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1.  Comparison of Patient Simulation Methods Used in a Physical Assessment Course 
Objective. To determine whether there is a difference in student pharmacists’ learning or satisfaction when standardized patients or manikins are used to teach physical assessment.
Design. Third-year student pharmacists were randomized to learn physical assessment (cardiac and pulmonary examinations) using either a standardized patient or a manikin.
Assessment. Performance scores on the final examination and satisfaction with the learning method were compared between groups. Eighty and 74 student pharmacists completed the cardiac and pulmonary examinations, respectively. There was no difference in performance scores between student pharmacists who were trained using manikins vs standardized patients (93.8% vs. 93.5%, p=0.81). Student pharmacists who were trained using manikins indicated that they would have probably learned to perform cardiac and pulmonary examinations better had they been taught using standardized patients (p<0.001) and that they were less satisfied with their method of learning (p=0.04).
Conclusions. Training using standardized patients and manikins are equally effective methods of learning physical assessment, but student pharmacists preferred using standardized patients.
PMCID: PMC3663631  PMID: 23716745
physical assessment; cardiac examination; pulmonary examination; manikins; standardized patients
2.  Assessment of Students’ Critical-Thinking and Problem-Solving Abilities Across a 6-Year Doctor of Pharmacy Program 
Objective. To determine the feasibility of using a validated set of assessment rubrics to assess students’ critical-thinking and problem-solving abilities across a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum.
Methods. Trained faculty assessors used validated rubrics to assess student work samples for critical-thinking and problem-solving abilities. Assessment scores were collected and analyzed to determine student achievement of these 2 ability outcomes across the curriculum. Feasibility of the process was evaluated in terms of time and resources used.
Results. One hundred sixty-one samples were assessed for critical thinking, and 159 samples were assessed for problem-solving. Rubric scoring allowed assessors to evaluate four 5- to 7-page work samples per hour. The analysis indicated that overall critical-thinking scores improved over the curriculum. Although low yield for problem-solving samples precluded meaningful data analysis, it was informative for identifying potentially needed curricular improvements.
Conclusions. Use of assessment rubrics for program ability outcomes was deemed authentic and feasible. Problem-solving was identified as a curricular area that may need improving. This assessment method has great potential to inform continuous quality improvement of a PharmD program.
PMCID: PMC3806950  PMID: 24159207
ability outcome assessment; program assessment; critical thinking; problem solving; VALUE rubrics
3.  Laboratory and Clinical Outcomes of Pharmacogenetic vs. Clinical Protocols for Warfarin Initiation in Orthopedic Patients 
Warfarin is commonly prescribed for prophylaxis and treatment of thromboembolism after orthopedic surgery. During warfarin initiation, out-of-range International Normalized Ratio (INR) values and adverse events are common.
In orthopedic patients beginning warfarin therapy, we developed and prospectively validated pharmacogenetic and clinical dose refinement algorithms to revise the estimated therapeutic dose after 4 days of therapy.
The pharmacogenetic algorithm used the cytochrome P450 (CYP) 2C9 genotype, smoking status, perioperative blood loss, liver disease, INR values, and dose history to predict the therapeutic dose. The R2 was 82% in a derivation cohort (N = 86), and 70% when used prospectively (N = 146). The R2 of the clinical algorithm that used INR values and dose history to predict the therapeutic dose was 57% in a derivation cohort (N = 178), and 48% in a prospective validation cohort (N = 146). In one month of prospective follow-up, the percent time spent in the therapeutic range was 7% higher (95% CI: 2.7%–11.7%) in the pharmacogenetic cohort. The risk of laboratory or clinical adverse event was also significantly reduced in the pharmacogenetic cohort (Hazard Ratio 0.54; 95% CI: 0.29–0.97).
Warfarin dose adjustments that incorporate genotype and clinical variables available after four warfarin doses are accurate. In this non-randomized, prospective study, pharmacogenetic dose refinements were associated with more time spent in the therapeutic range and fewer laboratory or clinical adverse events. To facilitate gene-guided warfarin dosing we created a non-profit website,
PMCID: PMC2920450  PMID: 18662264
Warfarin; Pharmacogenetics; Dosing Algorithm; Anticoagulants; Orthopedic Surgery
4.  Pharmacogenetic Warfarin Dose Refinements Remain Significantly Influenced by Genetic Factors after One Week of Therapy 
Thrombosis and Haemostasis  2011;107(2):232-240.
By guiding initial warfarin dose, pharmacogenetic (PGx) algorithms may improve the safety of warfarin initiation. However, once INR response is known, the contribution of PGx to dose refinements is uncertain. This study sought to develop and validate clinical and PGx dosing algorithms for warfarin dose refinement on days 6–11 after therapy initiation.
Materials and Methods
An international sample of 2,022 patients at 13 medical centers on 3 continents provided clinical, INR, and genetic data at treatment days 6–11 to predict therapeutic warfarin dose. Independent derivation and retrospective validation samples were composed by randomly dividing the population (80%/20%). Prior warfarin doses were weighted by their expected effect on S-warfarin concentrations using an exponential-decay pharmacokinetic model. The INR divided by that “effective” dose constituted a treatment response index.
Treatment response index, age, amiodarone, body surface area, warfarin indication, and target INR were associated with dose in the derivation sample. A clinical algorithm based on these factors was remarkably accurate: in the retrospective validation cohort its R2 was 61.2% and median absolute error (MAE) was 5.0 mg/week. Accuracy and safety was confirmed in a prospective cohort (N=43). CYP2C9 variants and VKORC1-1639 G→A were significant dose predictors in both the derivation and validation samples. In the retrospective validation cohort, the PGx algorithm had: R2= 69.1% (P<0.05 vs. clinical algorithm), MAE= 4.7 mg/week.
A pharmacogenetic warfarin dose-refinement algorithm based on clinical, INR, and genetic factors can explain at least 69.1% of therapeutic warfarin dose variability after about one week of therapy.
PMCID: PMC3292349  PMID: 22186998
warfarin; VKORC1; CYP2C9; pharmacogenetic

Results 1-4 (4)