Objectives. To relate common online scenarios to tenets of professionalism, assess frequency of observed scenarios in 4 online domains, and compare second-year (P2) pharmacy students, fourth-year (P4) pharmacy students’, and faculty members’ perceptions of professionalism.
Methods. A 63-item survey instrument consisting of scenarios of behavior in online domains was developed. Using a Likert scale, participants reported whether they had observed each scenario and whether each scenario was professional.
Results. Of the 296 participants who completed the survey instrument, 53% were P2 students, 49% were P4 students, and 68% were faculty members. Most of the observed scenario responses were for social networking sites. There were statistical differences among the 3 cohorts’ perception over whether a scenario demonstrated professional behavior in 6 of the 10 most frequently observed scenarios, and 4 out of 6 of these scenarios were in the social networking domain.
Conclusion. Second-year pharmacy students and faculty members were more in alignment with their perception of professionalism then P4 students, suggesting that P4 students may be more complacent in their perception of professionalism.
professionalism; e-professionalism; electronic media; faculty; pharmacy students
Objective. To determine the impact of performing critical-thinking and reflection assignments within interdisciplinary learning teams in a biochemistry course on pharmacy students’ and prospective health professions students’ collaboration scores.
Design. Pharmacy students and prospective medical, dental, and other health professions students enrolled in a sequence of 2 required biochemistry courses. They were randomly assigned to interdisciplinary learning teams in which they were required to complete case assignments, thinking and reflection exercises, and a team service-learning project.
Assessment. Students were asked to complete the Scale of Attitudes Toward Physician-Pharmacist Collaboration prior to the first course, following the first course, and following the second course. The physician-pharmacist collaboration scores of prospective health professions students increased significantly (p<0.001).
Conclusions. Having prospective health professions students work in teams with pharmacy students to think and reflect in and outside the classroom improves their attitudes toward physician-pharmacist collaboration.
interprofessional education; interdisciplinary education; health profession students; pharmacy students; medical students; dental students; empathy; service learning; biochemistry
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
Objective. To identify the benefits and consequences of having part-time faculty members in departments of pharmacy practice from the department chair’s perspective.
Methods. A stratified purposive sample of 12 pharmacy practice department chairs was selected. Eleven telephone interviews were conducted. Two investigators independently read interview notes and categorized and enumerated responses to determine major themes using content analysis. The investigators jointly reviewed the data and came to consensus on major themes.
Results. Benefits of allowing full-time faculty members to reduce their position to part-time included faculty retention and improved individual faculty work/life balance. Consequences of allowing part-time faculty positions included the challenges of managing individual and departmental workloads, the risk of marginalizing part-time faculty members, and the challenges of promotion and tenure issues. All requests to switch to part-time status were faculty-driven and most were approved.
Conclusions. There are a variety of benefits and consequences of having part-time faculty in pharmacy practice departments from the chair’s perspective. Clear faculty and departmental expectations of part-time faculty members need to be established to ensure optimal success of this working arrangement.
faculty; part-time faculty; work-life balance
Objective. To measure changes in pharmacy and medical students’ empathy scores after a 40-minute workshop during which students observed and discussed a theatrical performance about the challenges of aging.
Methods. First-year pharmacy and medical students (n = 187 and n = 183, respectively) participating in the workshop observed and discussed a 10-minute performance in which students enacted problems and concerns faced by elderly patients. The Jefferson Scale of Empathy (JSE) was administered just prior to the workshop (pretest), immediately afterward (posttest 1), and 7 or 26 days afterward (posttest 2).
Results. Empathy increased significantly from pretest to posttest 1 for students of each profession (p <0.01). Improvement in empathy scores declined by the time the JSE was readministered to pharmacy students 7 days later and to medical students 26 days later (posttest 2). Similar patterns of improved and declining empathy were found when the data were analyzed by gender and medical student specialty interest (ie, primary vs non-primary care specialties).
Conclusion. Empathy scores increased but were not sustained for both pharmacy and medical students after a brief workshop on aging that required limited personnel resources.
empathy; pharmacy students; medical students; geriatric; elderly; theatrical performance
Objectives. To assess the validity and reliability of an instrument to measure pharmacy students’ attitudes toward physician-pharmacist collaboration, and compare those attitudes to the attitudes of medical students.
Methods. One hundred sixty-six first-year pharmacy students and 77 first-year medical students at Midwestern University completed the Scale of Attitudes Toward Physician-Pharmacist Collaboration.
Results. Findings confirmed the validity and reliability of the Scale of Attitudes Toward Physician-Pharmacist Collaboration in pharmacy students, as observed previously for medical students. Pharmacy students’ mean score was significantly higher (56.6 ± 7.2) than that of medical students (52.0 ± 6.1). Maximum likelihood factoring confirmed the 3-factor solution of responsibility and accountability, shared authority, and interdisciplinary education for pharmacy students.
Conclusions. The Scale of Attitudes Toward Physician-Pharmacist Collaboration can be used for the assessment of interdisciplinary educational programs, for patient outcome assessment of interprofessional collaboration, and for group comparisons. Findings that pharmacy students expressed more positive attitudes toward collaboration than medical students have implications for interdisciplinary education.
interprofessional collaboration; interprofessional education; health professions students; reliability; validity; psychometrics; attitudes
Objective. To determine trends among departments of pharmacy practice regarding use of adjunct faculty members for classroom-based teaching and to assess departmental support provided to these faculty members.
Methods. Chairs of pharmacy practice departments in US colleges and school of pharmacy were contacted by e-mail and asked to complete an 11-item electronic survey instrument.
Results. Chair respondents reported an average of 5.7 adjunct faculty members hired to teach required courses and 1.8 adjunct faculty members hired to teach elective courses. Compensation averaged $108 per lecture hour and $1,257 per 1-credit-hour course. Twenty-five percent of the respondents expected to hire more adjunct faculty members to teach required courses in the upcoming year due to curricular changes, faculty hiring freezes, and the shortage of full-time faculty members. Only 7% of respondents reported that they provided a teaching mentor and 14% offered no support to their adjunct faculty members.
Conclusions. Departments of pharmacy practice commonly use adjunct faculty members to teach required and elective courses. Given the pharmacy faculty shortage, this trend is expected to increase and may be an area for future faculty development.
adjunct faculty; faculty; teaching
Objective. To validate the Jefferson Scale of Empathy-Health Profession Students version (JSE-HPS) in pharmacy students.
Methods. The JSE-HPS (20 items), adapted from the original Jefferson Scale of Empathy for use among students in the healthcare professions, was completed by 187 first-year pharmacy students at Midwestern University Chicago College of Pharmacy.
Results. Two factors, “perspective-taking” and “compassionate care,” emerged from factor analysis in this study, accounting for 31% and 8% of the variance, respectively. These factors are similar to the prominent ones reported in previous research involving physicians and medical students, supporting the construct validity of this instrument for pharmacy students. In the current study, mean JSE-HPS score was comparable to those reported for medical students, and consistent with previous findings with medical students and physicians. Women scored significantly higher than men.
Conclusions. Findings support the construct validity and reliability of the JSE-HPS for measuring empathy in pharmacy students.
empathy; pharmacy student; health professions students; psychometrics; validity; reliability; scales
This article describes the development, implementation, and assessment of a Center for Teaching Excellence at Midwestern University Chicago College of Pharmacy. The purpose of the Center was to create a systematic framework to promote, enhance, and assess the scholarship of teaching and learning. Assessment of the Center's activities suggests a positive impact on the teaching abilities of faculty. This report is intended to offer other schools or colleges of pharmacy considerations for center development.
professional development; teaching; mentoring
To evaluate the effectiveness of a student response system on short- and long-term learning in a required second-year pharmacy course.
Student volunteers enrolled in the course Drug Literature Evaluation were blinded and randomized to 1 of 2 groups. Group 1 attended a lecture in which the instructor used a student response system. Group 2 attended the same lecture by the same instructor an hour later, but no student response system was used. A 16-point unannounced quiz on the lecture material was administered to both groups at the end of class. Approximately 1 month later, both groups were given another unannounced quiz on the same material to test long-term student learning.
One hundred seventy-nine (92.3%) students participated in both quizzes. Students who attended the class in which the student response system was used scored an average 1 point higher on quiz 1 than students who were assigned to the control group (10.7 vs. 9.7; p = 0.02). No significant difference was seen between the quiz 2 scores of the 2 groups (9.5 vs. 9.5; p = 0.99).
The use of a student response system can positively impact students' short-term learning; however, that positive effect did not appear to last over time. Faculty members may want to consider the use of student response systems to enhance student learning in large lecture classes.
audience response system; student learning; active learning
To determine the effectiveness of commitment to change (CTC) statements on behavior or practice change after a continuing pharmacy education (CPE) program, and to assess the percentage of CTC statements that are linked to program objectives.
Following a CPE program, 33 participants were asked to complete a CTC statement and describe changes that they planned on making in their behavior as preceptors. Six months later participants were asked to return the CTC statement and note the status of the change.
Twenty-eight participants completed the CTC. Twenty-one (75%) participants returned the CTC statement 6 months later with a status report. Seventy percent of the 56 changes described by the 21 participants had been fully implemented. The majority of the changes (88%) matched program objectives.
Writing a CTC statement following completion of a CPE program may positively affect behavior change.
commitment to change (CTC) statement; continuing pharmacy education (CPE); preceptor
To ascertain background factors that influence pharmacy students' willingness to cheat, describe attitudes regarding methods of cheating, assess prevalence of cheating and determine atmospheres that may aid in preventing academic dishonesty.
Third-professional year PharmD students at 4 institutions participated in a survey administered by a class representative.
Of the 296 students who completed survey instruments, 16.3% admitted to cheating during pharmacy school. Approximately 74% admitted that either they or their classmates had worked on an individual assignment with a friend. Students who cheated during high school or in a prepharmacy program were more likely to cheat during pharmacy school (p < 0.0001). Those who possessed a bachelor of science (BS) degree prior to pharmacy school were less likely to cheat (p < 0.0001).
Academic dishonesty is prevalent among pharmacy students. While few respondents directly admitted to cheating, many admitted to activities traditionally defined as dishonest.
academic dishonesty; cheating; honesty
To examine the results of an interactive curricular-based 3-month long pharmacy continuing professional education (CPE) program on short- and long-term learning outcomes and behavioral changes of current and potential preceptors.
A CPE program was developed that covered specific disease states and teaching skills. The goals of the course were to provide knowledge and skills needed to precept the College's new advanced rotations, and to attract more pharmacists to serve as preceptors. The course included pre-readings and 3-hour long workshops over a 3-month period of time. Learning and behavior were assessed by a pretest and posttest and follow-up survey.
Ninety-nine pharmacists completed the course. Fifty participants completed the assessments and were included in the analysis, yielding a usable response rate of 52%. However, only 30 participants completed the follow-up survey instrument, resulting in a response rate of 30%. There was a significant increase in test scores between the pretest and posttest, but a significant decline in test scores between posttest and the follow-up survey.
An interactive, curricular-based pharmacy CPE program is effective in increasing learning, but participants may not maintain the acquired knowledge over time. The program was not an effective mechanism to attract pharmacists to serve as preceptors.
continuing professional education; behavioral changes; preceptor; advanced pharmacy practice experience