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
This paper provides baseline information on integrating the science of safety into the professional degree curriculum at colleges and schools of pharmacy. A multi-method examination was conducted that included a literature review, key informant interviews of 30 individuals, and in-depth case studies of 5 colleges and schools of pharmacy. Educators believe that they are devoting adequate time to science of safety topics and doing a good job teaching students to identify, understand, report, manage, and communicate medication risk. Areas perceived to be in need of improvement include educating pharmacy students about the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) role in product safety, how to work with the FDA in post-marketing surveillance and other FDA safety initiatives, teaching students methods to improve safety, and educating students to practice in interprofessional teams. The report makes 10 recommendations to help pharmacy school graduates be more effective in protecting patients from preventable drug-related problems.
safety; curriculum; pharmacy education; FDA; quality
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 determine the extent of implementation of Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommendations for 5 core competencies within the doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) curricula in US colleges and schools of pharmacy.
Methods. A survey instrument that used IOM language to define each of the recommended competencies (patient-centered care, interdisciplinary teaming, evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and informatics) was sent to 115 US colleges and schools of pharmacy.
Results. Evidence-based practice and patient-centered care were the most widely implemented of the 5 core competencies (in 87% and 84% of colleges and schools, respectively), while informatics, interdisciplinary teaming, and quality improvement were implemented to a lesser extent (at 36%, 34%, and 29% of colleges and schools, respectively).
Conclusions. Significant progress has been made by colleges and schools of pharmacy for inclusion of IOM competencies relating to evidence-based practice and patient-centered care within curricula. However, the areas of informatics, interdisciplinary teaming, and quality improvement are lagging in inclusion.
Institute of Medicine; competency; curriculum
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
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
This paper reviews the literature on the various types of simulation and their incorporation into health professions curricula, describes how simulation training is recognized in other professions, and evaluates the feasibility of integrating simulation into experiential education programs of colleges and schools of pharmacy. The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) Board of Directors develop standards and guidelines on the use of simulation as part of introductory pharmacy practice experiences within the doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum.
simulation; experiential education; introductory pharmacy practice experience
To assess the breadth, depth, and perceived importance of pharmacogenomics instruction and level of faculty development in this area in schools and colleges of pharmacy in the United States.
A questionnaire used and published previously was further developed and sent to individuals at all US schools and colleges of pharmacy. Multiple approaches were used to enhance response.
Seventy-five (83.3%) questionnaires were returned. Sixty-nine colleges (89.3%) included pharmacogenomics in their PharmD curriculum compared to 16 (39.0%) as reported in a 2005 study. Topic coverage was <10 hours for 28 (40.6%), 10-30 hours for 29 (42.0%), and 31-60 hours for 10 (14.5%) colleges and schools of pharmacy. Fewer than half (46.7%) were planning to increase course work over the next 3 years and 54.7% had no plans for faculty development related to pharmacogenomics.
Most US colleges of pharmacy include pharmacogenomics content in their curriculum, however, the depth may be limited. The majority did not have plans for faculty development in the area of pharmacogenomic content expertise.
pharmacogenomics education; pharmacogenetics education; curriculum
To determine the content and extent, design, and relative importance of patient assessment courses in the professional pharmacy curriculum.
A 20-item questionnaire was developed to gather information pertaining to patient assessment. Pharmacy practice department chairs were mailed a letter with an Internet link to an online survey instrument.
Ninety-six percent of the programs indicated that patient assessment skills were taught. Forty-five percent of respondents indicated their course was a standalone course. The most common topics covered in assessment courses were pulmonary examination, vital signs, and cardiovascular assessment.
There is significant variability in the topics covered, depth of content, types of instruction, and evaluation methods used in patient assessment courses in US colleges of pharmacy. This survey was an initial assessment of what is being done regarding education of student pharmacists on patient assessment.
curriculum design; laboratory instruction; patient assessment; physical assessment
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.
This paper describes the status of the bachelor’s degree in clinical pharmacy education in China, with particular focus on educational institutions, programs, and curricula. The authors conducted a systematic literature review of clinical pharmacy education articles published from 2006 to 2011. To ensure the completeness of the investigation, an e-mail was sent or telephone call made directly to the colleges whose curriculum information could not be obtained by the above methodology. Twenty-three colleges offered a program in clinical pharmacy education in 2011. The colleges award either a bachelor of science or a bachelor of medicine degree with programs ranging from 4 to 5 years in duration. The 5-year BS degree program was most popular. Although the number of clinical pharmacy programs in China has steadily increased, more graduates and standardization of curricula are needed to meet the country’s steadily expanding need for quality health care.
development; bachelor degree; clinical pharmacy; education; China
To describe current objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) practices in doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) programs in the United States.
Structured interviews were conducted with PharmD faculty members between September 2008 and May 2010 to collect information about awareness of and interest in OSCE, current OSCE practices, and barriers to OSCEs.
Of 108 US colleges and schools of pharmacy identified, interviews were completed for a representative sample of 88 programs (81.5% participation rate). Thirty-two pharmacy programs reported using OSCEs; however, practices within these programs varied. Eleven of the programs consistently administered examinations of 3 or more stations, required all students to complete the same scenario(s), and had processes in place to ensure consistency of standardized patients' role portrayal. Of the 55 programs not using OSCEs, approximately half were interested in using the technique. Common barriers to OSCE implementation or expansion were cost and faculty members' workloads.
There is wide interest in using OSCEs within pharmacy education. However, few colleges and schools of pharmacy conduct OSCEs in an optimal manner, and most do not adhere to best practices in OSCE construction and administration.
objective structured clinical examination (OSCE); assessment; testing; examination
To compare didactic migraine education in doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) programs in the United States with the Headache Consortium's evidence-based migraine treatment recommendations.
A self-administered survey instrument was mailed to all 90 Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) approved PharmD programs in the United States.
Seventy-seven programs responded (86%) and 69 useable survey instruments were analyzed. Fifty-five percent of programs discussed the Consortium's guidelines, 49% discussed the selection of nonprescription versus prescription agents, 45% recommended a butalbital-containing product as migraine treatment, and 20% educated students about tools for assessing migraine-related debilitation. At least 50% of programs taught information consistent with the remaining Consortium recommendations.
Approximately half of the PharmD programs teach concepts about migraine headache treatment consistent with the US Headache Consortium's recommendations.
pharmacy education; migraine; evidence-based; headache
To characterize pharmacy program standards and trends in drug information education.
A questionnaire containing 34 questions addressing general demographic characteristics, organization, and content of drug information education was distributed to 86 colleges and schools of pharmacy in the United States using a Web-based survey system.
Sixty colleges responded (73% response rate). All colleges offered a campus-based 6-year first-professional degree PharmD program. Didactic drug information was a required course in over 70% of these schools. Only 51 of the 60 colleges offered an advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE) in drug information, and 62% of these did so only on an elective basis.
Although almost all of the PharmD programs in the US include a required course in drug information, the majority do not have a required APPE in this important area.
drug information; course; curriculum; pharmacy education; experiential training; advanced pharmacy practice experience
The 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
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
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
Objective. To provide doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students with highly integrated, comprehensive and up-to-date instruction related to the pharmacology of antiarrhythmic drugs.
Design. Students were taught the medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, and therapeutics of antiarrhythmic agents in the cardiology module presented in quarter 7 of the PharmD curriculum. Important foundational information for this topic was presented to students in prerequisite physiology courses and pathophysiology courses offered earlier in the curriculum. Emphasis was placed on student critical thinking and active involvement. Weekly recitation sessions afforded students the opportunity to apply the information they learned regarding arrhythmia pharmacotherapy to comprehensive patient cases.
Assessment. Student comprehension was measured using class exercises, short quizzes, case write-ups, comprehensive examinations, group exercises, and classroom discussion. Students were afforded the opportunity to evaluate the course, and the instructors as well as rate the degree to which the course achieved its educational outcomes.
Conclusion. Students learned about cardiac arrhythmias through a high-quality, interdisciplinary series of classes presented by faculty members with extensive experience related to the pharmacology and pharmacotherapy of cardiac arrhythmias.
arrhythmia; antiarrhythmic agents; pharmacology; integrated curriculum
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
Teachers of pharmacy self-care courses have met annually since 1998 at the Nonprescription Medicines Academy (NMA) held in Cincinnati, Ohio. During these meetings, self-care faculty members discuss methods of enhancing the teaching of self-care in US colleges and schools of pharmacy. Self-care courses are taught using a variety of methods and content is woven into pharmacy curricula in many different ways. This manuscript sets forth the current state of self-care instruction in pharmacy curricula including the recommended core curriculum, instructional methodologies, course mechanics, existing standards, and assessment and curricular placement, and makes recommendations for the future.
nonprescription medicines; curriculum; self-care; instruction
Objective. To continue efforts of quality assurance following a 5-year curricular mapping and course peer review process, 18 topics (“streams”) of knowledge, skills, and attitudes were assessed across the doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum.
Design. The curriculum committee merged the 18 topics into 9 streams. Nine ad hoc committees (“stream teams”) of faculty members and preceptors evaluated the content, integration, and assessment for their assigned streams across the 4 professional years. Committees used a reporting tool and curriculum database to complete their reviews.
Assessment. After each team presented their findings and recommendations at a faculty retreat, the 45 faculty members were asked to list their top priorities for curriculum improvement. The 5 top priorities identified were: redefinition and clarification of program outcomes; improved coordination of streams across the curriculum; consistent repetition and assessment of math skills throughout the curriculum; focused nonprescription and self-care teaching into an individual course; and improved development of problem solving.
Conclusions. This comprehensive assessment enabled the college to identify areas for curriculum improvement that were not readily apparent to the faculty from prior reviews of individual courses.
curricular assessment; curriculum; streams of knowledge; curricular mapping
To determine the extent to which the structured interview is used in the PharmD admissions process in US colleges and schools of pharmacy, and the prevalence and content of interviewer training.
A survey instrument consisting of 7 questions regarding interviews and interviewer training was sent to 92 colleges and schools of pharmacy in the United States that were accredited or seeking accreditation.
Sixty survey instruments (65% response rate) were returned. The majority of the schools that responded (80%) used interviews as part of the PharmD admissions process. Of the schools that used an interview as part of the admissions process, 86% provided some type of interviewer training and 13% used a set of predefined questions in admissions interviews.
Most colleges and schools of pharmacy use some components of the structured interview in the PharmD admissions process; however, training for interviewers varies widely among colleges and schools of pharmacy.
structured interview; interview; interviewer training; admissions
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 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