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10 Suggestions to Serve as an Outstanding Advisor
Prepared by the 2007-08 CPFI National Student Council
Thank you for your willingness to serve students as we seek to grow both professionally and spiritually through CPFI involvement!
Educating the Next Generation of Christian Pharmacists
Dr. Jeffrey Copeland
I thoroughly enjoy watching the Olympics. I am captivated by the athletes’ dedication, determination, and precision. Although the individual events are interesting, I find the team events more enjoyable. Each member must work together as one unit in order to earn the gold medal. Teamwork during the baton pass is a critical moment in the track and field relays. If the baton is dropped during the pass, the team is disqualified. Even if the individual team members are the fastest among all other competitors, a dropped baton eliminates the team.
In a similar manner, we are engaged in the baton pass of educating the next generation of Christian pharmacists. We have the wonderful opportunity of participating in preparing current pharmacy students to function as future Christian pharmacists. The critical moment is the passing of the baton from one to another.
The two main divisions of a pharmacy student’s preparation are didactic and experiential. Didactic education occurs in the classroom and laboratory while experiential education occurs in pharmacy practice. Precepting pharmacy students during experiences (internships / rotations) offers an excellent opportunity to pass the baton as the student daily observes a Christian pharmacist in action. According to the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), pharmacy practice experiences should “require active participation and patient care responsibilities, in a progressive fashion, designed to develop the practice skills, judgment, professional behavior, attitudes and values, confidence, and personal responsibility needed for each student to embark on an independent and collaborative practice.” Additionally, one of the desired characteristics of preceptors identified by ACPE is to “practice ethically and with compassion for patients.” Christian pharmacists are well positioned to provide such experiences while displaying desired characteristics.
The Example of Moses
Prior to Israel entering the Promised Land, Moses passed the leadership baton to Joshua. Numbers 27:12-23 details the baton hand-off: “27:12 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go up this mountain of the Abarim range, and see the land I have given to the Israelites. 27:13 When you have seen it, you will be gathered to your ancestors, as Aaron your brother was gathered to his ancestors. 27:14 For in the wilderness of Zin when the community rebelled against me, you rebelled against my command to show me as holy before their eyes over the water – the water of Meribah in Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.” 27:15 Then Moses spoke to the Lord: 27:16 “Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all humankind, appoint a man over the community, 27:17 who will go out before them, and who will come in before them, and who will lead them out, and who will bring them in, so that the community of the Lord may not be like sheep that have no shepherd.” 27:18 The Lord replied to Moses, “Take Joshua son of Nun, a man in whom is such a spirit, and lay your hand on him; 27:19 set him before Eleazar the priest and before the whole community, and commission him publicly. 27:20 Then you must delegate some of your authority to him, so that the whole community of the Israelites will be obedient. 27:21 And he will stand before Eleazar the priest, who will seek counsel for him before the Lord by the decision of the Urim. At his command they will go out, and at his command they will come in, he and all the Israelites with him, the whole community.” 27:22 So Moses did as the Lord commanded him; he took Joshua and set him before Eleazar the priest and before the whole community. 27:23 He laid his hands on him and commissioned him, just as the Lord commanded, by the authority of Moses.”
Moses, in his customary fashion, sought the Lord’s help through prayer in remedying a looming problem. Moses asked God for someone he could “pass the baton” for he was concerned that Israel would be without someone to properly lead them. Are we concerned that there will not be a Christian pharmacist to properly care for our patients, to lead our organizations, to teach others as academicians, to lead as administrators, to direct our hospital pharmacies, our chain pharmacies, or our independent pharmacies, to lead our military and other government pharmacies, to lead the pharmaceutical industry, and/or conduct research? Are we willing to ask God to provide a student that we may mentor to practice pharmacy?
The Lord graciously answered Moses’ request by appointing Joshua. Joshua was to be formally commissioned and publically acknowledged. Prior to the public acknowledgement, Joshua was already learning from Moses while serving as his personal servant (Exodus 24:13; Joshua 1:1). A portion of Moses’ authority was to be given to Joshua while he was still learning from Moses so Israel may begin obeying him. Once the Lord provides a student, are we willing to tutor them as the Lord desires?
The Example of Paul
Paul was entrusted with an enormous scope of practice / ministry. He was a theologian’s theologian as he explained complicated doctrines, a missionary’s missionary as he led three missionary trips and planted numerous churches, a pastor’s pastor as he personally mentored Timothy and Titus, an evangelist’s evangelist as he fearlessly and faithfully proclaimed the Gospel, and an author’s author as he wrote 13 epistles. Paul had a sincere desire to be used by God to positively impact others for the glory of God. Do we have a desire to be used by God to positively impact future pharmacists’ lives and our profession for the glory of God?
A portion of Paul’s activities included serving as Timothy’s and Titus’ mentor. Paul fondly referred to Timothy as “my fellow worker” (Romans 16:21), “my genuine child in the faith” (1 Timothy 1:2), and “my dear child” (2 Timothy 1:2) and to Titus as “my genuine son in the faith (Titus 1:4). Paul willingly gave of himself to Timothy and Titus as they ministered together. Timothy and Titus were Paul’s ministers-in-training. Are we willing to invest in the life of our pharmacists-in-training as Paul invested in Timothy and Titus?
The Example of Christ
Our Lord Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of the teacher. He prepared His disciples for the baton pass by loving (John 3:16, 15:13; 1 John 3:16), praying (John 17), and teaching (Luke 4:14-21). Prior to His ascension into heaven, Christ passed the baton to His disciples initially and then ultimately to all future believers: “28:18 Then Jesus came up and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 28:20 teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age”” (Matthew 28:18-20). The baton is in our hand. Where will we “go” to pass the baton as we follow Christ’s command? Who will we “disciple” to pass the baton as we follow Christ’s command?
A teacher is in a highly influential role. By definition, a preceptor is a teacher. A Christian preceptor is a highly influential person. “A disciple is not greater than his teacher, but everyone when fully trained, will be like his teacher” (Luke 6:40). This statement carries an enormous amount of responsibility for the preceptor. Since a Christian preceptor operates with the goals of glorifying God, presenting the plan of salvation, training in Christ-like character, equipping and training believers for service, and developing a biblical world-view in interns, this statement by Jesus elevates the role and importance of a preceptor. On one hand, there is the possibility of many positive results when the preceptor properly exercises authority. On the other hand, there is the potential for many devastating results when the preceptor abuses authority. “So anyone who breaks one of the least of these commands and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever obeys them and teaches others to do so will be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:19). Are we willing to accept the highly influential role and the great responsibility of a Christian preceptor?
The Christian preceptor is involved in an Incarnational ministry. The Christian preceptor is an ambassador for Christ at all times in all subjects to all interns (2 Corinthians 5:20). Twice the Apostle Paul exhorts the Corinthian believers to imitate him (1 Corinthians 4:16, 11:1). This exhortation is based upon Paul’s imitation of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). The writer of Hebrews exhorted the readers to imitate the faith of those who taught them (Hebrews 13:7). Since the student will imitate his or her preceptor, it is essential for the Christian preceptor to properly and faithfully represent Christ to his or her interns. A preceptor is to precept for the glory of God rather than for selfish profit (1 Corinthians 10:31).
 Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. Accreditation Standards and Guidelines for the Professional Program in Pharmacy Leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy Degree. Appendix C. pg. xii. 2006.
 Ibid, xiv.
 All Scripture quoted from the NET Bible.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, May 01, 2013 11:55 AM|