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The purpose of this activity is to assess students on their management of a typical community pharmacy patient encounter, with a focus on their ability to incorporate relationship-centered communication skills into a patient counseling encounter and their ability to counsel on a Top 200 medication.

Learning Objectives
  1. Implement relationship-centered communication skills during a patient encounter.

  2. Organize a medication counseling session including the three prime questions to provide accurate, relevant, and timely information to the patient about a new prescription for a Top 200 medication.

  3. Articulate the teach-back method in order to elicit patient understanding of her/his new prescription and respond to the patient’s questions as appropriate.

Foundational Knowledge Required

Top 200 medications; relationship-centered communication skills set; three prime questions

Suggested Resources
  1. Tertiary literature/drug information resource of your choice (eg, Lexicomp; Micromedex)

  2. Lam N, Muravez SN, Boyce RW. A comparison of the Indian Health Service counseling technique with traditional, lecture-style counseling. JAPhA. 2015;55(5):503-510. doi:

  3. Chou CL, Cooley L. Communication RX: Transforming Healthcare Through Relationship-Centered Communication. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education; 2017.

Assignment Instructions

This activity requires two students, with one playing the role of the pharmacist and the other playing the role of a patient.

Intern Pharmacist

Utilize relationship-centered communication skills and the three prime questions to counsel a patient on a new medication. These skills are outlined in the Communication Rubric and Medication Counseling Rubric.


Utilize the Communication Rubric and Medication Counseling Rubric to grade the “pharmacist” interaction and provide feedback to your peer. You have been prescribed a new medication today. Your prescriber has not told you anything about the medication and you are happy to have the “pharmacist” explain it to you. You may improvise any additional questions or concerns that you have today.

Take turns role-playing as pharmacist and patient. Use the Student Activity Key to guide you.

Consider the following outline of what the encounter might look like as the pharmacist:

The Medication Counseling Rubric guides the encounter utilizing the 3 prime questions (use the Medication Counseling Rubric for specific details on information you are expected to convey):

  1. What did your prescriber tell you the medication is for?

  2. How did your prescriber tell you to take the medication?

  3. What did your prescriber tell you to expect?

You are also expected to ask “What questions do you have for me?” and then utilize the teach-back method by asking the patient to tell you the important takeaway points of the counseling session.

Throughout the encounter, you are also expected to utilize the RCC skill sets (see Communication Rubric for specific details). These skills and examples of how these could be incorporated in the encounter are:

  1. Creating rapport with the patient. (“Hi, thank you for your patience ...

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