Talking Interprofessionalism and Professionalism

Published on 22 July 2016

St. Louis College of Pharmacy sits inside one of the preeminent academic and biomedical complexes in the world. The location allows unprecedented access to education, research and practice programs. Still, the College is an independent institution. To leverage the location, the College created formal ties with neighbors including Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Barnes-Jewish Hospital.


The creation of those ties, and the positive effect of interprofessional education, will be the subject of an upcoming presentation by Gloria Grice, Pharm.D., BCPS, FNAP, professor of pharmacy practice at St. Louis College of Pharmacy, at the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Annual Meeting. Grice was among those at the College instrumental in creating the Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education at Washington University Medical Center.

“I want to share the lessons we learned in creating the center that will help other educators, their students and ultimately patients,” Grice said.

According to Grice, some of the major hurdles to overcome are ownership, leadership and inclusion.

“You can’t do this from the ground up, it needs to start with the highest level of support at your institution,” Grice said. “Learning to work as part of an interprofessional team is fundamental for student pharmacists,” Grice said. “As the profession expands into new areas and takes on a larger role in health care, students need to have the experience of working with other health care providers to excel.”

The session, at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, July 25, is eligible for continuing education credit.


In an effort to assess professionalism among student pharmacists at the College, they will be presented with a series of situations to respond to as part of a new assessment tool. For example, ‘If my practice lost funding, I would continue to care for my patients as long as possible despite receiving no pay for my services.’

The response to that situation, along with 36 others are part of a newly developed and validated instrument called APIPHANI (Assessing Professionalism In Pharmacy – A Novel Instrument). Answers are given on a 10-point scale.

“This would be a difficult situation for any health care provider,” admits Grice. “The answer is not obvious, which allows for a wider spectrum of responses based on various levels of a student’s professional development.”

On Tuesday, July 26, at 11 a.m., Grice is leading a mini-session on this topic. She notes there is only one other validated professionalism assessment instrument available in the pharmacy literature.

“In the 2016 Standards, the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education emphasized professionalism and being able to assess it, and professionalism is very difficult to assess,” Grice adds.
Her goal at the session is to introduce other pharmacy educators to the instrument so they may also use it at their institutions.

“I also look to create a discussion and have participants provide me with some feedback,” Grice said. “We’ll continue to make revisions and refine the instrument.”

Grice’s collaborators on the creation of APIPHANI include Claude Gaebelein, Ph.D., Rasma Chereson, Ph.D. Gemma Geslani, Ph.D., Zachary Moser ’14 and Kilinyaa Cothran, director of professional student affairs at the College.

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