WSU pharmacy scholarship evident in recent issue of journal

Call it the Washington State University special edition of the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, although it was purely a coincidence four WSU papers were published in the most recent issue of the journal.

“What are the odds of that happening, when you consider there are more than 100 pharmacy schools,” said John R. White, a professor and interim department chair in the College of Pharmacy who pointed out the occurrence in an email to College employees. “The manuscripts cover a plethora of different subjects and make clear the fact that our faculty hold not only the professional education program but also the scholarship of education in very high regard.”

The AJPE was founded in 1937 and is the official scholarly publication of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, publishing 10 issues per year. Manuscripts are subject to peer and editor review. The December issue includes the following articles from the WSU College of Pharmacy:

  • College Dean Gary M. Pollack co-authored an article with a former colleague at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill about their experiment teaching physiology in small groups of teams instead of in a large lecture. The two divided the course into six subject modules, assigned students to teams of six balanced for age, gender and academic history, designed pre-class preparation assignments, administered a pre-test on the first day of each of the six subject modules and used class time to apply knowledge to patient cases. Various assessment methods also were designed and used, including course evaluations, an attitudinal survey and a knowledge examination. The two concluded the team-based approach resulted in students retaining more knowledge than those who had been taught in a large lecture format.
  • Faculty members Raymond M. Quock and Lisa J. Woodard teamed up with colleagues from the University of Pacific, the University of Arizona and the San Joaquin County Office of Education to publish their findings when they created an elective class assigning pharmacy students to teach science to second- and fifth-graders. The pharmacy students improved their communications skills; the elementary school children learned more and became more enthusiastic about science.
  • Faculty members Brenda S. Bray and Catrina R. Schwartz partnered with colleagues from the University of Washington and University of Pittsburgh to explore approaches to assessing the effectiveness of teaching with human patient simulation and how simulation also can be used to evaluate students’ professional competency.
  • Experiential program director Luke E. Rice collaborated with staff and faculty from five colleges of pharmacy – all members of the Northwest Pharmacy Experiential Consortium – to examine measuring and comparing solvency of experiential education programs (which provide pharmacy students with the real-world experience required by pharmacy school curriculums) in order to create a common language to assess strengths and weaknesses in their programs and enable benchmarking between peer institutions and across regions. The group concluded that comparing the number of approved practice experiences available with the number of student placements and changes to student placements needed would determine the solvency of an experiential program. The measurement also could be used to guide future decisions about resources needed to manage the program. The discussion was prompted by recent budget cuts in higher education. In addition to WSU, schools participating in the study were University of Washington, Oregon State University, Pacific University of Oregon, University of Wyoming and University of Montana.