This is a series of four courses that occurs early in our curriculum, over the first three semesters. Biochemistry, cell biology, the scientific basis of pharmacology, pharmaceutics, medicinal chemistry and pharmacokinetics are included. These courses serve as a scientific foundation for the clinical health-related sciences. These courses are taught primarily by faculty within the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences who are scientists.
Pharmacy and Health Care
This is a series of seven courses that span the first three years of the curriculum. Topics include pharmacy law, management, drug information, biostatistics, and pharmacoeconomics. Moreover, an overview of health systems and payment systems is included. These courses are taught primarily by faculty members with expertise in outcomes research, management, and drug information.
Integrated Organ Sciences
This is a series of eleven courses that span the first three years of the curriculum. The core clinical sciences are included in these courses in an integrated manner. Pharmacotherapy, pathophysiology, medicinal chemistry and pharmacology are simultaneously incorporated into this curricular theme. All of the major disease states are covered in the Integrated Organ Systems courses (e.g. cardiovascular, renal, pulmonary, neurology, endocrinology, etc.). These courses are taught primarily by clinical faculty members form the Department of Clinical Pharmacy who are board certified pharmacotherapy specialists.
These courses expose students to educational philosophy and methodology. Within these courses students gain experience on how to develop an instructional program, including the development of learning objectives, slides and other instructional aids. Students are expected to make small presentations, and eventually a full hour instructional lecture. By the end of these courses, students are well prepared to present a lecture.
This these consists of interdisciplinary courses that is conducted campus wide. Other students from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus (medical, nursing, dental, physical therapy) participate in these two courses. Students are mixed into inter-professional groups and explore ethical dilemmas and topics relevant to health care.
Professional Skills Development
These are five active learning courses that are taught out of the Pharmaceutical Care Learning Center. These courses are called the “skills” courses. Students refine communication skills learn about patient counseling, clinical evaluation of patient cases, over-the-counter medications and products, basic physical assessments, and point of care service tests, in addition to many other things. Standardized patients are used during this course to simulate patient care experiences. Students work within groups during these courses. The content of these courses are closely aligned with the content of other course content occurring at the same time throughout the semester.
This curricular theme is comprised of one course called Comprehensive Patient Care. It is designed to be a capstone that integrates essential core pharmacy practice topics. The philosophy of this course is to facilitate student learning, and holding students accountable for prior learning in an integrated manner using complex patient scenarios. It is designed to mimic clinical experiences encountered during the Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience rotations that occur in the fourth year. There are no lectures or handouts in this course. Student are presented with patient scenarios in the form of medical records and are expected to critically evaluate, prioritize problems and incorporate clinical evidence into their therapeutic recommendations. Students are assessed using both short answer written examinations, and verbal evolutions. These courses are taught primarily by clinical faculty members from the Department of Clinical Pharmacy who are board certified pharmacotherapy specialists.
There are two types of experiential courses, Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPEs) and Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs). The IPPEs occur throughout the first three years. Experiences included in this theme are: service learning activities (conducted with grade school students who are educated by pharmacy students regarding healthy eating habits); over-the-counter medication counseling; basic community pharmacy and hospital pharmacy exposure; provision of immunizations; and shadowing medical practitioners. Of note, all students are required to become certified immunizers (this training is provided within the curriculum) and are required to participate in providing influenza vaccinations during flu clinics thoughout the Denver-Metro area. Reflective writing exercises using a portfolio are expected thought the IPPE courses. The APPE courses occur during the fourth year. These include five required APPEs (two community pharmacy, one ambulatory, one hospital-clinical, one hospital-institutional), and two elective APPEs. Of note, students have the opportunity to have up to two of these APPEs outside of Colorado, including internationally.