University of Utah
Pharmacy Administration 535
"Social Foundations of Pharmacy Practice"
Winter 1995 (3 credits) (taught every winter quarter)
Nancy A. Nickman, M.S., Ph.D.

Required Text:

Posey LM. Pharmacy Cadence 1994-5. Athens, GA: PAS Pharmacy/Association Services, Inc.; 1995.

Supplementary Text: [on reserve at Eccles Library]

Wertheimer Al, Smith MC. Pharmacy practice: social and behavioral aspects. 3rd edition. Baltimore, MD: Williams & Wilkins; 1989.


The reason for including this course in the pharmacy curriculum is to provide you with the necessary background to understand the complexity of human, social, economic and political issues that exert a powerful influence on the pharmacy profession.

At the completion of the course, you will demonstrate that you have:

  1. acquired a working knowledge of the profession of pharmacy;
  2. an understanding of the forces of change that presently beset health care generally, and pharmacy in particular;
  3. become familiar with a number of important policy issues as these relate to the profession at all levels of practice;
  4. expanded your conceptualization of pharmacy from its empirical "micro" foundations (e.g., medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutics, pharmacology, etc.) to the "macro" level of social, political and economic applications;
  5. acquired an understanding of the social/behavioral factors associated with illness, and the expanded roles of the pharmacist in the clinical application of pharmaceutical knowledge;
  6. given serious consideration to your personal future plans (goals) given identifiable trends in the profession; and
  7. developed critical thinking skills as you reflect on your future and the future of pharmacy.

Date Topic

         1/3                                  Course Introduction   
         1/5                                  Problems in the U.S.  Health Care System
         1/10                                More Problems in the U.S. Health Care System
         1/12                                Choices in the U.S.  Health Care System

         1/17                                The Pharmaceutical Industry
         1/19                                Pharmaceutical Industry Issues

         1/24                                 Professionalization in Pharmacy
         1/26                                Socialization as a Pharmacist

         1/31                                 Pharmaceutical Care
         2/2                                 Expanded Roles/Changing Practice
         2/7                                 Illness Behavior: Psychosocial Dimensions
         2/9                                 Ethical Issues in Pharmacy Practice (Dr. Stilling)

         2/14                                Sociological Aspects of Prescribing   
         2/16                                Compliance and the Pharmacist

         2/21                                Alternative Healing Systems - Part 1  
         2/23                                Alternative Healing Systems - Part 11

         2/28                                Aspects of Cross Cultural Healing
         3/2                                 Quality of Life and Medical Care - Part 1  

         3/7                                 Quality of Life and Medical Care - Part 11
         3/9                                 Pharmacy and the Future

FINAL QUIZ: Friday, March 10, 1995 Noon - 1:00 P.M.


Over the quarter, you will be asked to write 3 position papers on current and relevant articles which pertain to classroom discussion and events that affect the practice of pharmacy. The purpose of requiring you to write about your beliefs and your position on a particular issue is to encourage you to incorporate information from the lecture and service portions of this class into your personal data base on how the world functions.

You will be presented with new and sometimes conflicting ideas in order to challenge your current view of the health care system and its players. I do not expect you to agree with me; in fact, I would hope that you disagree on at least some points. You should be able to carry out a logical argument explaining why you believe what you do, based on whatever facts, assumptions and biases you are able to use to explain your position.

My secondary interest in having you write the position papers is to encourage you to write, hopefully in proper English. As health professionals, you may be asked by newspapers, consumer magazines or your own professional journals to write a readable article or paragraph about some area of pharmacy practice. In order to accomplish this task, practice is required. For this reason, half of the grade on each paper will be based on grammar and syntax - basically, how well you can communicate in the English language.

Assignments will be given 2 weeks in advance. Papers will be returned to you the following week. Grading will be based on grammar (5 pts) and your ability to develop a logical argument to explain your position (5 pts). The following questions should be answered in your discussion (based on 2-3 pages, typed, double-spaced):

1 . What is the issue or problem as described by the author(s)?

2.     What is your position? (le., do you support what that authors are saying?)
3.     Why? (justify your position)



In past years, students have been required to write an 8-1 0 page term paper, centered on some aspect of the health care system that impacts people and the way they use and/or abuse medications. Since 1993, students have been provided with the opportunity to participate in a Service-Learning Opportunity that allows you to learn about the same types of issues, but from first-hand experience. This means that I have contacted a number of service organizations in the Salt L ake City area and they have provided input on how we can volunteer to help them help their constituents. If possible, I would like you to select a partner for this experience. Over the quarter, you and your partner will spend 1-2 hours a week volunteering your time and expertise as a human being to a health-related organization, providing a needed service that the organization has identified specifically for our class.

Since a) this course has been identified as a Writing Emphasis course by the University Writing Program and b) you are not being required to write a term paper, we still need to have some type of writing activity in order to maintain the Writing Emphasis designation. Therefore, all Service-Learning participants are required to maintain a daily journal of their activities and complete a Final

Report of their experiences with the service organization of choice.


  1. Journals should begin with a brief entry that describes the name and purpose of the organization for which you are volunteering (ie., who is served, how does the organization regularly provide service, how are volunteers utilized within the organization to reach its goals, etc.). Please record your initial impressions of what you believe you will be learning from the experience.
  2. Each day that you volunteer, a journal entry should be made describing that day's experience (ie., What did you learn about either the organization or its clientele? What problems do you see? How might you approach "fixing" these problems? What is done well at that organization?, etc.).
  3. Journals should end with a brief summary of your experience (ie., Overall, how was the experience? Did you have or were you provided with the information you needed to get the job done? Briefly, what have you learned from this experience? How have your thoughts changed since the beginning of the quarter?, Did having a partner make the experience easier?, etc.)
  4. For your convenience, you have been provided with a copy of two short articles on "How To Do Service-Learning journals" as part of the course syllabus ("Reflecting on What You're Learning" and "Writing a Daily Journal", both from the National Society for Internships and Experiential Education). If you are having trouble deciding how to get started or what to write, these will be extremely valuable to you.


In prior years, students have indicated in the final course evaluation that discussion sessions offered multiple times during the quarter would have been helpful to allow them time to reflect upon and integrate their Service-Learning experiences. Part of this reflection experience includes your daily journal worth 1 1 points. The remaining 4 points are tied to your attendance at Reflection Sessions that will be held 4 times throughout the quarter. Either our TA or agency personnel will be on hand to work with you for 45 minutes (1 2:15 - 1 PM) to process what you are experiencing. This is really the nuts and bolts of Service-Learning and will help you to integrate your community service experiences with what we are learning in class. A copy of a handout on Reflection used by the Bennion Center to help students make the most of Service-Learning experiences is attached to the syllabus.


Final Reports should be 3-5 double-spaced, typewritten pages or it will be returned to you. Please type a cover page separate from the text of the report with your name, the course number and date so that the agencies receive a blinded copy. Your report should cover the following points:

  1. A brief description of the organization for which you volunteered (Similar to your journal, who do they serve? How do they accomplish their goals? Where did you fit in?).
  2. A brief critique of the organization (How well do they accomplish their goals? How might things be done better? Is the organization adequately able to serve their intended target? Are resources adequate to achieve their goals? Where might the organization turn for additional resources - money, volunteers, etc.?).
  3. What have you learned about volunteering? Has this experience reinforced or changed any of your ideas about volunteering? What are your current thoughts and feelings regarding volunteering again, either in this or another capacity?
  4. Imagine that instead of participating in the Service-Learning Opportunity, you had selected a term paper topic relevant/similar to some aspect of the group served by your organization. How would your experience have been different if you had researched the topic in the library and completed a term paper, rather than volunteering on a weekly basis? Be sure to adequately cover the pro's and con's of your opinion of both methods of learning.
  5. From a student's perspective, what was the best part of the experience? What was the worst part of the experience? Would you recommend that the Service-Learning Opportunities be continued? For future classes of students, how might the experience be improved? As your instructor, is there a way that I can better facilitate a positive experience? How do you believe this experience has changed your academic experience at the University of Utah?
                                        Date: Thu, 28 Dec 1995 08:25:16 MST
                                        From: Renee Buchanan <>