courses have embraced this challenge. Various teaching methods and approaches within medicinal chemistry that emphasize application of this knowledge have been sought to improve the usefulness of this scientific discipline to the future careers of students. The newly revised ACPE guidelines and standards have reemphasized the role of the sciences in the curriculum. With this mandate, it is essential that all science faculty members adjust the way they teach to meet the new desired outcomes for pharmacy graduates. This manuscript describes an instructional model for teaching medicinal chemistry explicitly designed to meet these outcomes. A process of collaboration between experienced pharmacy faculty scholars was used to derive this approach. Pedagogy for cognitive and affective learning was incorporated. A case study using a representative drug class is presented to illustrate this model.
medicinal chemistry; clinical relevance; ACPE guidelines; ACPE standards; therapeutic decision-making; clinical reasoning
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
Objectives. To characterize the use of high-fidelity mannequins and standardized patients in US pharmacy colleges and schools.
Methods. A survey instrument was sent to 105 doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) programs to collect data on the use of simulation and to identify barriers to using simulation-based teaching methods.
Results. Eighty-eight colleges and schools completed the survey instrument (response rate 84%). Of these, 14 did not use high-fidelity mannequins or standardized patients within the curriculum. Top barriers were logistical constraints and high resource cost. Twenty-three colleges and schools used simulation for introductory pharmacy practice experiences (IPPEs), 34 for interprofessional education, and 68 for evaluation of at least 1 core competency prior to advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs).
Conclusions. Although the majority of US colleges and schools of pharmacy use simulation-based teaching methodologies to some extent in the pharmacy curricula, the role of simulation in IPPEs, interprofessional education, and assessment of competency-based skills could be expanded.
simulation; high-fidelity mannequins; standardized patients; survey research
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
Although there is evidence to support implementing interprofessional education (IPE) in the health sciences, widespread implementation in health professions education is not yet a reality. Challenges include the diversity in location and settings of schools and colleges, ie, many are not located within an academic health center. Faculty members may not have the necessary skill set for teaching in an IPE environment. Certain topics or themes in a pharmacy curriculum may be more appropriate than others for teaching in an IPE setting. This paper offers solutions to teaching IPE in diverse settings, the construct for implementing a faculty development program for IPE, and suggested curricular topics with their associated learning objectives, potential teaching methods, and timelines for implementation.
interprofessional education; faculty development; curriculum
To determine the extent of pharmacoeconomics education at US pharmacy colleges and schools in 2007.
An e-mail survey was developed and sent to pharmacoeconomics instructors at all US colleges of pharmacy.
Of the 90 colleges and schools of pharmacy that completed the survey, 7 colleges and schools did not currently have someone teaching pharmacoeconomics (eg, new school or looking for instructor). For the 83 colleges and schools that had an instructor who taught pharmacoeconomics, 69 covered pharmacoeconomic-related topics in a required course only; 5, in an elective course only; and 9, in both a required and elective course. The number of hours of pharmacoeconomic-related topics presented in required courses ranged from 1 to 48 hours (mean = 21 ± 14; median = 19).
Pharmacoeconomics education courses are offered at the majority of US colleges and schools of pharmacy. There was a wide range of hours devoted to pharmacoeconomic-related topics and the topics covered in these colleges and schools varied. Although the majority of US colleges and schools of pharmacy offer pharmacoeconomics courses, official guidelines are needed for the specific aspects and topics that should be covered in the classroom.
Interactive pharmacy case studies are an essential component of the pharmacy curriculum. We recently developed an elective course at the Rangel College of Pharmacy in pharmacy case studies for second- and third-year Doctor of Pharmacy students using Second Life® (SL), an interactive three-dimensional virtual environment that simulates the real world. This course explored the use of SL for education and training in pharmacy, emphasizing a case-based approach. Virtual worlds such as SL promote inquiry-based learning and conceptual understanding, and can potentially develop problem-solving skills in pharmacy students. Students were presented ten case scenarios that primarily focused on drug safety and effective communication with patients. Avatars, representing instructors and students, reviewed case scenarios during sessions in a virtual classroom. Individually and in teams, students participated in active-learning activities modeling both the pharmacist’s and patient’s roles. Student performance and learning were assessed based on SL class participation, activities, assignments, and two formal, essay-type online exams in Blackboard 9. Student course-evaluation results indicated favorable perceptions of content and delivery. Student comments included an enhanced appreciation of practical issues in pharmacy practice, flexibility of attendance, and an increased ability to focus on course content. Excellent student participation and performance in weekly active-learning activities translated into positive performance on subsequent formal assessments. Students were actively engaged and exposed to topics pertinent to pharmacy practice that were not covered in the required pharmacy curriculum. The multiple active-learning assignments were successful in increasing students’ knowledge, and provided additional practice in building the communication skills beneficial for students preparing for experiential clinical rotations.
Second Life; virtual worlds; pharmacy case studies; computer simulation; health education; pharmacy education
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
Using simulation to teach pharmacy practice skills may result in knowledge that is transferable to patient care. Key areas in which simulation is being used in pharmacy education include therapeutics, communication, physical assessment, patient safety, and populations to which students may have infrequent exposure. Enhancing interprofessional healthcare team dynamics and the skills of practicing healthcare professionals are other practical applications for simulation education. Educators should continue to be creative in the incorporation of simulation into pharmacy education and conduct more studies on the impact of simulation education on patient care to demonstrate the efficacy of this teaching modality.
assessment; interprofessional education; simulation
Formal guidelines for mentoring faculty members in pharmacy practice divisions of colleges and schools of pharmacy do not exist in the literature. This paper addresses the background literature on mentoring programs, explores the current state of mentoring programs used in pharmacy practice departments, and provides guidelines for colleges and schools instituting formal mentoring programs. As the number of pharmacy colleges and schools has grown, the demand for quality pharmacy faculty members has dramatically increased. While some faculty members gain teaching experience during postgraduate residency training, new pharmacy practice faculty members often need professional development to meet the demands of their academic responsibilities. A mentoring program can be 1 means of improving faculty success and retention. Many US colleges and schools of pharmacy have developed formal mentoring programs, whereas several others have informal processes in place. This paper discusses those programs and the literature available, and makes recommendations on the structure of mentoring programs.
mentoring; faculty development; mentor; pharmacy practice; faculty
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 investigate users’ initial perceptions of and potential applications for the Educating Pharmacy Students and Pharmacists to Improve Quality (EPIQ) program, a 5-module education program designed to educate pharmacists and pharmacy students about quality improvement in pharmacy practice.
Methods. The 5-module EPIQ program was distributed to pharmacy faculty members, pharmacy practitioners, and other health professionals across the country upon request. A 6-item survey instrument was sent to the first 97 people who requested the program.
Results. Twenty-seven (56%) of the 55 respondents had reviewed the EPIQ program and 22 (82%) intended to use some or all of the content to teach about quality improvement or patient safety primarily in pharmacy management and medication safety courses.
Conclusion. Initial perceptions of the EPIQ program were positive; however, further evaluation is needed after more extensive implementation of the program in pharmacy colleges and schools and other settings.
medication safety; qualitative research; science of safety; education; pharmacy curriculum
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
Objective. To develop and assess the impact of an elective course (HealthWISE) on student pharmacists’ skills in communication and health promotion and elementary school students’ knowledge of and attitudes toward science.
Design. Three colleges and schools of pharmacy collaborated to develop a 1-credit elective course that used online and classroom teaching and learning techniques to prepare student pharmacists to teach science in elementary school classrooms. Student pharmacists delivered 6 science lessons to elementary students over the course of 2 months.
Assessment. In weekly journal reflections and a final paper, student pharmacists reported improved communication and health promotion skills. Elementary teachers reported they were satisfied with student pharmacists’ performance in the classroom. On pretest and posttest evaluations, elementary students demonstrated increased science knowledge and enhanced enthusiasm for science following the lessons taught by student pharmacists.
Conclusions. The HealthWISE elective course provided positive benefit for student pharmacists, elementary school teachers, and elementary students.
service-learning; communication skills; health promotion; STEM education
To determine the prevalence, characteristics, and use of professional technical standards among colleges and schools of pharmacy accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).
The Web site of every college and school of pharmacy accredited by ACPE was searched to identify information regarding the availability, content, and use of technical standards and to obtain demographic information.
Information was obtained from all of the 114 colleges and schools of pharmacy and 67 (59%) had technical standards in place. Common themes for technical standards were: observation; communication; motor; intellectual, conceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities; and behavioral and social attributes. Of those colleges and schools with technical standards, 61 (91%) had standards that addressed all 5 of these themes and 34 (51%) specified that the technical standards were used in their admission, progression, and graduation procedures.
More than half of the colleges and schools of pharmacy examined in this study have technical standards; however, 41% have yet to develop and implement them. Colleges and schools of pharmacy looking for guidance in technical standards development could use the technical standards themes identified in this study.
technical standards; accreditation; disability; admission