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    Pharmacy education and provider status

    Validating the 60-year debate


    Are you ready?

    Are we prepared to deliver such services when Congress amends the Medicare law and adds pharmacists to the list of providers? I believe the majority of pharmacists stand ready to expand their patient-care services, as has been shown with the now ubiquitous availability of vaccinations, a variety of disease-management interventions, transitions-of-care programs, and other services. The integration of pharmacists into physicians' office practices and ambulatory care clinics is further evidence of recognized value and need for more proactive patient management.

    Some pharmacists have dedicated most of their careers to the essential service of drug distribution management and have had only a limited opportunity to render clinical services. As automation increases the efficiency of dispensing and as pharmacists expand their patient-management activities, continuing professional development programs offered by colleges of pharmacy and practice associations will provide opportunities for these pharmacists to build their knowledge and skills to meet the needs of patients and providers.

    Perhaps the highest priority for colleges of pharmacy will be to focus on the professional development needs of pharmacists who serve as preceptors, frequently volunteering their time to contribute to the education of the next generation of pharmacists. AACP is committed to supporting all the efforts in curricular and practice transformation, and to increasing our work with our valued preceptor colleagues.

    As pharmacy is recognized for its vital contribution to healthcare and wellness, pharmacy education will adapt to meet the needs of the pharmacists of today and tomorrow.

    Lucinda Maine is executive vice president and CEO, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. 

    Lucinda L. Maine, RPh, PhD
    Lucinda Maine is executive vice president & CEO, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.


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