Objectives. To develop, implement, and assess an interprofessional rural health professions program for pharmacy and medical students.
Design. A recruitment and admissions process was developed that targeted students likely to practice in rural areas. Pharmacy students participated alongside medical students in completing the Rural Health Professions program curriculum, which included monthly lecture sessions and assignments, and a capstone clinical requirement in the final year.
Assessment. Fourteen pharmacy students and 33 medical students were accepted into the program during the first 2 years of the Rural Health Professions program. Approximately 90% of the rural health professions students were originally from rural areas.
Conclusions. The rural health professions program is an interprofessional approach to preparing healthcare providers to practice in rural communities.
assessment; interprofessional; rural healthcare; underserved; rural pharmacy
Objective. To determine the effectiveness of a summer pharmacy camp on participants’ pursuit of enrollment in doctor of pharmacy degree programs.
Methods. All participants (n = 135) in a pharmacy camp at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) College of Pharmacy from 2007-2010 were invited to complete an anonymous online survey instrument.
Results. Seventy-three students completed the survey instrument (54% response rate). Ninety-six percent of pharmacy camp participants said that they would recommend pharmacy camp to a friend, and 76% planned to apply or had applied to doctor of pharmacy degree program. Seven of the camp participants had enrolled in the UAMS College of Pharmacy.
Conclusions. The pharmacy summer camp at UAMS is effective in maintaining high school students’ interest in the profession of pharmacy. Continued use of the pharmacy camp program as a recruitment tool is warranted; however, additional research on this topic is needed.
pharmacy camp; recruitment; admissions; pharmacy students; survey
To develop and implement a new course on public health into the bachelor of pharmacy (BPharm) curriculum in Malaysia.
A required 2-credit-hour course was designed to provide an overview of public health pharmacy roles and the behavioral aspects of human healthcare issues. Graded activities included nursing home visits, in-class quizzes, mini-projects, and poster sessions, and a comprehensive final examination.
The majority of the students performed well on the class activities and 93 (71.5%) of the 130 students enrolled received a grade of B or higher. A Web-based survey was administered at the end of the semester and 90% of students indicated that they had benefited from the course and were glad that it was offered. The majority of students agreed that the course made an impact in preparing them for their future role as pharmacists and expanded their understanding of the public health roles of a pharmacist.
A public health pharmacy course was successfully designed and implemented in the BPharm curriculum. This study highlighted the feasibilities of introducing courses that are of global relevance into a Malaysian pharmacy curriculum. The findings from the students' evaluation suggest the needs to incorporate a similar course in all pharmacy schools in the country and will be used as a guide to improve the contents and methods of delivery of the course at our school.
public health; curriculum; Malaysia
To design and assess an educational program for preparing pharmacy students for success during the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Midyear Clinical Meeting (ASHP-MCM) and postgraduate training search.
An informational handout packet was prepared and a 1-hour educational forum was conducted prior to the 2007 and 2008 ASHP-MCMs. Following the ASHP-MCM, participating students were invited to complete an anonymous online survey instrument.
Among the 66 participating students, 73% agreed they were adequately prepared for the ASHP-MCM, with 89%, 80%, and 79% agreeing the educational forum equipped them for their activities preceding, during, and following the ASHP-MCM, and 90%, 83%, and 69% agreeing the informational handout packet equipped them for their activities preceding, during, and following the ASHP-MCM. Among 14 students seeking a residency during the 2008 ASHP-MCM, 86% were successfully placed with a program.
An educational program was useful in preparing students for success during the ASHP-MCM and postgraduate training search.
pharmacy student; residency; postgraduate training; Midyear Clinical Meeting
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
Objectives. To determine the impact of health professions students’ participation in interprofessional activities on their knowledge of the roles of community pharmacists and community pharmacist-provided services.
Methods. Students at the Medical University of South Carolina were surveyed via a self-administered online survey tool to determine their participation in interprofessional activities as well as their knowledge of the role of community pharmacists and community pharmacist-provided services.
Results. Over 600 students completed the survey instrument. Nonpharmacy students who attended the university-sponsored Interprofessional Day were more knowledgeable of pharmacist-provided services. Previous interaction with a pharmacist increased nonpharmacy students’ awareness of the services that pharmacists provide.
Conclusion. Participation in interprofessional activities increased health professions students’ awareness of the role of pharmacists. Continued education among healthcare professions about the role of and services provided by pharmacists is needed to ensure that pharmacists have the greatest possible impact on patient care.
community pharmacy; health professions; interprofessional education
To develop and validate an instrument that measures professionalism among pharmacy students and recent graduates.
A pharmacy professionalism survey instrument developed by a focus group was pretested and then administered to all first-year pharmacy students enrolled in the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy and to recent pharmacy graduates who were taking the preparation course for the Georgia Pharmacy Law Examination and North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination. Participants were asked to indicate the extent to which they agreed or disagreed with each of 32 items using a 5-point Likert scale.
One hundred thirty first-year pharmacy students and 101 pharmacy graduates participated in the survey. Statistical analysis identified 6 factors (subscales), which were later named excellence, respect for others, altruism, duty, accountability, and honor/integrity, the 6 tenets of professionalism. Item to total correlations ranged from 0.25 to 0.57 on the 6 factors (subscales), and reliability estimates ranged from 0.72 to 0.85 for the 6 factors and total scale.
The Pharmacy Professionalism Instrument measures the 6 tenets of professionalism and exhibits satisfactory reliability measures. Future studies using this scale in other pharmacy populations are needed.
pharmacy students; professionalism; survey development; validation
Pharmacists are key members of the healthcare team, especially in minority and urban communities. This study was developed to assess pharmacists' ability and willingness to counsel the public on prostate cancer in the community pharmacy setting. A mail survey was sent to all 192 community pharmacies in Washington, DC, and Prince George's County, Maryland. A total of 90 pharmacists responded to the questionnaire, providing a 46.9% response rate. One third of the pharmacists indicated a willingness to participate in a prostate cancer training program. Perceived benefits and perceived barriers were each measured through five questionnaire items using Likert-style statements with responses ranging from "strongly agree" to "strongly disagree." The most significant predictor of perceived benefits of providing prostate cancer information was gender; male pharmacists perceived greater benefits for providing prostate cancer information than female pharmacists. Similarly, black pharmacists perceived greater benefits of providing prostate cancer information to their patients than non-black pharmacists. Also, pharmacists in stores that offered disease state management programs had a significantly lower perceived benefit of providing prostate cancer information. These findings indicate that gender and race may play a role in health promotion in health disparities. There were no significant barriers to providing prostate cancer information. Thus, many pharmacists are willing to participate in health education on prostate cancer.
To assess the impact of a change from nurse to pharmacist instructors and a new curriculum intended to encourage students’ use of physical assessment skills.
Pharmacist faculty members redesigned the physical assessment curriculum to focus on those assessment skills most likely to be performed by practicing pharmacists. The 5 focus areas were general assessment skills, gastrointestinal system, pulmonary system, central and peripheral nervous system, and cardiovascular system. Instructional methods used included prelaboratory assignments, brief introductory lectures, demonstration of assessment techniques, application of techniques with a laboratory partner, and demonstration of competence using a mannequin.
A 16-item survey instrument was administered to determine students’ perceptions of the revised curriculum. Students who received instruction from pharmacist faculty members used their physical assessment skills more, especially during advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs), than students who received instruction from nurse faculty members. Students instructed by pharmacist faculty members also felt more comfortable with their skills and rated the instruction as more practical.
A redesigned curriculum and pharmacist-led instruction resulted in improved pharmacy student comfort with and use of physical assessment skills.
physical assessment; curriculum; pharmacist; nurse
Pharmacies are venues in which patients seek out products and professional advice in order to improve overall health. However, many pharmacies in the United States continue to sell tobacco products, which are widely known to cause detrimental health effects. This conflict presents a challenge to pharmacists, who are becoming increasingly more involved in patient health promotion activities. This study sought to assess Western New York (WNY) area pharmacists’ opinions about the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies, and pharmacists’ opinions on their role in patient smoking cessation.
Participants responded to two parallel surveys; a web-based survey was completed by 148 university-affiliated pharmacist preceptors via a list based sample, and a mail-based survey was completed by the supervising pharmacist in 120 area pharmacies via a list-based sample. The combined response rate for both surveys was 31%. Univariate and bivariate analyses were performed to determine any significant differences between the preceptor and supervising pharmacist survey groups.
Over 75% of respondents support legislation banning the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies. Over 86% of respondents would prefer to work in a pharmacy that does not sell tobacco products. Differences between preceptor and supervising pharmacist groups were observed. Action regarding counseling patients was uncommon among both groups.
Pharmacists support initiatives that increase their role in cessation counseling and initiatives that restrict the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies. These data could have important implications for communities and pharmacy practice.
Tobacco sales; Pharmacists; Preceptors; Public health policy; Survey research; Pharmacies
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
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
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
Despite an increased need, residents of rural communities have decreased access to healthcare and oftenpresentuniquehealthcare challenges associated with their rurality. Ensuring medical students receive adequate exposure to these issues is complicated by the urban location of most medical schools. Health fairs (fairs) conducted in rural communities can provide students exposure to ruralhealth;however, it is unknown how participation affects attitudes regarding these issues.
Materials and Methods:
During the 2010-2011 academic year, first-year medical students were surveyed before and after participating in a rural fair regarding the importance of rural health issues, the need for exposure to rural healthcare, their plans to practice in a rural community,andthe educational impact of fairs.
Of the 121participating students, 77% and 61% completed pre- and post-fair surveys, respectively. Few had lived in a rural area or planned to practice primary care. Participants strongly agreed that the delivery of healthcare in rural areas was important, and that all physicians should receive rural health training (4.8 and 3.7 out of 5, respectively) despite less than halfplanning to practice in a rural community. After participating in a rural fair, student attitudes were unchanged, although 87% of participants strongly agreed their involvement had contributed to improving patient health and 70% that the fairs provided rural medicine experience.
Among urban medical school students with varied interests in primary care, there was strong interest in volunteering at rural fairs and appreciation for the importance of rural health. Fairs provided interested students with rural medicine experience that reinforced student attitudes regarding rural health. Further, students felt their participation improved patient health.
Education; Medical; Undergraduate; Rural health services; Preventive health services
Objective. To measure changes in pharmacy and medical students’ physician-pharmacist collaboration scores resulting from a workshop designed to promote understanding of the others’ roles in health care.
Methods. More than 88% of first-year pharmacy (n = 215) and medical (n = 205) students completed the Scale of Attitudes Toward Physician-Pharmacist Collaboration on 3 occasions in order to establish a baseline of median scores and to determine whether the scores were influenced by an interprofessional workshop.
Results. Participation in the interprofessional workshop increased pharmacy students’ collaboration scores above baseline (p=0.02) and raised the scores of medical students on the education component of the collaboration survey instrument (p=0.015). The collaboration scores of pharmacy students greatly exceeded those of medical students (p<0.0001).
Conclusion. A workshop designed to foster interprofessional understanding between pharmacy and medical students raised the physician-pharmacist collaboration scores of both. Crucial practical goals for the future include raising the collaboration scores of medical students to those of pharmacy students.
interprofessional education; interdisciplinary education; health profession students; pharmacy students; medical students; attitudes
To develop, refine, and integrate introductory-level strengths instruction within a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum.
Over 8 years, student pharmacists completed the StrengthsFinder assessment tool and identified their top 5 Signature Themes (talents). They then participated in either Web-based learning modules or live workshops designed to facilitate professional development.
Students preferred the live instruction over Web-based learning modules. Post-instruction evaluations demonstrated that students discussed their Signature Themes with peers, preceptors, and family members. Pharmacists working with students in strengths-related activities reported that the students applied the information in the practice setting. Both pharmacists and students recommended that this material be required for all students.
Identifying a role in pharmacy that aligns with one's personal talents is critical for the success of pharmacy graduates. Strengths instruction is an important component of professional and career development, and can aid in identifying roles.
strengths; student development; professional development; career development
Interventions made by pharmacists to resolve issues when filling a prescription ensure the quality, safety, and efficacy of medication therapy for patients. The purpose of this study was to provide a current estimate of the number and types of interventions performed by community pharmacists during processing of prescriptions. This baseline data will provide insight into the factors influencing current practice and areas where pharmacists can redefine and expand their role.
Patients and methods
A cross-sectional study of community pharmacist interventions was completed. Participants included third-year pharmacy students and their pharmacist preceptor as a data collection team. The team identified all interventions on prescriptions during the hours worked together over a 7-day consecutive period. Full ethics approval was obtained.
Nine student–pharmacist pairs submitted data from nine pharmacies in rural (n = 3) and urban (n = 6) centers. A total of 125 interventions were documented for 106 patients, with a mean intervention rate of 2.8%. The patients were 48% male, were mostly ≥18 years of age (94%), and 86% had either public or private insurance. Over three-quarters of the interventions (77%) were on new prescriptions. The top four types of problems requiring intervention were related to prescription insurance coverage (18%), drug product not available (16%), dosage too low (16%), and missing prescription information (15%). The prescriber was contacted for 69% of the interventions. Seventy-two percent of prescriptions were changed and by the end of the data collection period, 89% of the problems were resolved.
Community pharmacists are impacting the care of patients by identifying and resolving problems with prescriptions. Many of the issues identified in this study were related to correcting administrative or technical issues, potentially limiting the time pharmacists can spend on patient-focused activities.
pharmaceutical care; pharmacy; medications; Canada; prescriptions; drug-related problems
Objective. To describe the implementation of an advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE) in medication therapy management (MTM) designed to contribute to student pharmacists’ confidence and abilities in providing MTM.
Design. Sixty-four student pharmacists provided MTM services during an APPE in a communication and care center.
Assessment. Students conducted 1,495 comprehensive medication reviews (CMRs) identifying 6,056 medication-related problems. Ninety-eight percent of the students who completed a survey instrument (52 of 53) following the APPE expressed that they had the necessary knowledge and skills to provide MTM services. Most respondents felt that pharmacist participation in providing Medicare MTM could move the profession of pharmacy forward and that pharmacists will have some role in deciding the specific provisions of the Medicare MTM program (92% and 91%, respectively).
Conclusion. Students completing the MTM APPE received patient-centered experiences that supplemented their confidence, knowledge, and skill in providing MTM services in the future.
medication therapy management; advanced pharmacy practice experience; student pharmacists; patient-centered care
Objective. To use a common reading experience that engages students in academic discourse both before and during a PharmD degree program and introduces students to basic science and ethical foundations in health care.
Design. First-year (P1) pharmacy students were assigned a nonfiction text to read during the summer prior to admission to be followed by facilitated discussions. Activities using the text were integrated into the first-year curriculum. Pre-experience and post-experience student and faculty survey instruments were administered.
Assessment. Students and faculty members reported that 3 first-year courses used the text. Students noted that the text's historical perspective enhanced their understanding of both healthcare delivery and clinical research. Most students (78%) recommended continuation of the common reading experience activity.
Conclusion. Students and participating faculty members found the common reading experience, which provided a hub for discussion around issues such as health literacy and ethical treatment of patients, to be a positive addition to the curriculum. Future intentions for this project include expansion across all healthcare colleges at the university.
common reading experience; ethics; cultural competence; basic science; clinical science; curriculum
The demand for public health services is being outpaced by a shrinking public health workforce. This creates a unique opportunity for pharmacists to become more engaged in public health activities, particularly in rural underserved areas. To meet the need for additional public health professionals, we designed a master of public health (MPH) program in a rural state under the leadership of a department of pharmacy practice. In addition to a core set of courses, the MPH program has public health specialty tracks (disease state management, emergency management, health promotion practice, infectious disease management, food safety, gerontology, and medical management and administration) that could be completed as a certificate program or used towards an MPH degree. The program allows students to complete the graduate degree with a minimum of prerequisite coursework. The MPH degree provides an opportunity for pharmacists and other health care professionals to gain an understanding of the interprofessional approach to solving public health problems and will enhance their role in public health and within their health care team.
outcomes; interprofessional; pharmacists; public health; rural health; graduate program
To identify pharmacy students’ short- and long-term career goals, including projected areas of practice, and evaluate the factors that influence these goals.
A 19-question survey instrument was administered to pharmacy students in each of the 4 professional pharmacy years. The results were analyzed to determine factors influencing students’ career goals and to compare choices among the different classes.
The most important factor considered by pharmacy students was work environment. Their career goals upon graduation were predominantly in the retail chain setting. However, 5 years after graduation, their projected areas of practice were divided between retail and clinical settings.
Specific factors influence pharmacy students' short- and long-term career goals and identifying these factors may provide insights to faculty members in planning the experiential curriculum and assist prospective employers in increasing job retention among new pharmacists and improving their overall job satisfaction.
pharmacy students; career choice
To determine the individual- and neighborhood-level predictors of frequent non-prescription in-pharmacy counseling.
130 pharmacies registered in the Expanded Syringe Access Program (ESAP) in New York City.
477 pharmacists, non-pharmacist owner/managers, and technicians/clerks.
Main outcome measures
Frequent counseling on medical conditions, health insurance, and other products.
Technicians were less likely than pharmacists to provide frequent counseling on medical conditions or health insurance. In terms of neighborhood-level characteristics, pharmacies in areas of high employment disability were less likely to provide frequent health insurance counseling and pharmacies in areas with higher deprivation were more likely to provide counseling on other products.
ESAP pharmacy staff is a frequent source of non-prescription counseling for their patients/customers in disadvantaged neighborhoods of NYC. These findings suggest that ESAP pharmacy staff may be amenable to providing relevant counseling services to injection drug using syringe customers and warrants further investigation.
Expanded Syringe Access Program; in-pharmacy counseling; injection drug users; expanded services; New York City
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
The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act proposes strategies to address the workforce shortages of primary care practitioners in rural America. This review addresses the question, “What specialized education and training are colleges and schools of pharmacy providing for graduates who wish to enter pharmacy practice in rural health?” All colleges and schools accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education or those in precandidate status as of December 2011 were included in an Internet-based review of Web sites. A wide scope of curricular offerings were found, ranging from no description of courses or experiences in a rural setting to formally developed programs in rural pharmacy. Although the number of pharmacy colleges and schools providing either elective or required courses in rural health is encouraging, more education and training with this focus are needed to help overcome the unmet need for quality pharmacy care for rural populations.
rural health; pharmacy curriculum; underserved; experiential
Community pharmacies in Nepal serve both rural and urban populations and are an integral part of the Nepalese healthcare system. These community pharmacies are run by non-pharmacist professionals with orientation training on pharmacology and drug dispensing. Graduate pharmacists’ involvement in community pharmacy will help with patient counselling, dispensing of medication and promotion of safe and appropriate medicine use. Nepal has an organised pharmacovigilance system which incorporates adverse drug reaction (ADRs) from hospitals and tertiary care centres but not from the community. Involvement of pharmacists in community pharmacy will help in ADR reporting and, monitoring at community level and will help in promoting medication safety in the community. This article describes the community pharmacovigilance program in Nepal and the prospects for community pharmacists.
Community Pharmacy; Adverse Drug Reaction; Pharmacist; Nepal