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Preceptor and student together in pharmacy

PharmD Program

The Experiential Program

Overview & Introduction

The Skaggs School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences (SSPPS) Experiential Program spans the entire four-year entry level doctor of pharmacy curriculum. The first three years are dedicated to the introductory pharmacy practice experience (IPPE) program. P1 Students begin by exploring community pharmacy practice and engaging in service learning activities, where they practice communication, leadership, and team dynamics skills. Community pharmacy practice continues into year two, while students also begin to explore hospital and health system-based pharmacy practice. The health-system based experience continues through the fall of the P3 year, along with the opportunities for students to work alongside medical providers in medical clinics and ambulatory care settings. The IPPE program culminates with an intensive six-week advanced-IPPE (aIPPE) rotation in the spring semester of the P3 year, with a focus on direct patient care activities. The fourth year of the curriculum is devoted fully to advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPE) rotations which allow the student to apply didactic skills and knowledge to patients in actual practice settings, further honing their skills in order to enter pharmacy practice upon graduation. With each year of the program, students are expected to perform and apply their clinical knowledge with increasing skill and responsibility.

IPPE (P1 Fall – P3 Fall Semesters)

Exploration of pharmacy practice

The IPPE program exposes students to a wide variety of clinical experiences, with the primary focus balanced between community and health system practices.  It also gives students opportunities to provide service learning to elementary school children, participate in health fairs and flu clinics, and participate in interprofessional collaborations. IPPE courses and related activities reinforce content learned in the didactic, laboratory, and simulation environments on campus through a series of short clinical visits across the first five semesters of the curriculum. Each student’s time is balanced between learning from one of the many qualified pharmacist preceptors who partner with the SSPPS, as well as by completing a series of targeted activities, designed to help the students to apply concepts and skills learned within the classroom setting. Students gain further experience by practicing these skills while engaging with actual patients in various pharmacy practice settings.

Advanced-IPPE (P3 Spring Semester)

Application of acquired knowledge and skills

The aIPPE allows the student to engage in clinical practice under the supervision of a preceptor during an extended six-week IPPE experience, mimicking the experience of a fourth-year clinical rotation. Through the aIPPE, students will further develop the professional skills needed to provide patient care, such as engaging with patient care team members, assessing patients’ pharmaceutical care needs, and providing direct patient care. Students will have the opportunity to apply the clinical knowledge of the full SSPPS core curriculum while gaining increased responsibility for patient care.

​The APPE (P4 Year) Program

Delivery of direct patient care

The APPE program consists of a variety of extended pharmacy practice experiences throughout the fourth year. In contrast to the IPPE program, the APPE program allows the student to apply both the professional and technical skills needed to practice pharmaceutical care independently upon graduation. Under the guidance of a preceptor, the student pharmacist will be held accountable for patient care and will engage in various types of professional practice.​