Specialization Within Pharmacy Education: A Survey of Curricular Track or Concentration Offerings

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Peer-Reviewed Article

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Introduction: The purpose of this national survey was to determine what constitutes a curricular track or concentration within colleges and schools of pharmacy. Additionally, for programs not currently offering curricular tracks or concentrations, this survey sought to identify barriers to implementation. Methods: A survey instrument was developed and piloted. It was distributed electronically via SurveyMonkey to members of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) Curriculum Special Interest Group (SIG) contact list, along with academic affairs contacts for the balance of programs not included on the SIG contact list, as obtained via a targeted website search. Results: Sixty-five of 134 programs responded to the survey (48.5%). Sixteen programs currently offer 38 curricular tracks or concentrations. On average, tracks or concentrations contained 10.6 didactic credits, with 4.6 elective and six required didactic credits; 0.7 introductory pharmacy practice experience (IPPE) credits; and 5.3 advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE) credits, with 2.8 elective and 2.5 required APPE credits. Most tracks did not require a summative project (n = 13), while some required completion of a project individualized by interest/needs (n = 7). Forty-nine programs do not currently offer curricular tracks, most frequently due to logistics of faculty, oversight, or the curriculum structure. Of these programs not currently offering curricular tracks or concentrations, 38.8% are currently considering implementation. Conclusion: Existing tracks or concentrations are highly variable in their composition. Many colleges and schools of pharmacy are considering implementation of curricular tracks or concentrations; this report provides guidance for appropriate rigor and development considerations.




Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning