Throughout the professional curriculum, during introductory and advanced pharmacy practice experiences, student pharmacists have the opportunity to learn about and interact with other health professionals to enhance their ability to collaborate on an interprofessional health care team. These opportunities include curricular (didactic and experiential) and extracurricular activities.
Interprofessional education is a significant component of the Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience course in the 3rd professional year. Student pharmacists participate in a course with Saint Louis University (SLU) students called Interprofessional Team Seminar. SLU students from medicine, nursing, social work, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and physician assistant programs join with pharmacy students for six 90-minute sessions throughout the year led by interprofessional faculty from these programs. These health professional student groups are exposed to case-based discussions and standardized patients to develop team communication strategies and skills that will improve patient care by enhancing the function of the team.
Throughout the Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences 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 a five-week rotation in each of the following settings: ambulatory care, acute care-general medicine, community care, and 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.
In addition, there are multiple didactic opportunities for interprofessional exposure, including two interprofessional elective offerings, one with Washington University and Goldfarb School of Nursing Nursing in which students work together to educate indigent patients; the other, with SLU, brings students together to develop and implement a program or service for a community organization.
Finally, there is a recognized interprofessional organization on campus, Health Professions Student Leadership Council, which, in collaboration with Washington University and Goldfarb School of Nursing, plans and executes multiple interprofessional events and raises awareness of the importance and functionality of the healthcare team.