Much like the BCPS exam, the Board Certified Ambulatory Care Pharmacist certification exam (BCACP) is changing in 2020. These changes will not go into effect until the Fall of 2020, but I wanted you to be aware of the BCACP 2020 changes as some are beginning to think about their study plan. (BCACP Free Study Schedule)
If you are taking the BCACP exam in the spring of 2020 (April-May timeframe), you can anticipate that the number of questions from each domain will follow the guideline below.
- Patient-Centered Care: Ambulatory Care Pharmacotherapy (37 percent of examination)
- Patient-Centered Care: Collaboration and Patient Advocacy (29 percent of examination)
- Translation of Evidence into Practice (14 percent of examination)
- Practice Models and Policy (14 percent of examination)
- Population and Public Health (6 percent of examination)
BCACP 2020 Changes – What You Need to Know
While the “domains” as they are referred to by BPS remain somewhat vaguely titled, the BCACP 2020 (fall and beyond) changes will include a significantly higher proportion of clinical questions. Here’s a peek at the updated domains and percentages of each area.
- Patient-Centered Ambulatory Care (75% of examination)
- Translation of Evidence into Ambulatory Care Practice (15% of examination)
- Ambulatory Care Practice Advancement (10% of examination)
Here’s the link to the full BCACP content outline which goes into a little more detail and what each of those domains entail.
BCACP 2020 Changes – My Advice
For those who are going to take the BCACP exam in the fall of 2020 and beyond, I would focus more time on knowing and understanding clinical topics. In addition, it is also important to understand how to handle patient care situations. I would spend slightly less time on regulatory and statistics preparation. HOWEVER, I do not want to downplay that you need to have some basic understanding. 25% of the exam can still break you if you perform very poorly as you should not anticipate that you will know every clinical question.
Another important point I want to make is that the Patient-Centered Ambulatory Care domain (75% of the exam) contains learning objectives like this.
- Unique barriers to and implementation of education during non-traditional encounters (e.g. group education, telehealth, etc.)
- Patient interviewing techniques
- Tools and techniques to identify patient-specific factors impacting care (e.g., adherence, access to care, cultural competency, health literacy, health beliefs, social determinants of health, patient readiness, etc.)
- Physical assessment skills and techniques
- Technology and medical devices to make medication- and health-related decisions (e.g., point-of-care testing, ambulatory monitors and sensors, insulin pumps, etc.)
These likely won’t feel like true clinical/pharmacotherapy questions like: “Which HIV agent would have the least impact on cholesterol?” There could be some questions from this domain that could ask you about different cultures and medication beliefs or ask you which statement is true with regards to motivational interviewing.
In talking with many who had taken the BCACP exam previously, many were surprised by the amount of non-clinical questions. My speculation is that this alteration in the content outline is a bit of a shift towards more pharmacotherapy based questions.
In saying and believing this, you still cannot avoid studying for non-clinical questions. In reviewing the content outline, I would still anticipate upwards of 50 questions that will be non-pharmacotherapy related. If you have no clue how to answer any of these questions, that can feel hugely overwhelming and will likely place you in the 35-40% of folks who will fail the exam.
I believe we’ve done a pretty good job of creating study materials for those types of non-clinical questions. In addition to over 1,300 practice questions and hours of review videos, within our all-access package, we have a dedicated study guide for statistics as well as regulatory topics. You can check out all of our resources and study materials for the BCACP exam right here.
Hopefully, this helps give you some guidance as you begin your preparations for this difficult exam!