Professor Crown with PharmD students

Professor Crown with PharmD students in a second year physical assessment and injections course where students learn to assess patient symptoms and interpret physical findings.

The recent news that the Ontario government has approved regulatory amendments to enable pharmacists, students, and interns in our province to assess and prescribe for 12 minor ailments is a welcome milestone for our profession. The Ontario Pharmacists Association, Ontario College Pharmacists and many advocates across the profession have worked diligently towards achieving this expanded scope of practice, underscoring the skills and contributions of pharmacists to providing high quality and timely patient care.

The Doctor of Pharmacy program at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy prepares future pharmacists to deliver full scope pharmacy care and it is exciting to look toward our students being able to maximize their knowledge and skills to engage in minor ailments prescribing and contribute to increasing access to care in their communities.

Our current PharmD students are well positioned to be at the forefront in supporting pharmacists through roll out and implementation of these new services. Our faculty have been working for many years building subject matter and clinical expertise that is woven across our program in core and elective courses. Minor ailments are covered in our pharmacotherapy series of courses, including a Year 2 course dedicated to Self Care Perspectives, and Year 3 elective. Students have opportunities to practice their assessment and communication skills through simulations in our Medication Therapy Management series of courses.

Our second-year course on patient and physical assessment is another opportunity where students learn and practice skills to gather a patient history, engage in a comprehensive assessment to effectively prescribe and follow up on therapy for several different conditions, including minor ailments.

Additionally, over the next few months we will embark on work to refresh our existing content to ensure that assessment and prescribing skills are mapped and assessed across our program. Upon completion of Year 2, students will have acquired the knowledge and skills needed to be actively engaged in minor ailment prescribing and contribute to these services under the supervision of a preceptor.

I look forward to partnering with our preceptor community to help this curriculum come alive in our early experience and advanced practice rotations and to supporting our students as they help Ontarians achieve optimal health outcomes through expanded pharmacy practice.

Natalie Crown is an Assistant Professor (Teaching Stream) and the Director of the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy.

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