Integrating a Pharmacy Student into a Marriage and Family Therapy Counseling Course: A Pilot

  • Leticia Shea Regis University
  • Joanna Stratton Regis University Division of Counseling and Family Therapy
  • Doan Bui Regis University School of Pharmacy
  • Christina Nguyen Eisenhower Medical Center
Keywords: IPEC Competencies; interprofessional; interdisciplinary


The Problem: Interprofessional educational experiences are a requirement in pharmacy and counseling curricula. However, scheduling conflicts between professional programs and lack of administrative support create barriers for students who want to take a course in another healthcare program.

Innovation: This pilot enabled a pharmacy student to participate in a counseling course for 8 weeks. The course “Integrated Healthcare” is a 3-credit required core-course in the Master of Arts in marriage and family therapy (MFT) program. It explores the connection between emotional, psychological and physical health, covering information on behavior change, psychopharmacology, and common ways in which mood and anxiety manifest in the body. Class activities were matched to pharmacy interprofessional standards, in addition to Interprofessional Collaborative Practice competencies (IPEC).

Critical Analysis: All IPEC core competencies were achieved during this course. One pharmacy student and 18 counseling students helped one another understand the importance of their different roles in patient care. The course also established relationships between pharmacy and counseling faculty, paving the way for more interprofessional class experiences.

Conclusion: This pilot integrating pharmacy and counseling students in a course demonstrates that administrative barriers can be overcome and collaborative learning benefit is achieved for everyone involved.


Article Type: Note


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Received 2019-10-15
Accepted 2020-03-25
Published 2020-06-30