Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Survey of Colleges of Pharmacy to Assess Preparation for and Promotion of Residency Training

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Survey of Colleges of Pharmacy to Assess Preparation for and Promotion of Residency Training

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

The number of pharmacy students opting to enter post-graduate training programs has continued to increase over the past few years. (1) According to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), approximately 14% of students enter residencies after graduation. The number of residency programs also has grown steadily since ASHP began accrediting these programs in 1962, doubling since 1994. There are over 800 accredited residency programs in 49 states and Puerto Rico.

ASHP's goal for all graduates who pursue health-system pharmacy careers to complete a PGY 1 residency is achievable only with continued growth of college-affiliated residencies and sustained growth in the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. (2) Residency training is beneficial to the individual and to the profession of pharmacy for several reasons. In addition to preparing pharmacists to meet the needs of patient populations with a variety of disease states, residency training gives the individual a competitive advantage in the job market, provides networking opportunities, and facilitates a professional vision. (1) Pharmacy organizations such as ASHP as well as the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP), the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), and the American Pharmaceutical Association (APhA) promote postgraduate training. In 2005, several organizations, including those listed above, discussed the future of pharmacy residency training, agreeing that accredited residencies were necessary for advancing the clinical maturity of pharmacy school graduates so that they may affect changes within health care. (3,4) In 2006, ACCP proposed that residency training be required for all pharmacy school graduates as a prerequisite for direct patient care responsibilities. (5) ACCP has been working with ASHP and other organizations to advance the principle that accredited residency training should be a requirement for clinical practitioners. Six recommendations are given in this position statement, defining the methods to achieve the goal of residency training as a prerequisite for direct patient care practice. In addition, AACP published a separate white paper on the subject, stating that colleges and schools should provide formal programming at repeated intervals throughout the PharmD curriculum to introduce students to academia and encourage them to pursue graduate pharmacy education programs targeted at preparing them to become faculty members after graduation. (6) Fourteen recommendations are given for achieving these goals, including the promotion of residencies to qualified pharmacy students, and mentoring students and residents who show an interest in becoming faculty members. The purpose of this study was to identify the prevalence of activities intended to prepare and encourage students to pursue residency training.

METHODS

In October 2007, a 12-question survey instrument was e-mailed to associate and/or assistant deans from each of the US schools and colleges of pharmacy for online completion via Surveymonkey (Menlo Park, CA). The list was obtained from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Web site (www.aacp.org). The survey instrument was developed and approved by a committee of faculty members involved in the clinical track program at our institution. In addition to demographic data, information regarding activities that promote or prepare students for residency training was solicited. Activities included, but were not limited to, panel discussions, small group discussions, free-standing lectures, lectures as part of a course and/or seminar, or interactive workshops. Information on number of clinical rotations available/required is included, as it is clear that many residency programs use this number as a marker for screening applicants. If a formal curriculum existed, a program description was requested. Follow-up e-mails and telephone calls were made over the course of 2 months to those who did not respond initially. …

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