Developing and Assessing Clinical Reasoning Skills in Pharmacy Education
Drs. Kylee Funk and Sarah Schweiss have been interested in methods for giving students more opportunities to practice their clinical reasoning skills. They recently implemented a clinical reasoning activity, the Script Concordance Test (SCT), in the diabetes module of a therapeutics course. The SCT is a series of cases where students compare their decisions to the decisions made by practicing pharmacists.
Where did the idea for doing the Script Concordance Test (SCT) in the your course come from?
I have had many students approach me with questions and concerns about their clinical decisions. Students are, at times, frustrated when they hear conflicting clinical opinions from different pharmacists or faculty members they may work with. Additionally, I have noticed that learners can become concerned when an answer isn’t spelled out in guidelines or other references. After discussions with Dr. Schweiss, we agreed that these issues are common and had a goal to build the students’ skill set and awareness of clinical decision making. We thought we could approach this general goal through development of cases that include some ambiguity and ask practicing pharmacists to weigh-in on the cases. Our hope was that this would demonstrate to our students that there isn’t always consensus in approaching cases, but that there may be trends in the way that practicing pharmacists make decisions. I worked with the Wulling Center to identify the SCT – a tool that medical schools have found success with in developing their students’ clinical reasoning.
What is next for the SCT project?
Just this week, we completed an SCT activity in class. We’re reviewing student feedback from the activity now and after a brief review, combined with anecdotal conversations, it sounds like the students found the activity valuable and the instructors did as well. We are already discussing ways to reserve more time for activities like this in the course next year.
We’re also reviewing scholarship around SCT. We have some questions about student engagement with the SCT and student perception of the SCT. We also have have questions about how our pharmacist expert panel perceived the SCT. Lastly, we would like to share our experiences in adapting the SCT for a therapeutics course.
Stay tuned to see how the Script Concordance Test and Clinical Reasoning project continues to progress!
You can read another example of using SCT in pharmacy here.
For more information:
Project Lead: Kylee Funk, Pharm.D.
Additional Team Members: Sarah Schweiss, Pharm.D., Jeffrey Tingen, Pharm.D., MBA (University of Virginia), Claire Kolar, Pharm.D., Kristin Janke, Ph.D.