Category: Professional Posters
Purpose: Pharmacy interns are a significant contributor to the pharmacy department’s workforce. Pharmacy department leadership identified a gap of knowledge of global health-system pharmacy practice, a lack of engagement and awareness of pharmacy advancement initiatives, and perceived lower than desired residency applications to national programs from the department’s graduating pharmacy interns. A voluntary health-system pharmacy intern certificate program was initiated to inspire and influence pharmacy interns through formal education opportunities within the health-system.
Methods: The health-system pharmacy intern certificate program was offered to all inpatient pharmacy interns (pre-pharmacy through third year pharmacy students). The health-system inpatient pharmacy employs 60 pharmacy interns. Primary objectives of the program were to strengthen understanding of health-system pharmacy and demonstrate the value of pharmacy residency training. Minimum requirements of the program included: attend greater than 60% of the monthly meetings, identify a mentor, complete and have a curriculum vitae (CV) reviewed by a mentor and submitted to the program lead, volunteer to serve in the intern certificate program at least once (ex: be a meeting panel facilitator, submit questions and/or content, present content at a meeting, work on a project, recruit speakers etc.), and be employed by the department throughout the program and at the end of the program. Meetings occurred monthly for ten months (academic calendar) and included Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) planning and navigation; identifying and paralleling a mentor; CV building with a personal statement; hands-on experiences such as shadowing, projects, research, publications, and posters; careers in pharmacy practice; and residency training preparation with mock residency interviews. At completion of the program, a formal certificate was provided by pharmacy leadership to each pharmacy intern at a concluding ceremony.
Results: At the beginning of the program, 34 pharmacy interns indicated intent to participate in the certificate program; 23 pharmacy interns completed the program (68%). At the completion of the program, a formal evaluation was distributed (N= 13) and utilized a Likert scale of 1-5, strongly disagree to strongly agree, respectively. Questions included and responses averaged: I strengthened my understanding of health-system pharmacy through this program (4.69), the value of pharmacy residency training was well-explained through this program (5), I learned about pharmacy careers through this program (4.61), I furthered my understanding of Medication Use through this program (3.38), and this intern certificate program should be continued (5).
Conclusion: A formal health-system pharmacy intern certificate program in a tertiary medical center provides opportunities for pharmacy interns to strengthen their understanding of health-system pharmacy and demonstrates the value of pharmacy residency training to pharmacy interns.