Many students chose pharmacy as their future career path because it is a profession that has unlimited possibilities. Therefore, the ASHP and the ASHP Research and Education Foundation’s Pharmacy Practice Model Initiative (PPMI) quickly attracted my attention in the beginning of last school year, and I tracked its progress. It is exciting to see where health-system pharmacy is heading in the next decade. Yet, like many students, I have struggled with how I can get more involved with the Initiative and promote it to other students and professionals. As I began my internship with ASHP in June, I wanted to help define students’ role in PPMI and discover how to expand the message and recommendations of PPMI to more students throughout the country.
In July, we launched a survey to all the 2010-2011 presidents of Student Societies of Health-System Pharmacy (SSHPs) across the country, with the intent to benchmark the extent of students’ work with PPMI. In the process of developing the survey and examining the results, it was clear that students play three major roles in PPMI -- advocacy, education, and professional development.
SSHPs’ work has been mainly focused on educating their members about PPMI through speakers (74%) and poster sessions (32%). SSHP’s have used email as a main form of communication for information about PPMI (70%), and has also utilized social media outlets such as twitter and Facebook (30%). Student societies are also promoting residency training during their meetings (97%) and working in more interdisciplinary teams (53%).
After completion of this survey, I can see the tremendous power that students have in advocating the recommendations of PPMI to their peers, preceptors and faculty. It is also clear to me that students should to gain additional education in fields such as informatics, medication use systems, and safety quality. Finally, I think that students can and should develop themselves professionally by becoming exposed to concepts such as interdisciplinary teams and residency training and more broadly, understand and embrace pharmacist accountability and the pharmacy professions’ role in enacting positive change to directly influence patient outcomes. Overall, in completing work on this survey, I can see how students have begun to define their role within PPMI to become more prepared for the changing field that we all are enthusiastic to enter.