Addressing challenges to precepting advanced pharmacy practice experience students in the community setting

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Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning


Background and purpose: An advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE) in a community pharmacy setting is required in all accredited doctor of pharmacy program curricula in the United States. This setting often presents unique challenges to precepting students that may hinder the development and availability of robust learning experiences. This qualitative review discusses perceived challenges and potential solutions to maintaining a meaningful community rotation experience for students based on published literature and reported preceptor experiences. It also explores the clinical impact of APPE students in community pharmacy. Educational activity and setting: St. Louis College of Pharmacy (STLCOP) provides a systematic approach to student orientation and evaluation for community pharmacy APPEs. This allows all pharmacy students to be held to the same educational outcome standard. Site preceptors are responsible for communicating site-specific expectations and providing frequent formative feedback to students throughout the five-week rotation. Findings: Community rotation students spent approximately 6400 hours providing almost 30,000 patient interventions over two years, indicating a potential benefit in quality of care at student-hosted sites. Despite evidenced benefits of the presence of pharmacy students in community pharmacies, some pharmacists hesitate to precept students due to anticipated obstacles of this additional responsibility. This review explored the community practice APPE structure offered at STLCOP and describes the patient impact that students have made during this clinical rotation. Data seem to indicate a positive return on investment for having APPE students in community pharmacy.

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