Teaching to Teach: Pharmacy School Certificate Program Helps Clinician Impart Research

Teaching to Teach: Pharmacy School Certificate Program helps clinician impart research
Dr. Brianne Bakken teaches learners enrolled in the MCW School of Pharmacy’s Interprofessional Teaching Certificate Program.

For Elizabeth Cleek, PhD, RN, academic fellow in primary care research at MCW, her research interest in child advocacy and protection grew out of her professional background in pediatric acute trauma.

Dr. Cleek served as a trauma nurse practitioner and a certified pediatric nurse practitioner during her clinical career. After she began losing her eyesight, Dr. Cleek found she could still care for injured children by altering her career path toward research and education.

“When I worked with patients, the ones that I lost the most sleep over were the child abuse patients,” shares Dr. Cleek. “Within pediatric healthcare, child maltreatment is a significant health concern and can have immediate and lifelong health risks associated with it.”

Helping healthcare providers identify child maltreatment and intervene as early as possible can help change a child’s health trajectory. “The value of research is to get it out in the community, to teach what we find and to help. It needs to change our practice,” says Dr. Cleek.

To expand her skills in educating healthcare professionals, Dr. Cleek enrolled in the MCW School of Pharmacy Interprofessional Teaching Certificate Program. “My goal is to educate nursing and other healthcare professionals because responding to child maltreatment requires an interprofessional team.”

The School of Pharmacy Teaching Certificate Program was designed to provide participants with the didactic education, training and experiences needed to function as a faculty member and/or preceptor in both academic and practice settings. The program, originally concepted for pharmacy residents and professionals, was opened to other healthcare professionals earlier this year.

“The concepts that they teach are global and appropriate to multiple professionals,” says Dr. Cleek. “It’s helping translate my research into education for healthcare professionals and students.”

Brianne K. Bakken, PharmD, MHA, teaching certificate program chair, and Kevin M. Bozymski, PharmD, program vice-chair, say that interprofessional education has been a goal of the program since its conception.

“We saw a gap in terms of local pharmacy residency programs which didn’t have a teaching certificate option and practicing pharmacists who missed out on the opportunity. We also asked, ‘What about medical residents, postdoctoral fellows and physicians?’ There isn’t a teaching certificate equivalent in their world, so why wouldn’t we open it up to them?” Dr. Bakken remarks.

“It’s not just a matter of having clinical knowledge; it’s also a matter of how you communicate with other people. Traditionally, I think that’s always viewed in the patient lens, but so much of it is about interprofessional teams and knowing how to talk to a variety of audiences. At the core, that is teaching,” says Dr. Bozymski.

The didactic portion of the program, delivered in live monthly education seminars and recorded web-based lectures, covers topics such as how to write learning objectives, give an effective presentation and adapt to different learning styles. In addition, each member of the program engages in two didactic teachings, lab facilitations or precepting experiences. Program participants also develop a teaching philosophy with their assigned mentor before graduation. Participants can elect to complete the program in one or two years to meet their professional needs.

Dr. Cleek has a mentor in both the MCW School of Pharmacy and the School of Medicine. Dr. Bakken met with Dr. Cleek and her mentors to adjust her experiences in order to fulfill the program requirements and give her a personalized experience.

“The faculty have gone out of their way to make it meaningful for me,” shares Dr. Cleek. “They didn’t just make me fit into their program. If an experience wasn’t valuable for me, the attitude was, let’s work together to find something different.”

For more information about the Teaching Certificate Program, visit the School of Pharmacy website.

– Michelle Schaefer

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