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Learning Objectives

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After completing this chapter, the reader will be able to

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  • Determine fundamental drug information skills for all pharmacy students.

  • Identify settings in which student drug information skills can be developed and refined.

  • Define the recommended training path for drug information specialists.

  • Describe job responsibilities of contemporary drug information specialists.

  • Formulate a strategy by which interested candidates can learn about available drug information residencies and fellowships.

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Key Concepts

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  1. Information retrieval, evaluation, and application skills represent a significant component of the core skill set each pharmacist must possess.

  2. Drug information skills are core concepts that must be incorporated in pharmacy curricula.

  3. The majority of foundational skill development should occur prior to student participation in advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs).

  4. Drug information rotations may also occur in nontraditional settings (e.g., pharmaceutical industry, managed care, group purchasing organization), a reflection of the expanding role of drug information in contemporary pharmacy practice.

  5. Activities identified by the Accreditation Council for Pharmaceutical Education (ACPE) in which students should engage to foster their skill development range from responding to drug information requests to preparing materials for consideration by a pharmacy and therapeutics committee.

  6. Pharmacy residency training standards include core drug information retrieval and evaluation skills for both postgraduate year one (PGY1) and postgraduate year two (PGY2) programs.

  7. Consistent with the profession-wide model for specialist training, the preferred training model for a drug information specialist is a PGY1 residency program, followed by completion of a PGY2 residency in drug information.

  8. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), the organization charged with accrediting pharmacy residency programs, has developed outcomes, goals, and objectives that must be incorporated into ASHP-accredited PGY2 residency programs.

  9. PGY2 programs in drug information are not limited to health systems, as programs exist in academic, pharmaceutical industry, and managed care settings.

  10. Fellowship programs build research skills beyond those provided during residency training programs.

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Introduction

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Information retrieval, evaluation, and application skills represent a significant component of the core skill set each pharmacist must possess. Combined with other practice responsibilities that have traditionally been linked to the practice of drug information (e.g., medication use policy), developing and maintaining practitioners with expertise in such activities is critically important. This chapter will focus on key models of education and training for all pharmacists, as well as those specializing in drug information practice.

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Foundation Skill Development

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Building basic drug information skills, a signature feature of early doctor of pharmacy degree programs, remains an essential component of contemporary entry-level doctor of pharmacy education.1-3 Skills are developed by both didactic and experiential methods. Didactic drug information education is provided through stand-alone courses as well as being integrated within other courses or throughout the professional curriculum.

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Drug information skills are core concepts that must be incorporated in pharmacy curricula. Pharmacy curricula must be designed to ...

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