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Board of Regents CommentaryQualifications of Pharmacists Who Provide Direct Patient Care: Perspectives on the Need for Residency Training and Board Certification


  • American College of Clinical Pharmacy

  • This document was prepared by the 2013 ACCP Board of Regents: Curtis E. Haas, Gary C. Yee, Lawrence J. Cohen, Krystal K. Haase, Bradley G. Phillips, Elizabeth Farrington, Suzanne A. Nesbit, Edith A. Nutescu, Jo E. Rodgers, Terry L. Schwinghammer, and Terry L. Seaton. Approved by the American College of Clinical Pharmacy Board of Regents on February 6, 2013.

Address for correspondence: Michael S. Maddux, 13000 W. 87th St. Parkway, Suite 100, Lenexa, KS 66215; e-mail:


In 2006, the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) released a position statement and a white paper to provide the College's viewpoints on the importance of postgraduate pharmacy residency training as a prerequisite for direct patient care practice and the vision that future clinical pharmacists engaged in direct patient care would be certified by the Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS). Since the release of these papers, some members of the pharmacy profession have interpreted ACCP's position as maintaining that all pharmacists—regardless of the focus of their professional practice activities—should complete formal postgraduate residency training and be board-certified specialists. That interpretation is not accurate. In this commentary, ACCP further defines “direct patient care” and states that it believes that clinical pharmacists engaged in direct patient care should be board certified (i.e., and residency-trained or otherwise board eligible) and have established a valid collaborative drug therapy management (CDTM) agreement or have been formally granted clinical privileges. The rationale for this viewpoint is presented in detail. The pharmacy profession has appropriately invested substantial resources to ensure the quality of its accredited residency training programs and board certification processes. ACCP believes that these training and certification programs are essential steps in preparing clinical pharmacists to provide direct patient care.