Marshall University School of Pharmacy 4th-year student Jennifer C. Miller, B.S., along with Inder Sehgal, D.V.M, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology at the school and a graduate veterinarian, recently published an instructional design and assessment article in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, effectively marking the first time a school of pharmacy student has published as first author in a peer-reviewed research article since the school's inception in 2012.
"We at the School of Pharmacy are very proud of Ms. Miller for her hard work on this publication," said Kevin W. Yingling, R.Ph., M.D., dean of the school. "First author status is a huge accomplishment for a student. This success highlights the valuable mentorship and expertise, (veterinarian and pharmacologist) provided by excellent faculty like Dr. Sehgal."
The study, A Veterinary Comparative Counseling Elective Featuring Web-based, Student-created, Client Information Sheets, was designed to review an elective class on veterinary pharmacy currently offered at Marshall. According to the authors, a growing number and complex animal-related prescriptions are being referred to retail community pharmacies.
"Pharmacists are increasingly being asked to manage medication therapies for animals," Miller said. "Our article was geared toward reviewing the elective veterinary course at Marshall and its effectiveness in educating pharmacy students about pet therapeutics."
Miller said the course tracked instructed students on comparative animal disease states, counseling on common pet prescriptions, where to access information about specific veterinary drugs and how to create client information sheets (CIS), an educational document for pet owners.
Dr. Sehgal, who teaches the class, reported there are about 35 pharmacy schools in the country that offer veterinary-related elective courses, but there is no standardized format for competencies.
"Our hope is that the publication of this course and its learning outcomes will build enthusiasm for veterinary pharmacotherapy in pharmacy programs across the nation" Sehgal said. "To our knowledge, the student-generated CIS and the establishment of a CIS website completed by Marshall students is a first for a veterinary pharmacy course. And finally, we were excited to be able to successfully deliver inter-professional education between the veterinary and pharmacy professions. "
During the semester-long class, Sehgal said the students learned hands-on skills like how to feel for lymph nodes, administer a pill, and how to instruct pet owners on recognizing symptoms in their pets, as well as studied how commonly prescribed human drugs are tolerated by animals.
Students also participated in several active learning activities including field trips to a local dog park and visited two local compounding pharmacies as part of the course.