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Pharmacy school organization updates new pharmacist oath to include commitment to diversity, ‘antiracism’

An organization representing college pharmacy schools and a group representing pharmacists have passed an update to their Oath of a Pharmacist, requiring new members to commit to “diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism.”

The changes were recommended by both the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Board of Directors and the American Pharmacists Association Board of Trustees and were finalized in November.

The organizations will hold a profession-wide virtual event in early 2022 for pharmacists, faculty members, pharmacy students, and others to reaffirm the new oath. Further, the new oath will be used for all Spring 2022 pharmacy school commencement ceremonies.

“The joint committee led a critical charge of boldly expanding our professional oath to include the necessary elements of equity, inclusion, and diversity,” said Lakesha Butler, director of diversity, equity and inclusion at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy in a statement.

“The revised oath charges all pharmacists to take an active responsibility in promoting health equity and commit to being change agents in the system of pharmacy practice and beyond.”

The Oath of a Pharmacist was first developed in 1983, and was revised in 1994 and 2007. In 2021, the Oath Revision Steering Committee held a number of hearings regarding amending the oath to include the diversity component.

“The Oath of a Pharmacist is intended to be both a fluid and long-lasting representation of pharmacists and student pharmacists’ dedication toward our profession and patients,” said Juan Rodriguez, APhA–ASP National President and student pharmacist at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Pharmacy.

“Our collective efforts in recognizing and leading this change is a proud moment for the entire profession.”

The new Oath of a Pharmacist reads:

I promise to devote myself to a lifetime of service to others through the profession of pharmacy.

In fulfilling this vow:

I will consider the welfare of humanity and relief of suffering my primary concerns.

I will promote inclusion, embrace diversity, and advocate for justice to advance health equity.

I will apply my knowledge, experience, and skills to the best of my ability to assure optimal outcomes for all patients.

I will respect and protect all personal and health information entrusted to me.

I will accept the responsibility to improve my professional knowledge, expertise, and self-awareness.

I will hold myself and my colleagues to the highest principles of our profession’s moral, ethical and legal conduct.

I will embrace and advocate changes that improve patient care.

I will utilize my knowledge, skills, experiences, and values to prepare the next generation of pharmacists.

I take these vows voluntarily with the full realization of the responsibility with which I am entrusted by the public.

Read more here.

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