In this article an experienced pharmacist discusses the concept of precepting responsibility and the new Precept Responsibly Podcast
Authored by: Spencer Sutton, Pharm.D.
Article Posted 11 December 2022
Few Receive Extensive Education On Precepting In Pharmacy
The role of the preceptor is diverse, encompassing didactic education, experiential learning, career development, and innumerable other components all with goal of developing competent clinicians, researchers and educators. Precepting is a near-ubiquitous element of pharmacy practice and remains the primary pathway to the development of young clinicians practice. Despite the expectation of the educator-learner relationship to have exceptional results, pharmacists receive little to no formal training in pedagogy and theories of adult education beyond a “teaching certificate”.
Resources tailored to preceptor development in pharmacy are limited and may be dependent on the capabilities and emphasis placed at specific practice sites. Those clinicians not on an academic track or without institutional support must independently hone their teaching style. Pedagogy and theories surrounding adult education are fields of study and expertise in their own right and an independent approach to their mastery is no minor feat.
By the way, if you are wondering what pedagogy means (which lets be honest many people probably are), here is the definition: the method and practice of teaching, especially as an academic subject or theoretical concept.
What Is The Precept Responsibly Podcast & What Does It Mean To Precept Responsibly?
Precept Responsibly Podcast is a passion-project to create high-impact and approachable discussions on various elements of precepting. It is hosted by Jason Mordino, PharmD BCCCP (@JasonMordino) and David Hughes, PharmD BCOP (@DHughesPharmD), representing 15 years of expertise on the subject. Through engaging tenured experts in their respective areas of excellence, Precept Responsibly provides an evidence-based approach to the development of preceptors.
The art of “precepting responsibly” is the continued investment in the educational process, professional development, and human centered teaching. Much like the continuous investment in clinical knowledge development required by licensing bodies, responsible precepting requires the same ongoing process. We hope to instill the educators responsibility for “precepting responsibly” seriously for individual professional growth and that of the pharmacy profession.
The Structure Of Experiential Learning In Pharmacy Education Is Inherently Different From Other Medical Professions
A pharmacy resident walks in to the rounding room on their first day of rotation. They grab their seat next to the medical residents and the medical student. The Fellow starts rounds directing conversation to the various medical doctors, while the attending physician provides expertise and approval on final treatment plans. At the end of rounds, the fellow and attending leave and the medical residents discuss the questions posed. They may support each other’s understanding of subjects or joke about how neither of them had any idea what the attending was talking about. The pharmacy resident may have been in contact with a preceptor remotely, but their experience was much more independent.
Tiered learning and direct observation are ingrained into medical education. Pharmacy residents are often the only pharmacy representation on a rounding service. Their development will come later, through self-directed learning, topic discussions, and running patient lists with their preceptor. Pharmacy preceptors may have less visibility of their learner in real-time, so they must be creative and effective in their teaching opportunities. This requires an approach to precepting that is fundamentally different from that of medical doctors. The nuanced difference in experiential education across many focus areas of pharmacy including, community practice, ambulatory care, research, managed care, and industry.
Through engaging stakeholders with real-world experience in this type of education, Precept Responsibly Podcast highlights best practices specific to pharmacy education to overcome these differences.
Precepting Responsibly Is A Journey
Pharmacists are life-long learners. As literature grows and guidelines change, the pharmacist must continue to seek information and improve their clinical practice. Similarly, there is no college course, continuing education, or other outlet that a pharmacist can use once and argue mastery in precepting. It must be worked on, continually.
By the very nature of taking learners on rotation, the preceptor is growing their practice. They are identifying challenges to overcome, writing and re-writing learning objectives, and redefining their own approach to adult education. Still, novel situations will arise that requires a new approach from the preceptor. It is the opinion of Precept Responsibly that a library of on-demand resources is essential to supporting this growth.
With the podcast’s commitment to addressing a variety of topics, ranging from “what is precepting?” to an evidence-based approach to pharmacy recruitment, the Precept Responsibly podcast provides for specific learning opportunities to support a multitude of challenges that preceptors may face. As the preceptor grows in their own practice, they may advance to focus on more meta conversations surrounding the concept of coaching. When they are struggling to engage a PGY-2 on high-impact topic discussions, they know where to look.
Precepting Responsibly Creates Community
Training pharmacists is an opportunity to build a network and create lifelong relationships. It can also be an opportunity to create enemies, sour feelings and dissuade learners from engaging in lifelong learning. How you engage with learners, communicate and connect on a human level can drastically change the learner, educator dynamics and the educational outcomes.
Learners are owed the right to be seen and treated as humans worth investing our time and development energy into. The Precept Responsibly podcast team brings this same energy and mission to creating networks and connection through education. Listeners become an extended community engaging in great discussion online and in meetings. Helping to further extend each individuals’ network and community feel. We know this is an important topic, that’s why we are so passionate about it and want to be a part of this community.
Precepting Responsibly Is Fun
At its core, Precept Responsibly is by preceptors for preceptors.
It provides the hosts the opportunity to nerd-out on their own passions with individuals that understand them. My partner does not care about my precepting experiences, but Jason and Dave do. The cadence is casual, the conversation is riddled with bad jokes, and in one episode Dave mixes diet mountain dew with a liquor that would surprise you. It is impactful learning engrained in conversation designed around a couple drinks over happy hour.
Fellowship is essential to a practice where clinical burnout is on the rise. Creating a community resource that allows pharmacists to share their experiences and connect across distance is the foundation of Precept Responsibly.
If engaging in an educators life long development and striving to always “precept responsibly” is enticing, find the Precept Responsibly Podcast team on all major podcast platforms and engage with the community on twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
Find @PreceptRespons on Twitter here!
Precept Responsibly Linktr.ee is here.
ABOUT THE PRECEPTING RESPONSIBLY PODCASTERS
Jason Mordino, PharmD BCCCP (co-host)
Jason Mordino is a Trauma Critical Care trained pharmacist and preceptor for almost 10 years. He now serves as the PGY-1 program director (7 years) and pharmacy manager of education at Boston Medical Center.
He is passionate about graduate pharmacy education, advocacy through PharmGradWishlist (www.pharmgradwishlist.org), and pushing the profession forward through education and training programs.
David Hughes, PharmD, BCOP (co-host)
Dave Hughes is an oncology pharmacist at Pfizer in medical affairs. Previously he was in ambulatory oncology practice and a PGY2 program director at Boston Medical Center.
He is passionate about oncology, advancing pharmacy practice, and education for trainees.
Spencer Sutton, PharmD (producer)
Spencer Sutton is an infectious diseases clinical pharmacy specialist at Mount Auburn Hospital. He completed his PGY-1 and PGY-2 ID at Boston Medical.
Spencer is passionate about empowering young practitioners to take up the mantle of precepting and engaging learners in novel ways.
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