To implement a Learning Bridge tool to improve educational outcomes for pharmacy students as well as for preceptors and faculty members.
Pharmacy faculty members collaborated to write 9 case-based assignments that first-year pharmacy (P1) students worked with preceptors to complete while at experiential sites.
Students, faculty members, and preceptors were surveyed about their perceptions of the Learning Bridge process. As in our pilot study,1 the Learning Bridge process promoted student learning. Additionally, the Learning Bridge assignments familiarized preceptors with the school's P1 curriculum and its content. Faculty teamwork also was increased through collaborating on the assignments.
The Learning Bridge assignments provided a compelling learning environment and benefited students, preceptors, and faculty members.
learning; preceptor training; faculty; introductory pharmacy practice experience
To determine faculty and administrator perceptions about appropriate behavior in social interactions between pharmacy students and faculty members.
Four private and 2 public colleges and schools of pharmacy conducted focus groups of faculty members and interviews with administrators. Three scenarios describing social interactions between faculty members and students were used. For each scenario, participants reported whether the faculty member's behavior was appropriate and provided reasons for their opinions.
Forty-four percent of those surveyed or interviewed considered interactions between faculty members and pharmacy students at a bar to be a boundary violation. Administrators were more likely than faculty members to consider discussing other faculty members with a student to be a boundary violation (82% vs. 46%, respectively, P <0.009). A majority (87%) of faculty members and administrators considered “friending” students on Facebook a boundary violation.
There was no clear consensus about whether socializing with students at a bar was a boundary violation. In general, study participants agreed that faculty members should not initiate friendships with current students on social networks but that taking a student employee to lunch was acceptable.
faculty; students; social interactions; Facebook; behavior
To assess the train-the-trainer component of an initiative (Partners in D) to train pharmacy students to facilitate patient enrollment in the best Medicare Part D prescription drug plan (Part D).
Faculty members from 6 California colleges or schools of pharmacy were taught how to train pharmacy students about Medicare Part D and how to conduct outreach events targeting underserved patient populations. A preintervention and postintervention survey instrument was administered to determine participants' (1) knowledge of the Part D program; (2) skill using the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder tool; and (3) confidence in their ability to train pharmacy students. Implementation of the Partners in D curriculum in faculty members' colleges or schools of pharmacy was also determined.
Participants' knowledge of Part D, mastery of the Plan Finder, and confidence in teaching the material to pharmacy students all significantly improved. Within 8 weeks following the program, 5 of 6 colleges or schools of pharmacy adopted Partners in D coursework and initiated teaching the Partners-in-D curriculum. Four months afterwards, 21 outreach events reaching 186 Medicare beneficiaries had been completed.
The train-the-trainer component of the Partners in D program is practical and effective, and merits serious consideration as a national model for educating patients about Medicare Part D.
Medicare Part D; Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder; train-the-trainer; faculty development
Objective. To identify the manner in which colleges and schools of pharmacy in the United States and Puerto Rico assess full-time faculty preceptors.
Methods. Directors of pharmacy practice (or equivalent title) were invited to complete an online, self-administered questionnaire.
Results. Seventy of the 75 respondents (93.3%) confirmed that their college or school assessed full-time pharmacy faculty members based on activities related to precepting students at a practice site. The most commonly reported assessment components were summative student evaluations (98.5%), type of professional service provided (92.3%), scholarly accomplishments (86.2%), and community service (72.3%). Approximately 42% of respondents indicated that a letter of evaluation provided by a site-based supervisor was included in their assessment process. Some colleges and schools also conducted onsite assessment of faculty members.
Conclusions. Most colleges and schools of pharmacy assess full-time faculty-member preceptors via summative student assessments, although other strategies are used. Given the important role of preceptors in ensuring students are prepared for pharmacy practice, colleges and schools of pharmacy should review their assessment strategies for full-time faculty preceptors, keeping in mind the methodologies used by other institutions.
assessment; faculty; preceptors
Pharmacy students should be given opportunities to learn and practice interpersonal communication skills during their community advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE). Preceptors have the responsibility of setting the stage for the pharmacy students during their initial encounter. During this orientation to the site, students should become familiar with the history of the practice, the types of services provided, and the staff members. Once the orientation is completed, preceptors can develop strategies for incorporating the students into the practice's patient care activities. Students should participate in patient counseling, interviewing, and educational sessions. Also, students should participate in collaborative work with other health care providers. To ensure the development of communication skills in pharmacy students, preceptors can incorporate the teaching process “see one, do one, teach one” into their teaching activities. By following these strategies, preceptors can effectively and positively impact the communication skills of their students.
community pharmacy; advanced pharmacy practice experience; communication skills; preceptor
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
In 2002, a regional consortium was created for schools and colleges of pharmacy in Georgia and Alabama to assist experiential education faculty and staff members in streamlining administrative processes, providing required preceptor development, establishing a professional network, and conducting scholarly endeavors. Five schools and colleges of pharmacy with many shared experiential practice sites formed a consortium to help experiential faculty and staff members identify, discuss, and solve common experience program issues and challenges. During its 5 years in existence, the Southeastern Pharmacy Experiential Education Consortium has coordinated experiential schedules, developed and implemented uniform evaluation tools, coordinated site and preceptor development activities, established a work group for educational research and scholarship, and provided opportunities for networking and professional development. Several consortium members have received national recognition for their individual experiential education accomplishments. Through the activities of a regional consortium, members have successfully developed programs and initiatives that have streamlined administrative processes and have the potential to improve overall quality of experiential education programs. Professionally, consortium activities have resulted in 5 national presentations.
experiential education; consortium; introductory pharmacy practice experience; advanced pharmacy practice experience
To implement and evaluate 5 integrated teaching modules in the fifth-year doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum to increase students' ability to promote patients' health as part of their pharmacy practice.
Activity-based learning was added to each module: (1) a practice experience in which students provided health information and counseling to the public; (2) academic debates on current issues in pharmacy (3) journal clubs on articles from the pharmacy literature; and (4) research projects relating to ongoing faculty research on diabetes. Students on 12-week practice experiences had visits to patients in inpatient wards, outpatient clinics, and either primary care units or community pharmacies.
Practice examinations at the end of the first semester, the average student score was above 80% as determined by preceptors in experience sites and from faculty members. Group interviews found that students were positive about the benefits of integrated teaching.
The integration of the teaching between modules in the same semester is possible and greatly benefits student learning.
active learning; pharmacy practice; pharmacy practice experience; PharmD curriculum; health promotion; Thailand
Objectives. To gather and evaluate the perceptions of students, faculty members, and administrators regarding the frequency and appropriateness of classroom technology use.
Methods. Third-year pharmacy students and faculty members at 6 colleges and schools of pharmacy were surveyed to assess their perceptions about the type, frequency, and appropriateness of using technology in the classroom. Upper-level administrators and information technology professionals were also interviewed to ascertain overall technology goals and identify criteria used to adopt new classroom technologies.
Results. Four hundred sixty-six students, 124 faculty members, and 12 administrators participated in the survey. The most frequently used and valued types of classroom technology were course management systems, audience response systems, and lecture capture. Faculty members and students agreed that faculty members appropriately used course management systems and audience response systems. Compared with their counterparts, tech-savvy, and male students reported significantly greater preference for increased use of classroom technology. Eighty-six percent of faculty members reported having changed their teaching methodologies to meet student needs, and 91% of the students agreed that the use of technology met their needs.
Conclusions. Pharmacy colleges and schools use a variety of technologies in their teaching methods, which have evolved to meet the needs of the current generation of students. Students are satisfied with the appropriateness of technology, but many exhibit preferences for even greater use of technology in the classroom.
educational technology; perceptions; students; faculty; administrators
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 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
The lessons learned from a collaboration between a faculty of pharmacy and a practice site that involved implementation of an innovative experiential placement model are described, as well as the broader impact of the project on other practice sites, the faculty of pharmacy’s experiential education program, and experiential placement capacity. The partnerships and collaborative strategies formed were key to the implementation and evaluation of a pharmacy student clinical teaching unit pilot program and integration of concepts used in the unit into the advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE) program to enhance capacity and quality. The university-practice partnerships have made it possible to promote the delegation of responsibility and accountability for patient care to students, challenge the anticipated workload burden for preceptors, question the optimal length of an APPE placement, and highlight the value of higher student-to-preceptor ratios that facilitate peer-assisted learning (PAL) and optimize the practice learning experiences for preceptors and students. Collaboration in experiential education between universities and practice sites can provide opportunities to address challenges faced by practitioners and academics alike.
collaboration; peer assisted learning; pharmacy; capacity; experiential education
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
The purpose of this article is to describe the experiential program created at the newly formed University of Hawai‘i at Hilo College of Pharmacy (UHH CoP). The Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) rotations were developed to prepare student pharmacists for their final year of Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) rotations by improving clinical skills and patient interactions. In partnership with the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) Department of Family Practice, physician and pharmacist teams collaborate to deliver patient care for chronic diseases and elevate educational opportunities provided by UHH CoP. Another goal of the experiential program is to determine whether the investment of pharmacist faculty and adjunct physician/nurse preceptors prepares students for the final year of APPE rotations. A survey was administered to non-faculty pharmacist preceptors who taught the third IPPE rotation during the summer of 2009. Twenty-nine surveys were received from six facilities on O‘ahu and the Big Island. Initial survey results revealed an overall rating average of 3.72 (Likert scale: 1-lowest to 5-highest), an average of 4.14 for professionalism, an average of 3.41 for overall clinical skills, and an average of 3.45 for overall readiness for experiential rotations. Average ratings when compared with fourth-year students from several mainland colleges ranged from 1.7 to 2.2 (1-worse than, 2-same, 3-better). This data demonstrates that UHH CoP is investing faculty and preceptor resources wisely to enhance the preparation of students for APPE rotations.
Objective. To develop, integrate, and assess an introductory pharmacy practice experience (IPPE) in providing pharmaceutical care to patients at senior centers (Silver Scripts).
Design. First-year pharmacy students learned and practiced the pharmaceutical care process in the classroom to prepare for participation in the Silver Scripts program, in which the students, under faculty mentorship, conducted comprehensive medication reviews for senior citizens attending senior centers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Assessment. Students, preceptors, and senior center staff members indicated the experience was positive. Specifically, first-year students felt they gained benefit both from an educational standpoint and in their own personal growth and development, while staff contacts indicated the patients appreciated the interaction with the students.
Conclusion. The Silver Scripts experience is a model for linking classroom experiences and experiential learning. The cycle of experiencing, reflecting, and learning has provided not only a meaningful experience for our P1 students but also a worthwhile focused review of seniors’ medication use. This experience could be used as a model for other colleges and schools of pharmacy and their communities.
experiential education; introductory pharmacy practice experience; community outreach; pharmacy student; professionalism; pharmaceutical care
Objective. To conduct a simulated medication regimen with second-year pharmacy students to determine their anticipated versus actual difficulty in adhering to it.
Methods. Second-year pharmacy students were given 6 fictitious medications (jellybeans) and a drug regimen to adhere to for 6 days. Pre- and post-intervention surveys were conducted to compare participants anticipated vs. actual difficulty with adherence and changes in empathy toward patients.
Results. The 69 (96%) students who participated in the study missed on average 16% of all simulated medication doses and noted that adhering to the complex medication regimen was more difficult than they had anticipated. Eighty-nine percent of students agreed or strongly agreed the project was valuable in developing empathy towards patients taking complex medication regimens.
Conclusions. Pharmacy students participating in a simulated medication regimen missed a notable number of doses and reported a greater level of empathy for patients taking complex medication regiments. Finding meaningful ways to integrate adherence into the curriculum is essential.
adherence; medications; pharmacy students
Objective. To evaluate the impact of a medication adherence activity on introductory pharmacy practice experience students’ perceptions of patient adherence as well as student development of empathy and confidence in patient counseling.
Design. Students participated in a personal medication simulation using an automated medication dispenser. Students then identified a patient with nonadherence and provided counseling on use of the dispenser. After 4 to 6 weeks, students interviewed the patient about their experience with the dispenser and assessed changes in adherence.
Assessment. One hundred fifty-three students completed the assignment and 3 surveys instruments. Following the experience, the majority of students agreed or strongly agreed that they developed more empathy for patients with multiple medications and felt confident counseling a patient in the use of a dispenser (92.0% and 88.2%, respectively). Most students (91.4%) reported feeling that their patient education session was successful.
Conclusion. An introductory pharmacy practice experience involving an automated medication dispenser and patient counseling to improve medication adherence resulted in the development of empathy and improved student confidence.
medication adherence; compliance; simulation; introductory pharmacy practice experience
To develop and implement a competency-based assessment process for the experiential component of a pharmacy education curriculum.
A consultative process was used in the development of new assessment forms and policies, and a survey regarding student and faculty satisfaction was conducted. Information received from the survey and from consultations with faculty preceptors resulted in revision of the forms in subsequent years.
Faculty and student perceptions of the assessment process were generally positive. We were moderately successful in reducing grade inflation. The new process also provides the school with data that can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of our curriculum in preparing students for practice.
Development and implementation of a competency-based assessment process require a considerable amount of work from dedicated faculty members. With health professions schools under pressure to provide evidence of their graduates’ clinical competence, this is a worthwhile investment.
advanced pharmacy practice experience; assessment; competency-based
To implement and assess a 4-week advanced pharmacy practice experience in transitional care.
Students participated in the transitional care planning of patients being discharged from 4 general medicine services. Students interviewed patients; assessed discharge medications; reconciled preadmission and discharge medications; provided medication counseling; and conducted postdischarge follow-up by phone to assist patients with medication-related problems and identify additional concerns.
Student involvement increased the number of patients who could be assessed and interviewed by the pharmacist preceptor from 10 patients/day to 15 to 20 patients/day. Students strengthened their provider-patient and provider-provider communication skills and developed skills in identifying and resolving barriers to medication adherence.
This transitional care APPE provided students an opportunity to gain experience and self-confidence in the application of pharmaceutical care skills in a transitional care setting, while also providing valuable patient care services to the hospital.
advanced pharmacy practice experience; transitional care; pharmacy student; medication reconciliation
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
This paper provides baseline information on integrating the science of safety into the professional degree curriculum at colleges and schools of pharmacy. A multi-method examination was conducted that included a literature review, key informant interviews of 30 individuals, and in-depth case studies of 5 colleges and schools of pharmacy. Educators believe that they are devoting adequate time to science of safety topics and doing a good job teaching students to identify, understand, report, manage, and communicate medication risk. Areas perceived to be in need of improvement include educating pharmacy students about the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) role in product safety, how to work with the FDA in post-marketing surveillance and other FDA safety initiatives, teaching students methods to improve safety, and educating students to practice in interprofessional teams. The report makes 10 recommendations to help pharmacy school graduates be more effective in protecting patients from preventable drug-related problems.
safety; curriculum; pharmacy education; FDA; quality
Objectives. To determine the reliability and value of peer- and self -reported evaluations in the grading of pharmacy students.
Methods. Mean student peer- and self- reported grades were compared to faculty grades in the advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE) and seminar presentation courses. Responses from pharmacy school alumni regarding curricular peer- and self-reported evaluations were solicited using an online survey tool.
Results. Self-reported student grades were lower than the faculty-reported grade overall and for the formal presentation component of the APPE course grading rubric. Self-reported grades were no different than faculty-reported grades for the seminar course. Students graded their peers higher than did faculty members for both the seminar and APPE courses on all components of the grading rubric. The majority of pharmacy alumni conducted peer- and self-evaluations (64% and 85%, respectively) at least annually and considered peer- and self-evaluations useful in assessing students’ work in group projects, oral presentations, and professional skills.
Conclusion. The combination of self-, peer-, and faculty-assessments using a detailed grading rubric offers an opportunity to meet accreditation standards and better prepare pharmacy students for their professional careers.
self-assessment; peer-assessment; grading rubric; evaluation; assessment; advanced pharmacy practice experience
The Feik School of Pharmacy collaborated with a commercial software development company to create a Web-based e-portfolio system to document student achievement of curricular outcomes and performance in pharmacy practice experiences. The multi-functional system also could be used for experiential site selection and assignment and continuing pharmacy education. The pharmacy school trained students, faculty members, and pharmacist preceptors to use the e-portfolio system. All pharmacy students uploaded the required number of documents and assessments to the program as evidence of achievement of each of the school's curricular outcomes and completion of pharmacy practice experiences.
portfolio; assessment; documentation; curricular outcomes
To implement and evaluate a school wide, Web-based clinical intervention system to document types and impact of pharmacy students' clinical activities during advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs).
A clinical intervention form was developed by pharmacy practice faculty consensus and uploaded to a secure Web site. Prior to APPEs, all pharmacy students were trained on the purpose and use of the system as well as strategies to document interventions appropriately.
Over the 3-year period of data collection, 15,393 interventions were documented. Most common intervention types included dosage adjustments, education of patients and providers, and optimization of therapeutic regimens. The majority of the interventions were accepted by the medical team and resulted in positive clinical and economic outcomes.
Our school-wide system allowed students and faculty members to document clinical activities. Reporting can serve a number of purposes, including incorporation into student portfolios and faculty merit and promotion dossiers, and demonstration of the positive impact on patient care.
clinical interventions; documentation; patient care; advanced pharmacy practice experience
In a possible future of supply-demand imbalance in pharmacy education, a brand that positively differentiates a college or school of pharmacy from its competitors may be the key to its survival. The nominal group technique, a structured group problem-solving and decision-making process, was used during a faculty retreat to identify and agree on the core qualities that define the brand image of Midwestern University’s College of Pharmacy in Glendale, AZ. Results from the retreat were provided to the faculty and students, who then proposed 168 mottos that embodied these qualities. Mottos were voted on by faculty members and pharmacy students. The highest ranked 24 choices were submitted to the faculty, who then selected the top 10 finalists. A final vote by students was used to select the winning motto. The methods described here may be useful to other colleges and schools of pharmacy that want to better define their own brand image and strengthen their organizational culture.
brand; brand image; brand loyalty; differentiation; competition