Reviewer: Susan K Romann, PharmD, BCGP (Temple University School of Pharmacy)
Description: This is the third edition of a concise overview of important aspects of clinical pharmacy practice, including the physical exam, licensure requirements, opportunities for postgraduate training, and ethics. First published in 1997, it was last updated in 2004.
Purpose: It is the author's hope that this book will be used as an adjunct to clerkship manuals and physical assessment, pharmacotherapeutics, and ethics books. This is a worthwhile goal, given the confusion and lack of general understanding by pharmacy students about the nuts and bolts of the physical exam, professional SOAP note writing, career options after graduation, and legal/ethical issues facing the profession. This edition has undergone considerable updating, including the addition of useful images, expanded content on a variety of topics, and concrete examples illustrating a given topic or skill.
Audience: It is geared primarily toward pharmacy students, but also may be helpful for faculty members/instructors. I can see many chapters and end-of-chapter assessment questions used in recitation-type final exams or many of the checklists incorporated into a communication course or patient counseling session.
Features: This book is unique, covering relevant topics that not only address clinical skills assessment for pharmacists, but also expose students to postgraduate options (residency vs. fellowship), differences in practice sites (ambulatory vs. inpatient), aspects of drug information, and important legal and ethical considerations. The first chapter reviews requirements for licensure, certificate programs, MTM, and differences between practice environments, which is important because many students do not have an appreciation of what is available to them after completing their PharmD. I would like to see the CGP (Certified Geriatric Pharmacist) added to the list of voluntary credentialing since specialization in geriatrics will become a valuable skill as the U.S. population grows older, and this certification is recognized by the Council on Credentialing in Pharmacy. Each chapter has useful tables, checklists, figures of medical procedures, and case-based clinical application questions. Chapters 6, 7, and 8 provide a very comprehensive guide to effectively presenting and writing SOAP notes, incorporating the rationale for a given therapy, necessary labs/procedures, and follow-up. Listing acronyms and terminology at the end of some chapters is helpful. Two items that should be added to the objective data section are BMI and estimated creatinine clearance.
Assessment: This is a useful adjunct to a clerkship manual, as it not only reviews physical assessment skills, but also addresses potentially challenging topics and legal issues encountered in pharmacy practice. The updates have strengthened the usefulness of this book, particularly the addition of application exercises for use in small groups.