The role of reflective practice in pharmacy

Educ Health (Abingdon). 2003 Mar;16(1):68-74. doi: 10.1080/1357628031000066778.


Context: There has been a considerable paradigm shift from a product-centred focus towards a patient-centered focus in pharmacy. Pharmaceutical care practice (Cipolle et al., 1998) can be seen as the latest proposal to transform the profession as mandated by most major professional associations in pharmacy. Pharmaceutical care is an innovative way of practicing pharmacy that has the potential to make drug-therapy safer, more effective, and more convenient for the patient. Even though pharmacists' time spent on customer communication has increased over time (Savage, 1999), this alone will not be sufficient to bring about a paradigm shift in view of what the pharmacist actually does to provide quality patient care. It appears equally important to reflect on how pharmacists practice pharmacy.

Methods/objectives: It is the aim of this discussion paper to argue for the importance of linking education and practice as a core part of the teaching of pharmaceutical care.

Conclusion: In order for pharmacists to partake in truly interdisciplinary health care teams and the profession of pharmacy to demonstrate its unique and indispensable contribution to quality health care, pharmacy curricula would teach toward reflective practice, be problem-based, be positioned in collaborative teams, and have an outside (authentic) focus.

MeSH terms

  • Education, Pharmacy / methods*
  • Education, Pharmacy / trends
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Patient-Centered Care*
  • Pharmaceutical Services / trends*
  • Problem-Based Learning
  • Professional Role
  • Professional-Patient Relations*
  • United States