Pharmacy education: An update from APhA

Luckily, our Board of Trustees met at APhA headquarters in Washington the last weekend of January, not this snow-stricken first one of February. Among the progress made by our Trustees was a review of the current status of pharmacy education.

During our meeting, we were briefed by representatives from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) on the state of the rapidly changing world of education. New schools, rising standards, IPPEs (introductory pharmacy practice experiences) and simulation, and the enhanced continuing professional education credit criterion were all topics of discussion. We also reviewed the evolving concept of Continuing Professional Development, or CPD. You'll be hearing more about all of these topics in coming months and years.

We are fortunate to have ACPE working to ensure that our country's pharmacists and future pharmacists maintain the highest educational standards. ACPE is an incredible organizations run by dedicated individuals. Sometimes their rules may seem inflexible or illogical. When that occurs, constructive public debate follows and the process gets better. Ultimately, our patients benefit. Here's a tip of the hat to a group of dedicated folks at ACPE.

Our staff members at APhA are also working hard to assimilate new rules, criteria, and standards to ensure that we maintain the excellent pharmacists our educational efforts are expected to produce, as measured by the new standards of education and outcomes measurement. Come see what I mean at APhA2010, coming up in Washington from March 12 to 15. And don't worry--the snow will be gone by then!

In a few days, I'll be presenting at the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) Interim Meeting 2010. Those attending this meeting are the folks most intently focused on ongoing improvement in our education of pharmacists. It will be a privilege to visit with them and to learn about their innovations intended to better our profession and patient care. This group is especially creative, so I expect to receive information I can use on Capitol Hill to make our case for pharmacists' services.