COMMUNITY PHARMACY Teaching Management in a Community Pharmacy
Joseph M. Calomo, PharmD, MBA
School of Pharmacy, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Students need strong interpersonal skills to ensure application of their clinical skills and knowledge. Pharmacy schools across the nation must assess thequantity and quality of management skills instruction within their curriculums, including experiential education. The purpose of this article is to describe the importance of the development and utilization of business and people management skills within a community pharmacy, as well as how to incorporate these skills into a student’s advanced pharmacy practice experience.
Keywords: communitypharmacy, preceptor, management
With the introduction of the first professional doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree program nationwide, pharmacy students are receiving more clinical instruction. With the changing dynamics of the pharmacy profession, specifically in community practice settings, students need strong interpersonal and business management skills in addition to theirclinical knowledge and skills. Based on the educational outcomes statements of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), pharmacy schools across the nation must assess the quantity and quality of management skills instruction within their curriculum. This document addresses the management of human and technological resources and emphasizes the importance of managing medication use systemssuch as quality assurance strategies.1 As with all other aspects of the didactic component of student education, experiential training should support and further develop the skills and knowledge acquired in the classroom. This article discusses areas of pharmacy management in which preceptors can engage students undertaking an advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE). The students canparticipate in projects that not only help the pharmacy department, but also increase student knowledge and skills in the area of pharmacy management, thereby creating a win-win scenario for the student and the practice site. The first step toward effectively integrating the didactic component of the curriculum with the experiential component involves identification of the management disciplines to whichstudents should be exposed during
Corresponding Author: Joseph M. Calomo PharmD, MBA. Address: Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Department of Pharmacy Practice, 179 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115. Tel: 617-732 2787. Fax: 617-732-2244. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
their community APPE experience. Those areas of interest include business management, human resourcemanagement, and self-management.
In any general discussion of management, business management first comes to mind. With the quality of patient care as the major focus of the educational curriculum within schools of pharmacy, the profitability of the pharmacy service is frequently overlooked. Moreover, the concept of profitability has historically carried a negative connotation inthe minds of students. While schools of pharmacy need to address this issue through their curriculum, preceptors can also instruct students during their APPE about the important role profitability plays in the delivery of quality patient care. First, if pharmacists are unable to manage a profitable business, they will not be around to provide care to their patients. Second, the initiation ofinnovative patient care programs usually involves some start-up costs, which will need to be derived from a profitable pharmacy department. One aspect of business management about which preceptors should educate students is the function of pharmacy operations. This study begins with education about navigating through an operating statement or a profit and loss statement. Assessment of an operating...