2015_ellisWelcome to the first edition of the BPS Leadership Blog. This blog will offer news and insights from members of the BPS Board of Directors on various issues related to the Board Certification of Pharmacists. This blog will be published at least twelve times each year but to make sure you don’t miss an issue or other important BPS news, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bpsweb

The New Year

It is appropriate that this first blog is published in January as I find the new year to be an exciting time. January 1 is exciting for me because in many ways it marks a new chapter in my personal and professional life. I am energized by the many possibilities that are ahead and am eager to start living out the adventure. Abraham Lincoln was quoted as saying, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” To me Lincoln’s quote is really empowering and probably helps sum up why I enjoy the new year.

BPS enters 2015 which a tremendous amount of positive momentum, energized by surpassing 20,000 BPS Board Certified Pharmacists as we concluded the 2014 exam cycle. I look forward to working to continue this growth, not just for the sake of growth but because the growth demonstrates that BPS credentials are sought by an increasing number of pharmacists and recognized by employers around the globe. The growing acceptance and recognition of BPS Board Certification is certainly exciting and a tribute to those pharmacists who have worked very hard to achieve this credential and uphold a very high standard of practice.

One highpoint for BPS in 2015 is sure to be the first administration of the Pediatric and Critical Care Pharmacy Specialty Examinations. The enthusiasm for board certification by those pharmacists who practice in these areas has been evident and I look forward to recognizing the very first group of pharmacists who attain the designation of Board Certified Critical Care Pharmacist (BCCCP) or Board Certified Pediatric Pharmacy Specialist (BCPPPS).

Another chapter to be written in 2015 involves the review and evaluation of the BPS Specialty Certification Framework. We invited anyone who wished to comment on this issue to complete a survey this past summer and we received over two hundred responses. In the BPS Specialty Framework Discussion Paper we looked at models from medicine and nursing to learn from them not necessarily to copy their framework. We also proposed a model for sub-specialties and this was meant to be a starting point for discussion and should not be construed that a decision has already been made. We also had tremendous dialogue with many BPS stakeholders including our colleagues in medicine and nursing at a meeting held on November 17, 2014. The purpose of the discussion paper, surveys and stakeholder meetings is to decide on a framework that will meet current needs of patients, pharmacists and employers but be flexible enough to accommodate changes in the healthcare system and the evolving role of pharmacist specialists to provide patient care. It is very possible that at the end of these discussions we may decide that the current framework is adequate and we will agree to periodically revaluate if the framework needs to be adjusted. The overwhelming sentiment to date has been that BPS should take the time needed to decide on a framework that will stand the test of time. I believe it is important to say that BPS is committed to growing specialties as the profession evolves and the framework discussion is meant to help chart the course as to how that growth will take place.

These are just a few of the things I am very excited about in 2015. I hope this year is a great one for you personally and professionally and on matters related to pharmacist board certification I look forward to working with you not to predict the future but to create a future that everyone can be proud of.

William M. Ellis, RPh, MS
Executive Director
Board of Pharmacy Specialties