Category: Fellows Posters
The pharmacist’s role continues to expand within the healthcare team. In particular, a previous study (Cardone, Isikwe, Farnett, & Stam, 2018 Annual Meeting of American College of Clinical Pharmacy) concluded that pharmacists are playing a larger role in the management of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. However, there is limited published data regarding the extent of MS education offered in pharmacy curricula to prepare future pharmacists for this growing opportunity. Therefore, the objective of this study is to characterize the current MS educational landscape across the curriculum of colleges of pharmacy in the United States.
An anonymous electronic survey was distributed between May and July of 2019 to members of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Curriculum Special Interest listserv to target participants who are (1) currently working at an accredited college of pharmacy, and (2) are involved with the development of their respective college of pharmacy’s curriculum. IRB approval was deemed not necessary for this study by MCPHS University. The survey utilized yes/no, multiple choice, and select-all-that-apply questions characterizing the extent of incorporation of MS within the curriculum. As this is a descriptive study in nature, no formal statistical analyses were conducted.
There were 75 responses to the survey. Responses indicated that MS was included in the curriculum at most schools (92%). Of the schools that did not currently have MS in their curriculum, 33% had plans to include this topic in the future. All respondents who currently have MS in their curriculum cover MS in a core class. Thirteen percent and 15% of curriculums with MS also include MS in an elective class and experiential component, respectively. Most respondents (41%) who have MS in their curriculum dedicate 1-2 hours to this topic. When MS is included in the curriculum, the topics most often covered include disease state (93%), diagnosis (83%), pathophysiology (94%), and treatment (96%).
Most of the colleges of pharmacy included in this study incorporate MS in their curriculum, but only 1-2 hours is spent on MS and the extent to which it is covered varies. The lack of exposure to MS provided to students may not adequately prepare future pharmacists to confidently manage this complex disease state that has seen a growing number of pharmacotherapy options and a growing role for pharmacists.