Biochemistry and pathophysiology instruction in U.S. colleges and schools of pharmacy: Faculty and course characteristics and faculty perceptions of student preparedness

Academic Article


  • Objectives: To describe biochemistry and physiology/pathophysiology instruction in both the prepharmacy and Doctor of Pharmacy curricula, including faculty and course characteristics and faculty members' perceived preparedness of incoming pharmacy students in these content areas. Methods: A 20-item online questionnaire was developed and sent to the Dean at 95 colleges and schools of pharmacy in the United States. Data were analyzed via SurveyMonkey and Excel using descriptive statistics. Results: Based on a 42.1% response, the primary andragogy used to deliver both content areas was lecture (84.4% for biochemistry; 74.4% for pathophysiology). Pathophysiology was more likely to be taught in an integrated format with other course content than was biochemistry (47.5% vs. 20.0%, respectively). Pathophysiology tended to be taught by a larger number of faculty than biochemistry and to involve more faculty with a terminal PharmD degree (40.8% in pathophysiology vs. only 4.8% in biochemistry). Approximately one third of respondents perceived that incoming pharmacy students had an adequate foundation in physiology (35.1%) or biochemistry (30.8%) to succeed in the professional curriculum. Conclusions: Almost two thirds of entering pharmacy students were perceived by faculty to be inadequately prepared in two crucial areas of the basic sciences. Pharmacy prerequisites need to be reviewed by Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education and American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy with consideration given to standardizing basic science prerequisites across all preprofessional programs. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Cruthirds D; Cretton-Scott E; Wilborn T; Monk-Tutor M; Nelson A
  • Start Page

  • 137
  • End Page

  • 147
  • Volume

  • 3
  • Issue

  • 2