Resident physicians’ perceptions of ambulatory care pharmacy

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Pharmacists, Physicians, Interprofessional Relations, Attitude of Health Personnel, Patient Care Team, Professional Role, Ambulatory Care, Surveys and Questionnaires, Indiana


Background: Physicians' acceptance of clinical pharmacy services is dependent on exposure to those services, with use increasing as resident physicians progress through their training. Resident physicians train within environments that have a multidisciplinary teaching and clinical care approach, working closely with other healthcare professionals. Ambulatory care pharmacists are increasingly working with resident physicians in clinic settings as part of the multidisciplinary team, and identification of resident physicians’ perceptions may influence future collaboration.

Objective: The objective of this research is to evaluate the perception of ambulatory care clinical pharmacy services from the perspective of resident physicians.

Methods:  A statewide network of ambulatory care pharmacists was identified and received an electronic questionnaire. Pharmacists working within clinics that serve as training sites for resident physicians then completed and distributed questionnaires to the resident physicians within their clinical site. Items related to demographics and perception of involvement and interactions with clinical pharmacists.

Results: Forty-five resident physicians responded from four unique clinical sites (response rate = 42%).  They agreed or strongly agreed that pharmacists help patients obtain their therapeutic goals (97.8%), are able to educate patients effectively (95.6%), provide high quality care (97.8%), and do a good job helping co-manage patients (91.1%). Previous exposure to pharmacists was limited primarily to the drugstore (48.9%) and hospital (51.1%) settings. Resident physicians in the third year of training and those reporting a friend was a pharmacist, were more likely to have a positive perception of the pharmacist’s role as a resident educator (p=0.048 and p=0.044, respectively).

Conclusions: Resident physicians with a longer duration of exposure and personal friendship with a pharmacist are more likely to express positive perceptions. Areas for further enhancements in this interprofessional relationship related to perceptions about pharmacist autonomy and patient relationships were identified.

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