Forces driving change in pharmacy education: Opportunities to take academic, social, technological, economic, and political into the future
In pharmacy education, we are experiencing the “new normal” after an “inflection point” along with a host of other overused phrases. Yet, without doubt, there is pressing need to reconsider what was once standard operating procedure. When an inflection point is viewed as opportunity, it sparks a strategic boom. Indeed, the confluence of threats and opportunities caused—or revealed—by the COVID-19 pandemic is setting the stage for an acceleration of change in professional education. In this paper, we investigate the motivations and approaches to accelerate needed change in pharmacy education. Though prompted by the demand for rapid restructuring in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, these ideas transcend any one driver. We argue that now is the time to disrupt current practices through innovation leading to new educational models and present sample solutions. We consider academic, social, technological, economic, and political (ASTEP) forces driving the imperative to educational change.