PGWL Supports the AACP/APhA Steering Committee's Proposed Changes to the Oath of a Pharmacist
As part of the continuously evolving role and duties of the profession of pharmacy, the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) and American Pharmacist Association (APhA) is undertaking an update to the Oath of a Pharmacist. The Oath was originally written and ratified in 1994 as part of the APhA-ASP and AACP-COD Task Force on Professionalism. The code was expanded to include the development of new pharmacists, patient confidentiality, lifelong learning, and community service. Changes were incorporated in 2007 by AACP and ratified by APhA in 2008.
The current Oath of a Pharmacist, while broad in professionalism, development, and excellence, does not highlight the important role and responsibility of the pharmacist to promote health equity and diversity within the profession and its activities. The proposed edits create individual responsibility to build self-awareness, impact care for all patients, and champion diversity and inclusion within pharmacy practice. As a profession, we have continually failed to recruit, matriculate, and graduate pharmacists from historically marginalized racial and ethnic groups. Persons identifying as Black, LatinX, Native American, and Pacific Islander have remained a lower percentage of pharmacy professionals than the US population since data have been tracked in the 1980s. The time to build equity in everything we do is now; this starts with creating individual responsibility among all pharmacists to create change in the system of pharmacy practice.
The PharmGradWishlist (PGWL) leadership and advisory teams strongly support the proposed changes and additions to the Oath of a Pharmacist. We encourage all pharmacists to review the proposals and provide their support and comments to the AACP/APhA steering committee. Additional details and PGWL insights on each statement are available below.
Make your support known here by July 12: AACP Survey
First Revised Statement Proposal:
The PGWL leadership and advisory teams strongly support the addition of "advance health equity" and the change of optimal outcome from "my" to "all" patients. These changes create a clear directive for pharmacists to use our expertise in drug operations, project management, and clinical practice to ensure that all patients receive equitable care. Improving health equity and caring for "all" patients should be considered in decision-making for all aspects of pharmaceutical care. This includes ensuring operations, projects, and care not be directed to an "in-group" but rather for the benefit of all patients.
Second Revised Statement Proposal:
The PGWL leadership and advisory teams strongly support the addition of "self-awareness" to the Oath of a Pharmacist. Professional growth and advancement have been long-standing tenants of the practice of pharmacy, but we have not historically included social growth and reflection on one's own inherent biases. The addition of "self-awareness" highlights the need for continued growth in professional social domains that all practitioners should be undertaking in order to work effectively in teams and positively impact patients.
New Statement Proposal:
The PGWL leadership and advisory teams strongly support the addition of the above new statement in its entirety to the Oath of a Pharmacist. We see the work of building diversity and inclusion in pharmacy as a responsibility of ALL pharmacists that should be included in all decisions. We applaud the use of the verb "champion"--as this sets a standard of leadership and engagement in creating diversity and inclusion--rather than a passive verb. The addition of respecting other perspectives and mitigating personal biases addresses a minimum "professional" conduct standard for pharmacists' interactions with patients and colleagues from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds as well as gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, and other known or potentially minoritized and marginalized groups.
If you have not done so yet, we ask that you please consider responding to this AACP survey with your support of the changes to the Oath of a Pharmacist.
Signed the Pharm Grad Wishlist Leadership and Advisory Team
- Jacinda Abdul-Mutakabbir, PharmD, MPH, AAHIVP
- Britny Brown, PharmD, BCOP
- Betsy Hirsch, PharmD, FCCP
- Caroline L. Ko, PharmD, BCCCP
- Jason Mordino, PharmD, BCCCP
- Ila Saunders, PharmD, BCOP
- Kevin Astle, PharmD, BCPS, AAHIVP
- Aiman Bandali, PharmD, AAHIVP, BCPS, BCIDP
- Brittany Bissell, PharmD, PhD, BCCCP
- Judah Brown, PharmD, BCCCP
- Lindsey Childs-Kean, PharmD, MPH, BCPS