Pharmacy World & Science

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 265–271 | Cite as

Views of pharmacists and mentors on experiential learning for pharmacist supplementary prescribing trainees

  • Johnson George
  • Jennifer Cleland
  • Christine M. Bond
  • Dorothy J. McCaig
  • I. T. Scott Cunningham
  • H. Lesley Diack
  • Derek C. StewartEmail author
Research Article


Objective To explore the views and experiences of pharmacists and their mentoring designated medical practitioners (DMPs) about the ‘period of learning in practice’ (PLP) as part of supplementary prescribing (SP) training. Method Two focus groups (n = 5 and 7) of SP pharmacists were organised in Scotland. The experiences and views of DMPs (n = 13) were explored using one-to-one telephone interviews. The focus groups and interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using the framework approach. Main outcome measures Views and experiences of pharmacists and DMPs about the PLP. Results Planning the PLP in consultation with the DMP was found to be crucial for an optimal learning experience. Pharmacists who did not have a close working relationship with the medical team had difficulties in identifying a DMP and organising their PLP. Participants stressed the importance of focusing on and achieving the core competencies for prescribers during the PLP. Input from doctors involved in the training of others, review of consultation videos, and formal independent assessment including clinical assessment at the end of the PLP might improve the quality of the PLP. Forums for discussing experiences during the PLP and gathering information might be valuable. Conclusion Our findings have implications for prescribing training for pharmacists in the future. The PLP should focus on core competencies with input from doctors involved in the training of others and have a formal assessment of consultation skills. Support for pharmacists in organising the PLP and forums for discussing experiences during the PLP would be valuable.


Competency Great Britain Medical practitioner Period of learning in practice Pharmacists Scotland Supplementary prescribing 



We thank Brian Addison, Laura Binnie and Antonella Tonna for their help with the study and Amber Bowbyes for transcribing the interviews. We acknowledge all pharmacists and medical practitioners who contributed to this study.


This study was funded by a mini-project grant from the Pharmacy Practice Research Trust of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.

Conflict of Interest

None declared.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Johnson George
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jennifer Cleland
    • 3
  • Christine M. Bond
    • 3
  • Dorothy J. McCaig
    • 1
  • I. T. Scott Cunningham
    • 1
  • H. Lesley Diack
    • 1
  • Derek C. Stewart
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Pharmacy, The Robert Gordon UniversityAberdeenScotland, UK
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacy PracticeVictorian College of Pharmacy, Monash UniversityParkvilleAustralia
  3. 3.Department of General Practice and Primary CareUniversity of AberdeenAberdeenScotland, UK

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