Teaching Medication Adherence in US Colleges and Schools of Pharmacy [article]

An article in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education takes a look at “the nature and extent of medication adherence education in US colleges and schools of pharmacy”. Surprise, the authors found that “Intermediate and advanced concepts in medication adherence, such as conducting interventions, are not adequately covered in pharmacy curriculums”. Disappointing outcome as medication adherence is one of those areas where I think pharmacists could make a significant impact in not only healthcare outcomes, but reducing costs associated with patient care as well.

The authors used a combination of surveys to gather information: “(1) a national Web-based survey of faculty members at colleges and schools of pharmacy, (2) a national Web-based survey of student chapters of 2 national pharmacy organizations, Phi Delta Chi (PDC) and the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), and (3) conference calls with a convenience sample of pharmacy preceptors and faculty members.”  While the study isn’t exactly comprehensive, I think it may be representative of what’s really going on in pharmacy schools these days. Let’s face it, the focus is on “clinical” activities of which medication adherence is often overlooked.

I won’t bore you with the details as the full text of the article is available for free at the journal’s website. What I will say is that it appears that pharmacy schools teach medication adherence, but fail to dig deep enough or allow students to participate in a meaningful manner when given an opportunity to become involved. This is similar to my experience in pharmacy school. The only place I was really exposed to medication adherence was during a six week internal med rotation. Other than that the subject was only covered in passing.



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