Pharmacy practice experiences are an essential part of the curriculum at WesternU, and account for nearly 45% of the curriculum. The OEE oversees these experiences, and is committed to facilitating the highest quality education for our student pharmacists.
Improving patient care by optimizing the clinical training of student pharmacists
WesternU proudly maintains a reputation for providing quality meaningful experiential learning opportunities for its students that exceed the standards established by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).
Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences
During the first two years of the professional program, student pharmacists participate in Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPE) which integrate guided learning form WesternU faculty members with experiences in real practice environments. This has long been an important part of pharmacy education at WesternU, but with growing emphasis being placed on the experiential aspect of the PharmD curriculum, WesternU expanded its program to cover a broader range of practice experiences.
WesternU student pharmacists will complete ~320 contact hours during their first two professional years, which are designed to develop the technical and professional practice skills needed to be effective in various practice environments. These experiences help ensure success in their advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPE) in the third and fourth years, and in practice beyond graduation. The expansion of the program has meant an increased demand for preceptors for student pharmacists that are in the first two years of the program. Serving as a preceptor for early experiential students can be an excellent stepping stone for advanced practice rotations and can be an extremely rewarding experience.
Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences
The final year and a half of the professional program (P3 and P4 students) is spent completing advanced pharmacy practice experiences: three required rotations (community practice, ambulatory care, acute care), three elective rotations (specialty care or non-patient care), all six weeks in duration, and a “capstone” Advanced Elective rotation, which is 16 weeks in duration. ACPE accreditation standards require 36 weeks of rotations. WesternU requires their graduates to have 52 weeks.
WesternU supports rotation experiences across the country and around the world. An expanding international presence has provided many opportunities for students interested in better understanding global health issues.
It is during the APPEs that student pharmacists have the opportunity to learn and participate in a wide variety of pharmacy practice settings. Often, it is during the APPEs that student pharmacists discover the area of pharmacy practice they wish to enter upon graduation. At the end of this year student pharmacists will have the opportunity to gain specialized skills and knowledge in an area of community pharmacy or in an area of Health-Systems based clinical pharmacy in the 16 week AE Program. This is intended to offer additional training which will provide skills above the standard entry level in the chosen area of pharmacy practice. Tracks offered include Health-Systems Pharmacy, Community Pharmacy Practice, or Community Pharmacy-Entrepreneurial Independent Ownership.
We believe student pharmacists who successfully complete this intensive “capstone” experience will be better positioned for career opportunities and have a competitive advantage when applying for residencies, pharmacist positions, or acquiring/managing a community pharmacy. Each student pharmacist must successfully complete the didactic portion of the curriculum and the six APPE rotations prior to starting their Advanced Elective (unless specific permission is given otherwise).
The WesternU OEE offers a variety of resources to help our preceptors become better teachers.
- University library access, including access drug information resources and clinical research portals (upon appointment of an adjunct faculty title)
- Online Preceptor Development Continuing Education
- Pharmacist Letter Preceptor News Network
- Collaborative Education Institute (accessible through www.e-value.net)
- Ed Scholar’s Experiential Education teaching module
- Live Preceptor Development Continuing Education
- The WesternU OEE holds periodic live continuing education events in The Greater Los Angeles Area, and occasionally in other areas of California
Western University of Health Sciences College of Pharmacy
Office of Experiential Education
309 E 2nd Street, HPC 203
Pomona, CA 91766
Jillian Matzner, Rotations Manager, IPPE-1
Stacy Rye, Administrative Associate I
Letty Ramirez, Director of Rotations (IPPE and AE )
Patricia Carrillo, Director of Rotations (APPE)
James D. Scott, PharmD, FCCP, AAHIVE
Associate Dean for Experiential and Professional Affairs