Why Study Management?

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Perhaps we should have had this Tip a while back, but we recognize that we have newcomers into the Tips, routinely. And this Tip a just a bit different from many of the others. We typically cite a study, usually a more recent one, and tie it back to one or more essentials in the Pharmacy Management text. In this case, we want to refer our readers to the first couple chapters in that text; specifically, The “Management” in Medication Therapy Management and to Management Functions, both of which ask “why study management?”. Well, those chapters and the entire text explain why but this Tip points toward the current accreditation standards for pharmacy education administered by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), describing all of the areas where those standards implicitly or explicitly refer to management and/or leadership.

In its current iteration, there are 25 standards, the last two of which are assessment elements in evaluating the first 23. The first four standards concern the PharmD curriculum. The first is foundational knowledge and refers to social/behavioral/administrative sciences. The second deals with essentials of patient care, referring to medication use systems management and to health and wellness and to population-based care. The third is on approach to care, mentioning specifically problem-solving, patient advocacy, interprofessional collaboration, cultural sensitivity, and communication. The fourth is on personal development, referring specifically to leadership, innovation and entrpreneurship, and professionalism. Standard 5 refers to among other things the Dean’s leadership. Standard 6 refers to the College’s mission, vision, and goals. Standards 7 refers to the organization’s strategic plan, and standard 8 is devoted entirely to the organization and its governance. Standard 9 echoes the importance organizational culture. Standard 12, the pre-APPE curriculum, refers to the “co-curriculum” which includes opportunities for development and leadership among students. The APPE curriculum in standard 13 alludes to the need to expose students to diverse populations. Standard 17 is on student progression and gets at operations management of the academic process. Standards 18 and 19 on faculty and staff refer to their productivity and their practice management. Standard 20 refers to preceptors and their mentorship, while standards 21 through 23 refer to capital, infrastructure, and other resources.

Why study management? Well, look no further than the elements in the standards for accrediting your pharmacy program. The standards mention management, leadership, and other related disciplines as being required for your didactic and experiential education. There are numerous standards dealing with how your academic program is managed, including an evaluation of its leaders and its operations. There are entire standards devoted to such things as strategic planning and organizational culture. Pharmacy students can examine the standards governing their education derived from the input of administrators and educators around the country to see the importance of management.

Additional information about The Management” in Medication Therapy Management and Management Functions can be found in Pharmacy Management: Essentials for All Practice Settings, 5e. If you or your institution subscribes to AccessPharmacy, use or create your MyAccess Profile to sign-in to Pharmacy Management: Essentials for All Practice Settings, 5e. If your institution does not provide access, ask your medical librarian about subscribing.

1Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. Accreditation Standards and Key Elements for the Professional Program in Pharmacy Leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy Degree. Available at: https://www.acpe-accredit.org/pdf/Standards2016FINAL.pdf. Accessed June 17, 2020.

Shane Desselle

Professor of Social and Behavioral Pharmacy, Touro University California