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Communication with Resistant Prescriber

Level of activity: Intermediate

Setting: Classroom


ACPE Standards 2016: 1.1, 2.1, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.6, 4.4

EPAs: Patient Care Provider (analyze, care planning, implement), Interprofessional Team Member (collaborate), Population Health Promoter (minimize ADEs and errors), Information Master (educate others)

PPCP: Assess, Plan, Implement, Communicate, Collaborate

Instructors can request access to the Instructor's Guide on AccessPharmacy. Email Customer Success ( for more information.


Dr. Jamie L. Woodyard, PharmD, BCACP, is Director of Professional Program Laboratories and Clinical Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice at the Purdue University College of Pharmacy. Dr. Woodyard received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Purdue University. She completed a post-graduate community pharmacy residency at the University of North Carolina (UNC) Eshelman School of Pharmacy and Kerr Drug followed by an academic fellowship in the Pharmaceutical Care Labs at UNC. Dr. Woodyard practices at the Purdue Center for Healthy Living, where she provides chronic disease state and medication therapy management. She also precepts Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience students in ambulatory care and academia and coordinates the Professional Program Laboratories skills lab courses for first-year Doctor of Pharmacy students at Purdue.

Brief Overview and Setting

The purpose of this activity is for students to: (1) practice verbally communicating recommendations to a prescriber over the phone; (2) practice communicating with a prescriber who does not agree with the student’s recommendation and expresses frustration, anger, and is rushed in the conversation; and (3) formulate a clinically appropriate alternative recommendation “on the spot” and communicate this to the prescriber.

In this formative activity, students are given a clinical scenario in which they are pharmacists in the community pharmacy setting receiving a prescription for a medication that interacts with another medication the patient is currently taking. Students call the prescriber of the new medication, who is portrayed by either faculty, residents, fellows, or teaching assistants, to communicate the drug interaction and provide a therapy recommendation that is safe and effective for the patient. The prescriber is frustrated, angry, rushed, and does not want to implement the student’s first recommendation. Students are then expected to provide an alternative recommendation and communicate this to the prescriber while on the phone with them, if possible. Students are evaluated on their clinical recommendations as well as how they interact with the prescriber when met with resistance. At the conclusion of the conversation, individuals playing the role of the prescriber provide verbal and written feedback on student performance.

This activity is currently administered in the Professional Program Laboratories (PPL) curriculum at Purdue University College of Pharmacy for 150 students in the third professional (P3) year of a 4-year PharmD curriculum. Students are divided into five laboratory sections of approximately 30 students each. Earlier in the semester, P3 students are ...

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