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Azita Alipour, PharmD, BCPP

Almost a decade ago, I joined CPNP as a resident excited to explore the vast wealth of information available on the website and to meet like-minded clinical pharmacists. Reviewing the website, I found great references suggested by fellow members to purchase as desk references. The Mental Health Clinician, Psychiatric Pharmacotherapy Review Book, and the presentations available in CPNP University, are all resources that have helped me develop professionally. Seeing the value in membership motivated me not only to continue my membership, but to also become a more active member. By becoming more involved, I have worked with others to contribute to available resources of potential value to new practitioners and residents, including the CPNP communities and the New Practitioner Hub.    

CPNP Communities 

As a co-leader for the CPNP Geriatric Psychopharmacotherapy Community, I was there from the beginning in 2014 when the communities were launched. The nine CPNP communities currently available provide a venue for members to network and collaborate with colleagues with similar interests, engage in online discussions, and share resources.

  • Geriatric Psychopharmacotherapy Community
  • Managed Care Pharmacy Practice Community
  • Patient Care Practice Management (PCPM) Community
  • Patient Medication Education Groups (PMEG) Community
  • Psychiatry Residents Community
  • Research Community
  • Residency Program Directors (RPD) Community
  • Substance Use Disorders Strategies (SUDS) Community
  • Teaching Community

You can sign up for any of the CPNP communities by going to the CPNP homepage → Click on “Member Center” tab at top of page → Click on “Communities” on the dropdown→ Click on “Join Communities or Manage your Preferences”

Lunch and Learn Webinars

In addition to e-mail discussions and informal networking calls, the communities have formal presentations planned throughout the year as weekly “lunch and learn” webinars (all calls are archived here as well). There is a lot of planning and coordination done by the community leaders to assure these presentations are of value to the membership. For example, the recent webinar “Geriatrics from A (Assessment) to T (Transitions of Care)” was a topic identified as of interest to members at the CPNP Annual Meeting Community Gathering last year and the community leader worked hard to identify pharmacists in the field who could bring value as presenters for the webinar.

CPNP Annual Meeting Community Gatherings

Each community hosts an in-person gathering at the CPNP Annual Meeting (April 24 in 2017). This is a great opportunity to network and learn from members with similar practices and interests. For example at CPNP 2016, the Geriatric Psychopharmacotherapy Community had a lively discussion about multiple topics, including treatment of behavioral disturbances in the elderly which was well attended with a mixture of residents, new practitioners, and “seasoned” psychiatric clinical pharmacists sharing experiences from their practice sites.   

Shared Resources

Also of value are the shared resources made available by each community. I recently transitioned from an ambulatory outpatient to acute care inpatient psychiatric pharmacy practice. Running inpatient medication education groups was something I hadn’t done since residency. I reviewed the shared resources from the Patient Medication Education Groups Community and found a number of great ideas/resources for my groups. These range from a “medication pop quiz” to a Jeopardy Board, which have been very well received by patients in my groups.

New Practitioner Hub

Are you a new practitioner looking for resources to help transition into your new role? The New Practitioner Hub provides links to CPNP resources/information in one site, which includes job and residency opportunities, professional development (i.e., opportunities for involvement, BCPP preparation), and practice development including recommended books and references.

One helpful resource compiled by your peers is The Neuropsychiatric Resources for the New Practitioner document which provides valuable information for new practitioners on topics such as landmark trials and links to resources based on questions psychiatric pharmacy specialists frequently receive. For example, a frequent question I have received in practice is regarding different psychotropics and concern for QT interval prolongation and this documents list of shared resources has been invaluable in relation to this need in my practice. I love the section on Major Clinical Trials in Psychiatry not only for my own use but for assigning reading to residents or students to prepare for topic discussions based on landmark trials.

Another incredibly valuable resource is the Treatment Guidelines document which collates the different treatment guidelines available for psychiatric disease states, including Schizophrenia, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Sleep-Wake Disorders, Anxiety and Related Disorders, Seizure Disorders and Medication-Induced Movement Disorders.

Although this barely scratches the service of all of the available information available at cpnp.org, tap into the above described resources and the vast universe of other available resources as you seek to grow professionally, network, and build your practice. It’s like having a mentor by your side at all times.

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25 Years!