Updated Oath of a Pharmacist Incorporates Diversity, Equity, Antiracism

The updated oath has entered into the modern era with more inclusive and contemporary language.

The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) Board of Directors and the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Board of Trustees have approved updates to the Oath of a Pharmacist, with additions incorporating diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism.

According to a press release from APhA, the updated oath states, “I will promote inclusion, embrace diversity, and advocate for justice to advance health equity.” Additionally, changes were made to bring the statement into the modern era by including more contemporary language.

The updates to the oath were recommended by a joint AACP and APhA Oath Revision Steering Committee and were approved in November 2021. The organizations will host a profession-wide virtual event for all pharmacists, faculty members, administrators, and student pharmacists to reaffirm the oath in January 2022.

“The joint committee led a critical charge of boldly expanding our professional oath to include the necessary elements of equity, inclusion, and diversity,” said Lakesha M. Butler, PharmD, CDFT, director of diversity, equity, and inclusion at the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy, in the press release. “The revised oath charges all pharmacists to take an active responsibility in promoting health equity and commit to being change agents in the system of pharmacy practice and beyond.”

The original oath was developed in 1983 by the AACP Board of Directors and was revised in 1994 and 2007 by the joint APhA Academy of Student Pharmacists and AACP Council of Deans Task Force on Professionalism.

This year, the 2021 Oath Revision Steering Committee conducted several joint sessions between June and October to review and discuss the oath in its modern context. According to the press release, they also developed and conducted a survey and town hall meetings for faculty members, student pharmacists, and pharmacists to address concerns.

“The Oath of a Pharmacist is its intent to be both a fluid and long-lasting representation of pharmacists and student pharmacists’ dedication toward our profession and patients,” said Juan Rodriguez, APhA-ASP National President and student pharmacist at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Pharmacy, in the press release. “Our collective efforts in recognizing and leading these efforts is a proud moment for the entire profession.”

The full text of the updated oath states:

I promise to devote myself to a lifetime of service to others through the profession of pharmacy. In fulfilling this vow: I will consider the welfare of humanity and relief of suffering my primary concerns. I will promote inclusion, embrace diversity, and advocate for justice to advance health equity. I will apply my knowledge, experience, and skills to the best of my ability to assure optimal outcomes for all patients. I will respect and protect all personal and health information entrusted to me. I will accept the responsibility to improve my professional knowledge, expertise, and self-awareness. I will hold myself and my colleagues to the highest principles of our profession’s moral, ethical, and legal conduct. I will embrace and advocate changes that improve patient care. I will utilize my knowledge, skills, experiences, and values to prepare the next generation of pharmacists. I take these vows voluntarily with the full realization of the responsibility with which I am entrusted by the public.

REFERENCE

Pharmacy organizations update Oath of a Pharmacist. News release. American Pharmacists Association; December 16, 2021. Accessed December 17, 2021. https://www.pharmacist.com/APhA-Press-Releases/pharmacy-organizations-update-oath-of-a-pharmacist