Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Pharmacists from Health Practioners' Perspectives

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Pharmacists from Health Practioners' Perspectives

Article excerpt

I had the opportunity to attend the September 2012 conference of the National Academies of Practice entitled "Patient-Centered Care: Working Together in an Interprofessional World." Practitioners from over 12 health professions, along with public health proponents, educators, students, and health administrators, challenged the status quo in health professions education and practice.

One conference exercise involved about 60 individuals in an interprofessional competencies workshop facilitated by faculty members from Case Western Reserve University. Posters were mounted around the room for nursing, physical therapy, dentistry, medicine, social work, and pharmacy. We were given markers to write a word or phrase in the top section of the posters labeled "Words." I wrote "committed" on the nursing poster and "problem-solver" on the social work poster, but there were entries such as "controlling" for nurses and "pain" for physical therapists. Gradually profiles developed as participants made their way around the room. After about 10 minutes, we were asked to gather around the poster for our own profession.

There were just a few pharmacists in attendance including my former student, a new faculty acquaintance from a New England school, a pharmacist on faculty at an osteopathic medicine school, and myself. We were asked to reflect on the words others had written about pharmacy and to write in the bottom "Surprises" section of the poster. All of us had been a little apprehensive about what we would read.

The words and phrases we found were: hidden expertise, adherence focus, intelligence, medications, patient education, knowledgeable, precise, interpreter, broad-based knowledge of medications, behind the scenes, and chemistry. …

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