Perspectives on educating pharmacy students about the science of safety

Terri L. Warholak, David A. Holdford, Donna West, Danielle L. Debake, John P. Bentley, Daniel C. Malone, John E. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objective. To identify opinions about pharmacy graduates' science of safety (SoS) educational needs. Methods. Semi-structured interviews were performed with 25 educators and researchers at US pharmacy colleges and schools and 5 individuals from associations engaged in drug safety-related issues. Results. Themes that emerged from the 30 interviews with key informants included: pharmacists should meet minimum SoS requirements; medication safety education is inconsistent; and barriers exist to improving SoS curricula. Student deficiencies noted included the lack of: student acceptance of a "culture of safety": ability to effectively communicate verbally about medication safety; knowledge of the drug development process; and quality improvement skills. Key informants did not agree on how to address these gaps. Conclusions. While educators, researchers, and other leaders in drug safety-related issues thought that US colleges and schools of pharmacy covered portions of SoS well, there were perceived deficiencies. Minimum standards should be set to assist with curricular adoption of SoS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican journal of pharmaceutical education
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2011


  • Education
  • Medication safety
  • Patient safety pharmacy education
  • Science of safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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