Pharmacy education’s newest way to share your ideas.

You may not often hear the words “scholarly” and “blog” used in the same sentence, but that is the new concept for Pulses; a scholarly blog supported by Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning (CPTL). Generated by several of the CPTL editors, this blog provides an outlet for scholarly dialogue in pharmacy education through brief posts that are peer coached. The blog aims to provide rapid dissemination of posts while also providing writers with helpful feedback.

Dr. Jeff Cain, one of the drivers behind the creation of Pulses, shared some of his insights on the new blog, as well as feedback he is receiving:

We are extremely pleased with the attention and readership that Pulses has received within pharmacy education.  In particular, we are happy with the dialogue that has occurred both online and offline with some of the articles.  The feedback we have received regarding Pulses has been outstanding including multiple comments regarding how the articles are actually being read because they are interesting and easily digestible.  

As Jeff mentioned, readers get short, high impact, posts about current trends and growing areas of interest. However, the benefits are not just for the readers. Authors get the opportunity to disseminate quickly, practice writing skills, and share ideas in a more relaxed environment than a traditional publishing outlet. While the blog has drawn authors from all stages of career, Dr. Cain finds special value for early authors.

Pulses has given a voice to aspiring authors including PharmD students, PhD students, and residents. It is our goal that we can help them become productive writers and thinkers, while simultaneously giving them a venue to showcase their ideas.

Although Pulses has existed for just under four months, it is already making a splash. According to Dr. Cain, each post has been viewed by hundreds, and as of October, Pulses posts have been read by individuals from 37 different countries.  Behind the scenes, editors push posts out on Facebook and Twitter, further extending their reach.

Drs. Von Hoff and Janke were on the CPTL working group that designed and launched Pulses.  In addition, the UMN-COP has had a strong presence on the early posts on Pulses.

Recent PhD graduate and affiliate member of the Wulling Center, Dr. Claire Kolar published Using “Threshold Concepts” to Enrich Teaching of the Pharmacists’ Patient Care Process. Claire has written about threshold concepts before in MinneSOTL blog posts, but this recent Pulses post provides a preview of the findings from her dissertation work.

Robert Bechtol, current graduate student, shared his thoughts on the assessment of leadership in his post How Can We Better Assess Leadership? This area represents one of Robert’s growing research interests. Using some of his evaluation knowledge, he provides suggestions for how pharmacy may be able to improve the way we’re monitoring leadership, especially in recent graduates.

Dr. Lara Kerwin, who completed her residency training through the UMN-COP leadership residency, unpacks the connections between storytelling and leading change. Her post The Hard Sell for the “Soft Skill” of Storytelling, provided her and her collaborators an opportunity to start dialogue on this issue, which will be covered further in a traditional manuscript.

I have also shared my thoughts on professional identity formation. In the first post, Professional Identity Formation Has Nothing To Do With a Clean White Coat, I share my opinion on confusing professionalism with professional identity. In the second post, Addressing Challenges of Professional Identity Formation, I explore ways to over come some of the challenges of teaching and assessing professional identity formation.

Head over to Pulses read a few of the posts, subscribe to get notifications of new posts, and think about what you’re going to submit!