The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS)Foundation and academic leaders recently convened to discussthe changing pharmacy landscape and to better preparepharmacy students for pharmacy practice after graduation.The forum was an important stepping-stone to increase thedialogue between academia and community pharmacy inorder to create more solution-driven programs to assist thepharmacy profession.
An important reason for bringing this group together isthe continuing critical need for pharmacists to practice inthe community setting. NACDS research indicates thatthere are ~7500 full-and part-time chain pharmacist vacancies.The participants agreed that, working together, theycan develop meaningful course work and experimental programsthat will help students to become strong leaders andadvocates for their profession.
The following recommendations also were part of thereport:
•Increasing community pharmacy representation on curriculumcommittees and incorporating chain communitypharmacy practitioners into class lectures, particularlymanagement courses
•Creating quality advanced practice sites with well-trainedpreceptors
•Hiring faculty members who have firsthand experiencewith implementing and delivering patient care services incommunity pharmacies
•Promoting a more positive perception of chain communitypharmacy as a career option by broadening the public perceptionof pharmacies, so that students can envision usingall of their clinical skills in patient care environments