Addressing preceptor shortages with a novel structure of blended ambulatory care rotations.

Research paper by Soeun S Park, Lisa L Lebovitz, Kathleen J KJ Pincus

Indexed on: 16 Dec '19Published on: 15 Dec '19Published in: Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning


Schools of pharmacy are challenged to ensure sufficient full-time ambulatory care advance pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs). University of Maryland designed an innovative solution to create additional rotations utilizing faculty with part-time ambulatory care practices, by combining two rotation blocks into a 10-week "blended" ambulatory care/community pharmacy experience. The objective of this study is to characterize perceptions and impact of this format on student and preceptor skills, performance, and overall satisfaction, compared with the traditional five-week ambulatory care rotation. Ambulatory care preceptors were surveyed regarding student skills in interviewing, documentation, patient assessment, building pharmacist-patient relationships, and mentorship opportunities. Students were surveyed regarding the number of preceptors and patient interactions/week, rotation hours, clinical abilities developed, patient relationships, patient population diversity, preceptor mentorship, clinical track participation, rotation expectations, professional benefit, career development, overall satisfaction, and likelihood to recommend the rotation. Chi-square test was used to evaluate statistically significant differences in cohort responses. Survey responses from 74 students (49%) and 21 preceptors (46%) were included. Student perceptions were generally positive and comparable between groups. Statistically significant differences were observed between groups in students' perception of "patient diversity" and preceptors' perception of "patient-pharmacist relationship". The 10-week blended format provides a unique and viable option that offers a solution to shortages of preceptor availability for ambulatory care APPEs by providing a rotation format that is more conducive to clinical practice faculty part-time ambulatory clinic schedules. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.