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2014 Friend of Pharmacy: Dr. Andrew Cave

Dr. Andrew Cave

Dr. Andrew Cave
Family physician and professor, Department of Family Medicine
Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, U of A; Edmonton

Dr. Andrew Cave is a physician, researcher, and professor at the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Alberta. For the first 18 years of his practice, he worked as part of a primary care team in rural England; that defined how he views healthcare relationships. He believes that when healthcare professionals “work together, rather than separately, everyone wins and the patients receive even better care.”
 
Much of Dr. Cave’s research focuses on multidisciplinary teams in primary care. In the SCRIP study, he collaborated with pharmacists to study the effect of community pharmacist intervention on cholesterol risk management in high-risk cardiovascular patients. The study demonstrated the value of community pharmacists to patients and physicians in primary care.
 
His work with the practice enhancement program (PEP) and Pharmaceutical Care Research and Education Projects (PREP), enabled community pharmacists to acquire the skills and knowledge to provide pharmaceutical care to elderly patients.
 
For the past two decades, Dr. Cave and pharmacist partners have also collaborated on asthma- and COPD-related projects, evaluated the role of the pharmacist in providing education to medical residents, and studied the role of clinical pharmacists in a family physicians office.
 
Dr. Cave has also provided research opportunities and mentoring for pharmacy students. Through his support, students come to see the potential impact study results can have on improving patient care and the value of evidence-based care.
 
Dr. Cave considers it a pleasure to work with pharmacists and is extremely supportive of the expanded scope of practice. He really appreciates working with pharmacists who take initiative and behave like equals. Adapting prescriptions when needed or re-evaluating prescriptions based on patient information allows, “both the physician and the pharmacist to look out for the patient, allowing them to receive better care.”
 
Dr. Cave strongly believes in the importance of interdisciplinary collaborative practice and offers this advice on how to accomplish it. ”Get to know your colleagues on a personal level. Learn about their background, education and expertise; gain an understanding of one another’s skills. This will help build continuity and will allow you to practice as a team. Remember to consider everyone you work with a resource when looking after the patient.”