Special Issue "Pharmacy Education; Competency and beyond"

A special issue of Pharmacy (ISSN 2226-4787). This special issue belongs to the section "Pharmacy Education and Student / Practitioner Training".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 August 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Martin C Henman
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Interests: pharmaceutical care; pharmaceutical policy; roles of pharmacists and pharmacy services; cancer; palliative care; pharmacoepidemiology; medicines use in the elderly and in people with intellectual disability; clinical judgement; ethics and moral reasoning and pharmacy education and competency development

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Pharmacy is part of a global movement in the education of health professionals that is increasingly determined, not only by the rapid growth in biomedical science knowledge, but also by the imperative to address the health needs of the communities that they serve. Furthermore, pharmacy, like other regulated professions, must demonstrate that formative education ensures competence to practice and that this is maintained via Continuous Professional Development. This has led to the development of competency frameworks that define the scope of practice, provide a scaffold for curriculum development, create a need for validated student assessment methods, establish requirements for experiential learning and engender accreditation criteria for the evaluation and quality assurance of professional degrees. Apart from the pharmacy-specific behaviours that are being pursued, the requirements for interprofessional, collaborative, patient-centred practice and for place both additional burdens. All of this however, begs some questions: Should competency be the only assessed outcome of pharmacy education for student pharmacists and for practitioners? Are there other aspects of learning and of professional practice that should be evaluated? Should the focus of assessment be the individual, the team, patient reported outcomes or the programme? Can academic and scholarly skills and standards continue to be met in professional programmes? Are those who are teaching, competent? How can supervision, assessmenta and feedback be provided effectively and efficiently in experiential palcements? By focusing on practice-related competencies are other aspects of personal and professional traits that are part of a caring professional being neglected?

Discuss these and other aspects of pharmacy education, both at undergraduate and at postgraduate/post-registration level, and propose what needs to be done. Help to set the agenda for research, debate and implementation in pharmacy education for the next decade.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Martin C Henman
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Pharmacy is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Competency-based
  • Clinical Pharmacy
  • Continuous Professional Development
  • Pharmacy education
  • Learning outcomes
  • Assessment
  • Experiential
  • Interprofessional
  • Care
  • Progression
  • Judgement
  • Teaching methods
  • Self-directed learning
  • Pedagogy
  • Supervision
  • Feedback
  • Appraisal
  • Grading
  • Credentialing
  • Mentoring
  • Coaching
  • Standards
  • Quality assurance

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Financial Incentive Required for Pharmacy Students to Accept a Post-Graduation Position in Rural and Undesirable Pharmacy Settings
Pharmacy 2019, 7(3), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy7030109 - 06 Aug 2019
Abstract
Background: It has been estimated that in 2018, 20% of pharmacy students were unemployed following graduation. However, many pharmacy positions go vacant each year, with the majority of these positions existing in rural areas. Methods: Pharmacy students completed a one-time, anonymous, online questionnaire. [...] Read more.
Background: It has been estimated that in 2018, 20% of pharmacy students were unemployed following graduation. However, many pharmacy positions go vacant each year, with the majority of these positions existing in rural areas. Methods: Pharmacy students completed a one-time, anonymous, online questionnaire. Measures of interest included: subject characteristics and preference in a variety job offers. Discrete Choice Experiment methodology of questionnaire design was used and Conditional Logit models were conducted to analyze the data to determine the financial incentive required for pharmacy students to take a post-graduate job with particular traits. Conclusions: A total of 283 students completed questionnaires from Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. The majority of subjects were female, P3 students, and from a non-rural hometown. American students would need to be paid an additional $18,738 in salary to practice in a rural area, while Canadian students would require an additional $17,156. Canadian respondents would require an additional $7125 in salary to work in a community pharmacy with a low level of patient interaction compared to a community position with a large amount of patient interaction. Overall, pharmacy student preferences in post-graduation job attributes vary significantly between states and provinces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacy Education; Competency and beyond)
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Open AccessArticle
Reinforcement of the Framework for Experiential Education in Healthcare in Serbia: Post-Implementation Project Review within Pharmacy Education
Pharmacy 2019, 7(3), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy7030092 - 15 Jul 2019
Abstract
Background: The Erasmus+ project “Reinforcement of the Framework for Experiential Education in Healthcare in Serbia” (ReFEEHS) has been undertaken with the aim to: (i) reinforce and modernize experiential education (ExEd) in the health sciences curricula, (ii) introduce interprofessional education (IPE), and (iii) promote [...] Read more.
Background: The Erasmus+ project “Reinforcement of the Framework for Experiential Education in Healthcare in Serbia” (ReFEEHS) has been undertaken with the aim to: (i) reinforce and modernize experiential education (ExEd) in the health sciences curricula, (ii) introduce interprofessional education (IPE), and (iii) promote teaching competency development of academic staff and teacher practitioners/clinician educators. The aim of this paper is a post-implementation review of the project activities and outcomes with the emphasis on the impact and sustainability in pharmacy education. Methods: Project Logical framework matrix has been employed as planning, monitoring and evaluation tool which summarizes the main project objectives, project outcomes, relevant activities, indicators of progress, sources of verification, assumptions and risks. Results: The key project outcomes are: (i) update of competency-based curricula and development of quality assurance framework for students professional practice placements; (ii) development and introduction of interprofessional teaching and learning activities through joint curriculum delivery; and (iii) development and implementation of Teaching Certificate in Health Professions Education (TCinHPE) study program. The short-term impact of project activities and outcomes has been assessed based on the feedback received from relevant stakeholders, as well as self-evaluation of participants enrolled in new/updated curricula. Sustainability of project results is necessary in order to achieve long-term impact envisioned as increased level of professional competency of health science students; increased level of teaching competency of academic staff and teacher practitioners; improved patient healthcare and harmonisation with the EU practice and policies. Conclusions: The project outcomes contributed to building capacity at the Serbian universities involved in terms of collaboration between the healthcare professions and, in curriculum and academic staff development. It is expected that improved curricula will positively impact professional competency development of pharmacy students, graduates employability and increased workforce mobility. Meeting the quality standards of the European Higher Education Area will contribute to visibility of Serbian universities and their internationalisation, which is one of the strategic aims of improvement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacy Education; Competency and beyond)
Open AccessArticle
A Quantitative Curriculum Mapping of the Faculty of Pharmacy of Yeditepe University, Turkey: A Process to Assess the Consistency of a Curriculum with the Mission and Vision of an Institution and National Requirements
Pharmacy 2019, 7(3), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy7030078 - 01 Jul 2019
Abstract
The changing role of the pharmacist led to some improvements of pharmacy education worldwide these last years. Curricula have evolved and the content-based education has been converted into a competency-based education. The definition of a global practice-based competency framework by the International Pharmaceutical [...] Read more.
The changing role of the pharmacist led to some improvements of pharmacy education worldwide these last years. Curricula have evolved and the content-based education has been converted into a competency-based education. The definition of a global practice-based competency framework by the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) and the European Pharmacy Competencies Framework by the European the Quality Assurance in European Pharmacy Education and Training (PHAR-QA) project helps Universities to keep in with these changes. The National Council of Deans of Faculties of Pharmacy in Turkey also defined 169 competencies with their sub-competencies that have to be reached upon the completion of a pharmacy education program, yet it did not indicate how the faculties can measure if their curricula are consistent with these competencies. This study aims to provide a method for a quantitative mapping of a given curriculum in order to analyze if a curriculum fulfills the requirements defined by the National Deans Council. It also helps to easily determine the weaknesses and strengths of a program. Moreover, with this study, the consistency of the content of the courses with the mission and vision defined by an institution can be easily determined. Thus, this study can also be a useful tool for the revision and enhancement of a program according to institutional targets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacy Education; Competency and beyond)
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Open AccessArticle
Reviewing Competence in Practice: Reform of Continuing Professional Development for Irish Pharmacists
Pharmacy 2019, 7(2), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy7020072 - 20 Jun 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
There has been significant reform of the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements for Irish pharmacists over the past five years. In 2015, a new system was established that includes quality assurance of practitioner engagement in CPD and quality assurance of practitioner competence. Pharmacists [...] Read more.
There has been significant reform of the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements for Irish pharmacists over the past five years. In 2015, a new system was established that includes quality assurance of practitioner engagement in CPD and quality assurance of practitioner competence. Pharmacists must now plan and document their learning activities in an electronic portfolio (ePortfolio) and they must participate in an ePortfolio Review process once every five-year period. A random sample is chosen each year to participate in a review of their practice for pharmacists in patient-facing roles. This paper provides an overview of the development and implementation of these quality assurance processes and it considers the outcomes that were observed in the first four years of implementation. By April 2019, almost 3000 pharmacists had participated in the ePortfolio Review process over the preceding three years, of which 96.2% demonstrated appropriate engagement in CPD. In the preceding two years, almost 200 pharmacists had participated in Practice Review, of which 97.5% have demonstrated the required level of competence across four competencies. All of the pharmacists who did not demonstrate the required level of competence in one or more competency area during Practice Review had previously demonstrated appropriate engagement in CPD through the ePortfolio Review process. This raises interesting questions regarding the use of engagement in continuing education (CE) or CPD as a surrogate measure for competence by professions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacy Education; Competency and beyond)
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Open AccessArticle
A Qualitative Study on Danish Student Pharmacists’ Attitudes Towards and Experience of Communication Skills Training
Pharmacy 2019, 7(2), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy7020048 - 21 May 2019
Abstract
As the pharmacy profession evolves, good communication skills are vital for securing the safer and more rational use of medicines. Currently there is a lack of qualitative studies researching European student pharmacists’ and their experience with communication skills training (CST). This qualitative study [...] Read more.
As the pharmacy profession evolves, good communication skills are vital for securing the safer and more rational use of medicines. Currently there is a lack of qualitative studies researching European student pharmacists’ and their experience with communication skills training (CST). This qualitative study aimed to fill this gap by exploring Danish student pharmacists’ attitudes towards, and experiences of, CST. Focus group interviews were conducted with a heterogeneous sample of Danish student pharmacists in 2016. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and analyzed inductively. Fifteen students participated in three focus groups. Five categories identified as key aspects were: professional communication vs. normal conversation, motivation to engage in training, how to learn communication skills, experience with CST and universities’ role in teaching communication skills. In conclusion, there were both positive and negative attitudes towards CST among the participants. However, they had little experience with CST. Bloom’s taxonomy of the affective domain and Kolb’s experiential learning model appear to be useful in understanding students’ attitudes towards CST. Pharmacy educators can use this study to structure and improve their CST curricula by knowing what influences students’ attitudes towards CST. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacy Education; Competency and beyond)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Current Trends and Opportunities for Competency Assessment in Pharmacy Education–A Literature Review
Pharmacy 2019, 7(2), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy7020067 - 18 Jun 2019
Abstract
An increasing emphasis on health professional competency in recent times has been matched by an increased prevalence of competency-based education models. Assessments can generate information on competence, and authentic, practice-based assessment methods are critical. Assessment reform has emerged as an academic response to [...] Read more.
An increasing emphasis on health professional competency in recent times has been matched by an increased prevalence of competency-based education models. Assessments can generate information on competence, and authentic, practice-based assessment methods are critical. Assessment reform has emerged as an academic response to the demands of the pharmacy profession and the need to equip graduates with the necessary knowledge, skills and attributes to face the challenges of the modern workforce. The objective of this review was to identify and appraise the range of assessment methods used in entry-level pharmacy education and examine current trends in health professional assessment. The initial search located 2854 articles. After screening, 36 sources were included in the review, 13 primary research studies, 12 non-experimental pharmacy research papers, and 11 standards and guidelines from the grey literature. Primary research studies were critically appraised using the Medical Education Research Study Quality Instrument (MERSQI). This review identified three areas in pharmacy practice assessment which provide opportunities for expansion and improvement of assessment approaches: (1) integrated approaches to performance assessment; (2) simulation-based assessment approaches, and; (3) collection of validity evidence to support assessment decisions. Competency-based assessment shows great potential for expanded use in pharmacy, but there is a need for further research and development to ensure its appropriate and effective use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacy Education; Competency and beyond)
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Open AccessReview
Fulfilling Educational Competencies through Global Pharmacy Experiences
Pharmacy 2019, 7(2), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy7020050 - 26 May 2019
Abstract
Many Colleges of Pharmacy in the United States offer international education and practice experiences to their students. Multiple publications have described these offerings and related them back to the CAPE 2013 Outcomes. This article describes the multiple international programs offered by one College [...] Read more.
Many Colleges of Pharmacy in the United States offer international education and practice experiences to their students. Multiple publications have described these offerings and related them back to the CAPE 2013 Outcomes. This article describes the multiple international programs offered by one College of Pharmacy, including international Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences, Short Study Abroad Programs, and International Health Outreach Trips. The article also details the relevant competencies associated with these international experiences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacy Education; Competency and beyond)
Open AccessReview
Scoping Pharmacy Students’ Learning Outcomes: Where Do We Stand?
Pharmacy 2019, 7(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy7010023 - 27 Feb 2019
Abstract
Background: The professional abilities of graduate pharmacists have been associated with pharmacy undergraduates’ educational settings and features. This study aimed to perform a scoping review on how students’ learning outcomes are achieved, including learning assessment strategies, focusing on current pharmacy practice education. Methods: [...] Read more.
Background: The professional abilities of graduate pharmacists have been associated with pharmacy undergraduates’ educational settings and features. This study aimed to perform a scoping review on how students’ learning outcomes are achieved, including learning assessment strategies, focusing on current pharmacy practice education. Methods: Relevant keywords, e.g., “pharmacy practice”, “(students or undergraduates)” and “outcomes” were browsed in Public/Publisher MEDLINE, Scientific Electronic Library Online, Directory of Open Access Journals, and other relevant databases for recently published sources (2018 and 2017). Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses criteria were followed to assure the scoping quality. All types of students’ learning outcomes were addressed for indexed publications in English, Portuguese or Spanish. Reviews, descriptive studies and commentaries were excluded. Study data are presented in tables comprising objectives, methods, number of participants and main research findings. Results: Overall, 100 studies were identified and 22 were selected. The selected studies were distributed into seven main topics: real practices (n = 9); active-learning strategies (n = 5); comparisons between different teaching pedagogies (n = 3); pharmacy curriculum (n = 2); and other evaluations (n = 3). Conclusions: Studies on pharmacy students’ learning outcomes are limited. Pharmacy undergraduates’ performance was dependent on the learning strategies and extension of syllabus implementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacy Education; Competency and beyond)
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Other

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Open AccessCase Report
Design and Implementation of an Integrated Competency-Focused Pharmacy Programme: A Case Report
Pharmacy 2019, 7(3), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy7030121 - 27 Aug 2019
Abstract
This paper describes the design and implementation of elements of an integrated competency-focused pharmacy programme in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (SoPPS), Trinity College Dublin (TCD), Ireland. Following a national review of pharmacy education and training in Ireland in 2010, and [...] Read more.
This paper describes the design and implementation of elements of an integrated competency-focused pharmacy programme in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (SoPPS), Trinity College Dublin (TCD), Ireland. Following a national review of pharmacy education and training in Ireland in 2010, and subsequent publication of legislation in 2014, the School has implemented a five-year integrated programme of pharmacy education and training, leading to the award of a Master’s degree in Pharmacy (M. Pharm.). Curricular integration has been achieved by underpinning the new programme with a national competency framework for pharmacists and through the utilisation of curricular integration themes. Programme integration also encompasses embedded experiential learning placements in Years 2, 4 and 5 of the five-year programme. The new five-year integrated pharmacy programme, which commenced in 2015, replaced the 4 + 1 model of education and training where a four-year Bachelor’s degree was followed by a one-year internship, which was a distinct and separate element of the students’ training. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacy Education; Competency and beyond)
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Open AccessCase Report
Balancing Assessment with “In-Service Practical Training”: A Case Report on Collaborative Curriculum Design for Delivery in the Practice Setting
Pharmacy 2019, 7(3), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy7030093 - 16 Jul 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Three Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Ireland are accredited to provide education and training, successful completion of which, entitles one to register as a pharmacist with the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI). Legislation (2014) mandated that these HEIs replace their existing structure (four-year [...] Read more.
Three Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Ireland are accredited to provide education and training, successful completion of which, entitles one to register as a pharmacist with the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI). Legislation (2014) mandated that these HEIs replace their existing structure (four-year degree followed by a one-year internship), with a five-year ‘integrated Master’s programme’. Integration includes ‘in-service practical training’ (placement) at the beginning of Year 4 (four months), and the end of Year 5 (eight months). Year 4 placements do not have to be ‘patient-facing’. Students receive a Bachelor’s degree at the end of Year 4. The Affiliation for Pharmacy Practice Experiential Learning (APPEL), established by the HEIs, manages student placements, training establishments, preceptor training, the preceptors’ competency assessment process, and the virtual learning environment (VLE) that enables delivery of co-developed online modules aligned with placements in Years 4 and 5. This case report aims to describe the process by which this integration has taken place across and within these HEIs and the challenges faced by educators, students, preceptors, and other stakeholders along the way. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacy Education; Competency and beyond)
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Open AccessCommentary
Competency and Its Many Meanings
Pharmacy 2019, 7(2), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy7020037 - 22 Apr 2019
Abstract
Competency and competency assessment are central to much of professional education, regulation, and practice. In the name of safe and effective professional practice, elaborate competency education and competency assessment systems have evolved, and consume significant time, energy, and financial resources. This paper will [...] Read more.
Competency and competency assessment are central to much of professional education, regulation, and practice. In the name of safe and effective professional practice, elaborate competency education and competency assessment systems have evolved, and consume significant time, energy, and financial resources. This paper will review the evolution of competing competency discourses in pharmacy and discuss implications of these approaches on professional practice, with particular emphasis on understanding the consequences of outsized focus on competency at the expense of other potential lenses for understanding professional practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacy Education; Competency and beyond)
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