Using a Mock Board of Pharmacy Disciplinary Hearing to Teach Concepts Related to Administrative Law, Addiction, Empathy, and Professionalism

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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The purpose of this project was to impact pharmacy students' personal and professional development through simulation of a board of pharmacy disciplinary hearing regarding addiction. EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITY AND SETTING: The mock board hearing was conducted as part of the required curriculum. Faculty obtained materials from a prior board hearing. The actual respondent, lawyer, former executive director, and a board agent participated. Students served as board members and president, asked questions of the witnesses, and deliberated per board procedure. After the event, student learning and perceptions were assessed through knowledge-based, opinion-based questions, and open-ended questions. FINDINGS: Of the 141 students who attended the event, 97% completed the assessment. The average score on the knowledge-based questions was 95%. Ratings of perceptions and reflections of the experience were used in tandem to understand the experience. In general, students indicated the experience was positive and impactful towards their education. Students indicated they felt that the experience allowed them to better understand addiction and empathize with someone called before the board. In fact, there were fundamental differences in perceptions regarding the "addicted person," going from a penalizing and stigmatized perspective to one of caring and compassion. SUMMARY: Students were knowledgeable about the board and its regulatory process after the event. More than knowledge, students indicated fundamental changes in their views of addiction. Other institutions may consider implementing similar exercises to engender empathy and professionalism regarding drug addiction and regulatory compliance.

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