Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

An Introprofessional Geriatric Medication Activity within a Senior Mentor Program

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

An Introprofessional Geriatric Medication Activity within a Senior Mentor Program

Article excerpt


As healthcare evolves into a team-based, patient-centered practice model, interprofessional collaboration is essential to improving patient outcomes. Interprofessional education will prepare future healthcare professionals with the tools needed to provide patient care as part of a collaborative team. Interprofessional education is defined as 2 or more professions learning with, from, and about each other to improve collaboration and quality of care. (1-3) National competencies for the delivery of interprofessional education in the United States have been developed. (3) The goal of interprofessional education is for students to learn how to function in an interprofessional team and then to carry the knowledge, skills, and attitudes they learn into their practice. (2)

Geriatric care presents an ideal environment for training in and the provision of interprofessional health care. The geriatric patient population is increasing, and by 2030, 1 in 4 Americans will be over the age of 65 years. (4) There is an increasing need for training pharmacy students in geriatric care. (5) With the expansion of team-based care, there has been a call for interprofessional teams that include pharmacists to care for geriatric patients. (6) The Partnership for Health in Aging and the American Geriatric Society published a position statement and suggested competencies promoting an interprofessional team-based care approach for geriatric patients. The statement suggests development of further training models for health professions students to be competent providers for geriatric patients within an interprofessional team. (6,7)

To achieve curriculum objectives in geriatrics, colleges of medicine have created senior mentor programs in which elderly community volunteers are paired with medical students to complete assignments relating to topics covered in the classroom. (8,9) These senior mentor programs have had positive effects on medical students' attitudes toward the care of older adults and successfully expanded the geriatric content of the medical curriculum.

To date, limited data have been published regarding senior mentor programs involving both medical and pharmacy students. Two universities have established interprofessional health mentor programs with high student and mentor satisfaction. (10-12) However, no programs have described collaboration between medical and pharmacy students and determined the impact of the program on pharmacy education.

The existing senior mentor program at the Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine was a curricular model in which an interprofessional team approach to geriatrics could be incorporated. Thus, an interprofessional curricular model was used to develop a geriatric medication activity for medical and pharmacy students within the senior mentor program. The US interprofessional education competency domains of (1) values/ethics for interprofessional practice, (2) roles and responsibilities, and (3) teams and teamwork served as the framework for this activity. (3) Additionally, the interprofessional activity fulfilled Standard 11 of the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) through active-learning strategies and practice-based exercises. Standard 12 of ACPE and the Center for the Advancement of Pharmaceutical Education (CAPE) outcomes also encourages practicing patient-centered care in collaboration with an interprofessional healthcare team. (13-14) The objectives of the study were to: (1) evaluate the impact of participation in the geriatric medication activity on pharmacy and medical students' attitudes toward interprofessional collaboration, and (2) determine student satisfaction with the experience.


Incorporation of a required interprofessional geriatric medication activity within the senior mentor program provided an opportunity for pharmacy students to apply pharmacotherapy principles and interprofessional skills in caring for a geriatric patient (the senior mentor). …

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