Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Impact and Application of Material Learned in a Pharmacy Residency Teaching Certificate Program

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Impact and Application of Material Learned in a Pharmacy Residency Teaching Certificate Program

Article excerpt


Teaching certificate programs for pharmacy residents were first described by Romanelli and colleagues in 2001 at the University of Kentucky, and numerous programs developed across the country in subsequent years. (1) These programs stemmed from a need to introduce residents to the fundamental elements of effective teaching, to provide them with opportunities to develop teaching-related skills, and to more adequately prepare them for future careers in academia. (2,3) Teaching certificate programs provide pharmacy residents with more teaching and precepting experiences, increase residents' confidence in their teaching abilities, and aid in obtaining employment. (4-7) Furthermore, exposing residents to various activities within academia may stimulate their interest in pursuing this pharmacy career path. (8,9) Teaching certificate programs may also serve as a recruitment tool to help fill the estimated 27% of vacant faculty positions that remain unfilled because of a lack of qualified applicants. (10)

While TCPs exist across the country, they lack standardization in content and structure. While previous assessments have provided insight into the perceived benefits of TCPs for pharmacy residents, little is known about how professionals actually incorporate their teaching education into their professional functions. Thus, the purpose of our study was to describe the impact and application of a teaching certificate program on the career paths of pharmacy residents up to 11 years after completing the program, and to assess the impact of the components of the program.


The University of Wisconsin-Madison Teaching Certificate Program (UW TCP) was established in 2001 as a formal elective experience designed to expose pharmacy residents to a wide variety of activities related to pharmacy education and the external forces that impact the educational process. The program introduced pharmacy residents to multiple aspects involved in teaching, including both classroom and clinical instruction.

Pharmacy residents in the greater Madison and Milwaukee geographic regions were invited to participate in the program. Priority was given to those residents with teaching responsibilities in the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy (UWSOP) pharmacotherapy laboratory and to residents in programs that have affiliation agreements with the UWSOP. The program, funded by monetary contributions from program participants, costs $100 per participant. The UW TCP has expanded from its initial enrollment of 19 participants (with 8 sessions and 3 workshops) in 2001 to 29 participants in 2013 (with 15 sessions). As of 2013, there were 3 program coordinators, 1 UW faculty member, and 2 previous teaching certificate program participants who served as clinical instructors for pharmacy practice sites in the region in addition to teaching as a significant responsibility of their positions. Other UW faculty members were involved in the teaching certificate program as guest lecturers or by serving as preceptors or mentors for other teaching-related experiences.

The UW TCP incorporated background readings into activities and discussions, which were covered in multiple sessions throughout the residency year. The sessions were more heavily concentrated in the fall than in the spring semester to build a foundation of core educational topics prior to the residents' engagement in teaching experiences. This "front loading" allowed participants opportunities to transfer their learning to teaching practice and to accommodate their increasing residency workload as the year progressed. Sessions were attended by residents, invited guests, and the program coordinators. Participants earned a certificate of completion by actively participating in 80% of the sessions, undertaking a variety of teaching experiences, and successfully preparing a teaching portfolio.

Each session of the UW TCP was designed, implemented, and led by a pair of pharmacy residents serving as the discussants. …

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