Perspective of Manitoba pharmacists on entry-level practice competencies
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Qualitative focus group methods were used to explore the perceptions of community pharmacist preceptors on changes and challenges they expect to face in practice, and on the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed in responding to the challenges. Participants expressed the opinion that practice was evolving towards clinical patient services, but that change was impeded by structural barriers associated with community pharmacy's product-focused model and difficulties in finding appropriate continuing professional development opportunities for maintaining competency and acquiring advanced credentials. They stated that while students entering the profession are well prepared for practice, in many cases they were not able to use many of their skills in community practice settings. Given that obstacles to implementing clinical services may be inherent to community pharmacy's retail structure, rather than the education standards of entry-level practitioners, it is suggested that more comprehensive studies be conducted before instituting major curricular changes in Canadian pharmacy programs.