Pediatric pharmacotherapeutic education: current status and recommendations to fill the growing need

Pharmacotherapy. 2005 Sep;25(9):1277-82. doi: 10.1592/phco.2005.25.9.1277.


The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education and the Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs state that their respective programs should provide a curriculum appropriate to produce general practitioners of pharmacy. Millions of prescriptions are written for infants and children each year, and relatively few pharmacists practice in environments devoid of pediatric patients. To fulfill the stated mandate, professional pharmacy curricula must include adequate content dedicated to pharmaceutical care of the pediatric patient. Current pediatric curricula are inadequate and must be improved. Pediatric topics should be introduced early in the curriculum to increase students' awareness of the special needs of this vulnerable population. Other recommendations include the provision at least 25 hours of didactic instruction in core pediatric areas and at least one pediatric clinical rotation to all students. Pharmaceutical care of pediatric patients can also be improved by offering pediatric rotations to all pharmacy practice residents and encouraging their participation. However, a change in attitude may be most important. The contention that pediatric pharmacy practice is an isolated subspecialty can no longer be supported.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence / standards
  • Curriculum / standards
  • Education, Pharmacy / standards*
  • Humans
  • Pediatrics / education*
  • Pharmaceutical Services / standards*