Fellowships in community pharmacy research: Experiences of five schools and colleges of pharmacy
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OBJECTIVE: To describe common facilitators, challenges, and lessons learned in 5 schools and colleges of pharmacy in establishing community pharmacy research fellowships. SETTING: Five schools and colleges of pharmacy in the United States. PRACTICE DESCRIPTION: Schools and colleges of pharmacy with existing community partnerships identified a need and ability to develop opportunities for pharmacists to engage in advanced research training. PRACTICE INNOVATION: Community pharmacy fellowships, each structured as 2 years long and in combination with graduate coursework, have been established at the University of Pittsburgh, Purdue University, East Tennessee State University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and The Ohio State University. EVALUATION: Program directors from each of the 5 community pharmacy research fellowships identified common themes pertaining to program structure, outcomes, and lessons learned to assist others planning similar programs. RESULTS: Common characteristics across the programs include length of training, prerequisites, graduate coursework, mentoring structure, and immersion into a pharmacist patient care practice. Common facilitators have been the existence of strong community pharmacy partnerships, creating a fellowship advisory team, and networking. A common challenge has been recruitment, with many programs experiencing at least one year without filling the fellowship position. All program graduates (n = 4) have been successful in securing pharmacy faculty positions. CONCLUSION: Five schools and colleges of pharmacy share similar experiences in implementing community pharmacy research fellowships. Early outcomes show promise for this training pathway in growing future pharmacist-scientists focused on community pharmacy practice.
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