Introduction by Dr Jennifer Marriott (Symposium Coordinator)
The Pharmacy Education Symposium was conceived in 2002 by pharmacy academics at Monash University, Australia as a forum to explore issues of common interest to Pharmacy teachers in a variety of applications. The symposium is held at a central location in the Monash Centre in Prato, Italy to enable a wide cross section of pharmacy academics to explore issues of common interest. Delegates travel from the UK, North America, Africa, Asia, Scandinavia and, of course, Australia to attend.
The latest Symposium explores issues related to Teaching and Learning for Multidisciplinary Practice. Integrated patient care draws firmly on the practices of multidisciplinary teaching. Patients experience integrated care when they are skilfully managed by a connected team of professionals, and pharmacists are integral to the team. Pharmacists have the opportunity to learn from the health professionals they liaise closely with in their dayto- day work. As well, pharmacists can contribute to other professionals’ understanding of drug-related issues. With interprofessional learning viewed as a critical issue, and each of the various practice settings—traditional, experiential and virtual—presenting specific challenges, the symposium explored the possibilities of shared education and training with and between health and other professionals. The following abstracts were submitted for the Plenary sessions, workshops and contributed papers.
Sustainability of an interdisciplinary primary care practitioner-based introductory pharmacy practice experience course
Ralph J. Altiere & Christopher Turner
University of Colorado School of Pharmacy, Denver, CO, USA
Objective: To assess the sustainability of an interdisciplinary experiential course introduced in 2002 in which 3rd year doctor of pharmacy students, over 10 weekly 2-hour visits, undertake patient care activities with physician or nurse practitioner preceptors (Turner, Altiere, & Clark, 2004 American Journal of Pharmacy Education, 68(1), Article 10 available at www.ajpe.org for a description of the first iteration of this course).
Methods: The number of physicians and nurse practitioners participating yearly in the course between 2002 and 2007 was tabulated. In addition, an evaluation was conducted using student-based survey data collected yearly between 2002 and 2006.
Evaluation: The number of participating physicians and nurse practitioners grew from 77 in 2002 to 125 in 2007 to match increases in class size. Using a 5-point Likert scale (strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree, strongly 2disagree), 78–93 percent of students between 2002 and 2006 strongly agreed or agreed that the course improved their ability to care for patients, 80–94 percent strongly agreed or agreed that the course improved their ability to communicate with non-pharmacist healthcare practitioners and 84–98 percent strongly agreed or agreed that the course improved their understanding of the working environment of non-pharmacist healthcare practitioners.
Conclusion: An interdisciplinary course involving 3rd year doctor of pharmacy students and physicians and nurse practitioners has shown sustainability. Growth in class size has been matched with an increased number of physicians and nurse practitioners willing to serve as preceptors. Assessment data indicate that achievement of course learning objectives was maintained between 2002 and 2006.
Turner, C., & Altiere, R. J. (2004). An interdisciplinary introductory pharmacy practiceexperience course. American Journal of Pharmacy Education, 68(1), Article 10; available at www.ajpe.org.