by 2022 BPS Board of Directors Chair
Marianne F. Ivey, PharmD, MPH, FASHP, FFIP
The Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS) had an impressive year of growth and leadership in advancing pharmacy through board certification in 2022. As the chair of the board of directors, I have been privileged to work with a dedicated, smart, and experienced board who have been thoughtful in addressing feedback from colleagues who pursue and maintain board certification. The board has enjoyed the collaboration of pharmacist leaders serving on the specialty councils, who are experts in each of the 14 specialties recognized by BPS. Volunteer leaders are key to the peer-reviewed and peer-developed nature of specialty certification examinations.
The number of BPS-recognized specialty areas continues to increase, with the most recent specialty in Emergency Medicine Pharmacy (BCEMP) gearing up to administer its first examination in April/May of 2023. Additional specialties are in the petition/review process including pain management pharmacy and a board-approved job analysis in pharmacoinformatics, which is the first step in recognizing a new specialty. It’s important to note that insight into new or growing pharmacy practice areas comes from our pharmacy colleagues who request BPS to review a specialty area. These requests are addressed expeditiously, continuing the pharmacist-driven nature of BPS board certification.
Leadership from the board and specialty councils has resulted in several important changes in 2022, including an increase in the size of specialty councils to better reflect the community of pharmacists within that specialty. Stimulated by the COVID-19 pandemic, when pharmacy practitioners were needed by their patients and examination sites were limited, the board approved the continued opportunity for pharmacists to take exams through live remote proctoring (LRP) in select areas when needed. Additionally, starting in 2023, some specialty examinations will transition to continuously available testing, in which eligible candidates may schedule their exam for any available session within a year rather than only during the twice-annual examination windows. Cardiology Pharmacy, Nuclear Pharmacy, and Psychiatric Pharmacy will begin offering continuous testing in April 2023 and Oncology Pharmacy will begin in August 2023, with BPS working to transition more specialty certifications to adopt this model in the years to come.
Recertification has also been improved by harmonizing all specialties to 100 recertification units over seven years under the recertification by professional development program option. This change will apply to any new (initial or subsequent) recertification cycle year beginning in 2024 and beyond. BPS will continue recognizing recertification by examination as a recertification option, in addition to continuing with a modified CE option as well. BPS will be one of the first pharmacy organizations to pilot a Continuous Professional Development (CPD) framework for new recertification cycles starting in 2024, with more information coming in 2023. The BPS team and volunteer leadership have aided in the curation of this opportunity, displaying true leadership in assuring competency of board-certified pharmacy specialists.
I’d like to recognize the BPS ambassadors, subject matter experts, and staff who have contributed their time and expertise this year. Their thoughtful, informative, and patient-centered service provides great examples of caring. Many of our volunteer leaders have shared perspectives from the communities they are passionate about, including mental health care, LGBTQ+ community care, and others. Finally, thank you to all of the BPS committees and councils who push the organization to represent board-certified pharmacists in the best way possible. We’ve met the goals of our strategic plan and it’s been an important year for BPS – thank you to everyone involved in making this happen!
While my term as the chair of BPS will be completed at the end of December 2022, I look forward to working with our 2023 chair, Ruth Nemire and chair-elect Cyrine Haidar, in guiding BPS in the new year.