The overarching goal of public health is to protect and improve the health of individuals, families, communities, and populations, locally and globally. In collaboration with physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals, pharmacists have incredible opportunity and skills to contribute toward this goal. In recent years, the place of public health education and training within the profession of pharmacy has been formalized, both for students and practicing pharmacists alike. Pharmacy curricula, as part of accreditation requirements, are required to design programs that achieve educational outcomes in population-based care, cultural sensitivity, interprofessional collaboration and health and wellness.
In an effort to further these goals, the following casebook was developed. While a number of public health pharmacy educational texts are available, currently, there is a paucity of resources that focus on application of public health knowledge in a case-based format for pharmacists. Casebooks in health sciences allow opportunity for students to work toward educational competencies through patient-oriented scenarios prior to or in concert with formal clinical experiences.
This casebook, now in its second edition, is a collaboration of over 90 individuals with expertise and training in public health pharmacy. A total of 54 chapters are presented, covering a broad array of topics relevant to pharmacy applications of public health. These topics include, but are not limited to, cross-cultural care, health literacy and disparities, infectious disease, health promotion and disease prevention, medication safety, structural racism, advocacy/policy analysis, chronic disease, women’s health, rural health, travel medicine and more. The book is designed to allow educators/students to choose chapters of interest as they feel suited, as each chapter is independent from the others. Each chapter contains learning objectives and an introduction to the topic, followed by a case and questions. The chapter closes with commentary from the authors (e.g. ‘pearls’ associated with the topic) and patient-oriented considerations for the topic at hand.
While these chapters present some specific tools, such as motivational interviewing, to engage students and colleagues in discussions, we recommend facilitators go beyond the basics and allow for more nuanced conversations where participants can dig deeper into their own experiences and understanding. We encourage participants to apply these skills to build relationships with patients, check their own assumptions and beliefs and what shaped them, and think about collectively working towards an equitable future. We hope these chapters will provide a starting point to deepen conversations, particularly around social determinants of health and health equity.
It is our desire that this casebook may serve as a useful tool in furthering the understanding and application of pharmacy skills within the field of public health, ultimately helping to create a healthier and more just globe.
- Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health. Discover: what is public health? https://www.aspph.org/discover/. Accessed July 26, 2021. ↵
- Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. Accreditation standards and key elements for the professional program in pharmacy leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy Degree “Standards 2016”. https://www.acpe-accredit.org/pdf/Standards2016FINAL.pdf. Accessed July 26, 2021. ↵