While many have continued to have a frustrated attitude with the role of pharmacists in our healthcare system, I remain optimistic. I have always felt that pharmacist provider status will happen. Several years ago, I felt that it would be through one heroic effort of getting legislation passed. I’ve started to feel differently about that over the last few years and believe it will be more of a gradual process of several small wins. I’m ok with that as long as progress is continually being made. In a recent article at Pharmacy Today, several of our colleagues are taking ownership of a newer field and working on expanding pharmacy’s role in pharmacogenomics.
I’ve always personally enjoyed pharmacogenomics and I LOVE the term precision medicine. It directly counters the idea of medicine being an “art”. While I’m comfortable with the terminology of the “art of medicine”, “precision medicine” sounds so much better from a marketing standpoint and I’m so proud that we have colleagues that are tackling this important area of pharmacy and medicine. I stand behind you and am cheering you on!
I think our profession generally recognizes the value of pharmacogenomic testing. I think our prescribing colleagues will recognize this value as well, but I believe they likely need some education on the benefits and application of these principles. If you discuss pharmacogenomics with primary care folks, particularly our NP and PA friends, I think you will find that they are generally overwhelmed by the idea of this and don’t even know where to begin. This is an opportunity for us to take over dominate this area.
I’m really happy that the content outlines for many of our pharmacist board certifications have adapted to the changing times. The BCMTMS exam has gone so far as to add it as a separate topic within their content outline that covers 5% of the exam! We’ve included a pharmacogenomics video in all our pharmacist board certification study materials which you can sample for free right here.
My advice for expanding your pharmacy role in pharmacogenomics: If you have an interest in this area and work with providers in any capacity, start by providing free education. Set up a time to do a presentation, put together a Youtube video to share, or share a recent article on how pharmacogenetic variations are hurting their patients. This can do a couple of things. First, it is going to solidify you as the leading content expert in your region. Additionally, it is going to allow you to relate to providers and demonstrate how you are an ally that can help them improve the lives of their patients.
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