Participants' perceptions of a multidisciplinary training program for graduate and postgraduate students in drug use management and policy

Am J Pharm Educ. 2013 Jun 12;77(5):102. doi: 10.5688/ajpe775102.


Objective: To determine graduate and postgraduate students' perceptions of a drug use management and policy program that applied wide-ranging policy research skills to inform pharmaceutical decision-making.

Design: Nine cohorts of graduate and postgraduate students from diverse academic and professional backgrounds were paired with health-system preceptors for 4 months, and supported by faculty advisors and administrators, to complete research projects that generated evidence to inform policy decisions.

Assessment: A self-administered survey instrument was sent to all alumni of the program over the previous 10 years. The majority of respondents indicated: their prior academic coursework could be applied to everyday life; service-learning projects complemented university programs; participation led to greater awareness of decision-makers' needs and appreciation of their tacit knowledge; and communication abilities were enhanced with decision-makers, and academics. Many also reported personal desire to fulfill healthcare-system research needs; personal belief in their ability to make a difference; and increased postgraduation marketability.

Conclusion: A drug use management and policy program allowed graduate students from various disciplines to develop new skills and collaborate with experts to produce research evidence that was relevant to drug policy that addressed real-world problems.

Keywords: assessment; engaged scholarship; knowledge co-production; pharmaceutical policy; residency; service-learning.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Pharmacy / methods*
  • Education, Pharmacy, Graduate / methods
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Internship, Nonmedical*
  • Learning
  • Legislation, Drug*
  • Male
  • Perception*
  • Policy Making
  • Preceptorship
  • Program Evaluation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Students, Pharmacy / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors