Hands-On Learning Opportunities

Through direct interaction with patients and collaboration with other health care professionals, practice experiences bring students’ knowledge to life.

Throughout the professional curriculum, during introductory and advanced pharmacy practice experiences, student pharmacists have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with patients and interact with other health professionals to enhance their ability to collaborate on an interprofessional health care team.

Experiential Education

Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences

Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPEs) are required courses designed to introduce students to basic foundational principles in various areas of the pharmacy profession. These experiences will help students relate early curricular content and principles to a variety of practice sites. Students will have IPPEs focused in the following areas:

  • Shadowing Pharmacy Practice
  • Community Pharmacy
  • Clinical Prevention and Population Health
  • Health System Pharmacy
  • Longitudinal Patient Care and Interprofessional Education

These courses take place during the academic year and summer or winter breaks. In total, students complete 300 hours of IPPEs prior to starting their Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs).

Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences

Throughout the Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs) in the last year of the professional curriculum, student pharmacists collaborate with other health professionals as part of interprofessional health care teams.

All student pharmacists complete eight five-week rotations to gain firsthand experience in the following settings:

  • Ambulatory care
  • Acute care-general medicine
  • Community care
  • Health system pharmacy

In each of these settings and in many of their electives/specialty rotations, student pharmacists work closely with others to provide health care services as part of an interprofessional team.

A Commitment to Interprofessional Education

At STLCOP, interprofessional education (IPE) is not only encouraged, it’s expected. Student pharmacists take part in teamwork and relationship-building exercises and other curricular activities that focus on the roles and responsibilities of different health care professions. Interprofessional education initiatives are incorporated throughout the experiential curriculum.

The IPE requirements help students prepare for interprofessional practice, providing the communication and teamwork skills necessary to be effective health care practitioners and improve patient care. Activities rotate on the campuses of STLCOP, Washington University School of Medicine, and Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College, with students of medicine, nursing, and pharmacy assigned to an interprofessional team.

Students from STLCOP, Washington University, and Barnes-Jewish College have also formed the Health Professions Student Leadership Council, an interprofessional student organization that works to recognize the importance of interprofessional collaboration.