Integration of Clinical Pharmacists in Family Medicine Residency Programs.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES

Clinical pharmacists are valued educators and practitioners within family medicine residency programs (FMRPs). Since the last survey of clinical pharmacists within FMRPs, there have been significant advancements to pharmacy education and training as well as growth of interprofessional education and collaborative practice within family medicine. The objective of this study is to describe the integration of clinical pharmacists within FMRPs.

METHODS

All 480 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-approved FMRPs were contacted to identify clinical pharmacists involved with their programs. An electronic survey was distributed to these 253 pharmacists. Questions addressed educational, clinical, scholarly, and administrative activities.

RESULTS

Of 396 FMRPs reached, 208 (52.5%) reported 253 clinical pharmacists within their programs. Survey responses were received from 142 (56.1%) pharmacists. Academic appointments in colleges/schools of pharmacy and medicine were held by 105 (75.5%) and 69 (50.0%) respondents, respectively. Eighty-nine (64.0%) pharmacists reported a single source of salary, 19.1% of which received full support from the FMRP. Clinical pharmacists dedicated an average of 50.4% of their overall time to the FMRP, and 14.5% of pharmacists dedicated all of their time to the FMRP. Time within the FMRP was spent on patient care (52.9%), teaching (31.6%), research/scholarship (7.5%), administrative activities (5.9%), and drug dispensing (0.7%).

DISCUSSION

Prevalence of clinical pharmacists within FMRPs has increased since 2000, from 27.9% to 52.5%. However, the amount of time dedicated to the FMRPs has decreased. This shift from teaching to a more clinical role may reflect both a growth of patient-centered, interprofessional care and a needed mechanism to assist funding these positions.

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