The Experiential Education component of the Doctor of Pharmacy program is the opportunity for students to step out of the classroom and academic laboratory and into a variety of real-world practice settings, putting the knowledge they have gained to use in hands-on pharmacy practice experiences.
These practice experiences, also known as rotations, make up 30% of the pharmacy student’s curriculum.
These experiences not only expand students' knowledge of pharmacy, but often lead to job opportunities after graduation.
Practice sites include community pharmacies, hospitals, ambulatory care clinics, research laboratories, managed care facilities, academia, government agencies and the pharmaceutical industry.
Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPEs)
Each pharmacy student is required to complete four (4) rotations which total eight (8) credits and 320 hours. All IPPE requirements must be met prior to beginning APPEs.
Community Pharmacy IPPE (three weeks)
Under the direct supervision of a registered pharmacist, students will demonstrate proficiencies in a skill set that includes: dispensing prescriptions, utilizing patient profiles, monitoring drug interactions, pharmacy operations, and basic communication with patients and physicians. This IPPE is scheduled following the first professional year (P1).
Health and Wellness IPPE (one week)
Formerly titled the Public Health IPPE, this course will give students the opportunity to promote the availability of preventive and wellness programs within a targeted population, participate in the review of public health policy, provide a community service, or apply research processes and quality improvement strategies to the provision, development, or analysis of preventive and wellness programs. This IPPE is scheduled in the second semester of the first professional year (P1) or in the summer following the student's P1 year.
Institutional IPPE (three weeks)
This course is designed to introduce students to hospital pharmacy practice. Students will be introduced to distributive and clinical functions including review and evaluation of medication orders, identification and resolution of medication related problems, interactions with non-pharmacy departments, observation of the order entry process and preparation of sterile products, performing patient-specific calculations necessary for dosing medications, and presenting a patient case or disease topic. This IPPE is scheduled in the summer following the second professional year (P2).
Team-Based Care IPPE (one week)
Formerly titled the Patient Assessment IPPE, this course will expose students to the basic day-to-day operations of an outpatient care setting. Students will gather and organize information from patient medical charts, conduct patient interviews to obtain an accurate medication history, present a patient case in a structured format (e.g., SOAP note), and prepare responses to drug information inquiries. This IPPE is scheduled in the summer following the second professional year (P2).
Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs)
APPEs are subdivided into modules. They begin each May and continue through May of the following year. One week of an APPE is equal to one semester hour of academic credit.
Each student is required to complete 42 weeks (42 credits). APPEs are scheduled by the College and typically require the student to be at the practice site at least eight hours daily.
Each student must successfully complete five (5) core rotations and two (2) elective rotations.
Required Core APPEs
Students must complete each of these rotations for a total of 30 credits. All required core rotations must be completed in the United States (in accordance with ACPE Standard 14.5).
- Community Pharmacy (six weeks)
- Ambulatory Care (six weeks) *
- Institutional Pharmacy Operations (six weeks)
- Inpatient Care (six weeks) *
- Flexible Core (six weeks) - Students select a second rotation from core categories 1-4 as listed above.
* Inpatient Care and Ambulatory Care rotations are direct patient care rotations in settings including but not limited to: anticoagulation; critical care; diabetes/endocrinology; emergency medicine/toxicology; family practice; gastroenterology; geriatrics; hematology/oncology; HIV pharmacotherapy; homecare; infectious diseases; internal medicine; nephrology; neurology; nutrition; pain management; pediatrics; primary care; and psychiatry.
Students must choose two elective rotations from the below categories to complete their APPE requirements. Each rotation is six weeks in length and six (6) academic credits. Elective APPEs may be completed outside of the U.S.
Elective options include: Compounding; Drug Programs Management; Governmental Affairs/Regulatory; Health Information Management; Home Infusion Pharmacotherapy; International Pharmacy; Long-term Care; Medication Safety; Military Pharmacy; Nuclear Pharmacy; Pharmaceutical Industry; Pharmacogenomics; Pharmacy Administration; Pharmacy Association Management; Pharmacy Education and Research, and many others.
Non-Academic Requirements for IPPEs and APPEs
Prior to APPEs, students must have successfully completed their IPPE requirements.
Prior to IPPEs and APPEs, students must have the following:
- A copy of personal immunization records, which will be on file at the College (in the event a site requests to see them).
- Proof of a recent physical exam (recommended to be performed approximately two weeks prior to the start of rotations, so that it remains valid through the duration of APPEs) - Students will be provided with appropriate forms to complete.
- Tuberculosis Screening test (PPD skin test or IGRA blood test) - Students must provide medical documentation showing results of a negative TB skin or blood test, or chest x-ray report following a positive test result. The Division of Experiential Education will provide further details closer to APPEs.
- CPR or Basic Life Support Certification, valid for the duration of APPE rotations
- Seasonal influenza (flu) vaccination
Some clinical sites may have their own requirements as well, including a criminal background check, an antibody titer (laboratory blood test, which indicates proof of immunity, as opposed to providing proof of having received the vaccine), etc.
Specific requirements, if any, would be noted in the rotation site’s record within the CoreELMS database, and would be communicated to the appropriate students via email in advance of the rotation by Experiential Education staff.
Institutions hosting experiential education may deny a student’s participation in the experiential program because of the inability to produce an appropriate health clearance, which could result in delayed graduation or in the inability to graduate from the program.
Notice of Background Check
Rotation sites may deny a student's participation in the experiential program because of a felony or misdemeanor conviction, failure of a required drug test, or inability to produce an appropriate health clearance, which would result in delayed graduation or in the inability to graduate from the program.
Because institutions hosting experiential education may require a criminal background check in order to permit students in their facility, the College will conduct background checks on all students entering clerkship, using the Health and Human Services/Office of Inspector General (HHS OIG) database.
The goal of the HHS OIG background check web site is to identify individuals and businesses excluded from Federally funded health care programs. This includes individuals convicted of fraud related to the federal programs, patient abuse, licensing board actions and default on health education assistance loans.
If a student is identified via use of this database, the matter is referred to the Executive Committee of ACPHS for action.