The University of Florida College of Pharmacy Office of Experiential Programs administers the experiential component for the entry level Pharm.D. curriculum, as well as the collection of practice hours to prepare students for licensure. There are three basic types of experiences that are part of the program:
Internship is the global term encompassing all experiences gained by persons who are registered for pharmacy school or who have graduated pharmacy school, but are not yet licensed. Internships are practice experiences under the direct supervision of a pharmacist to ensure the student has had adequate real world experiences prior to graduation. Interns in the state of Florida must have an internship license from the Board of Pharmacy. This license can only be issued to graduates, or students who are currently registered in a pharmacy school. Internship positions are not assigned by the College. Internship preceptors are not registered by the College, but are recorded through the Office of Experiential Programs for students in case they need the documentation.
The internship program for the state of Florida has changed as of January 2001. A student who has graduated from an accredited college of pharmacy in the US no longer needs to have any additional hours outside of their course work. The experience they gain from their Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPEs) and Advanced Practice Experiences (APPEs) is deemed sufficient.
Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPE I-IV)
IPPE I and II
IPPE I and II are introductory practice experiences for first professional year pharmacy students. The focus of the course is to introduce students to the profession, the concepts of public health and patient care, and the skills necessary to begin practice in a community pharmacy setting. Students are required to participate in a longitudinal patient care experience, community health screenings, shadowing of an APPE student, attendance of a Board of Pharmacy meeting, community service hours, and a structured experience in a community pharmacy under the supervision of a pharmacist preceptor where they demonstrate competency in basic community pharmacy practice skills. Students are also required to reflect on these experiences and how their educational opportunities will affect their future practice.
Preceptors for IPPE I and II typically work with a group of 3 to 5 students over the course of a year and focus on providing the community health screening opportunities and longitudinal patient opportunities for their students.
IPPE III and IV
IPPE III and IV are introductory practice experiences for second professional year pharmacy students. Students in IPPE III are required to participate in in a setting that allows them to practice Medication Histories/Medication Reconciliation as their first step in seeing the how pharmacotherapy data gathering, problem solving and educational techniques are used in practice. Students in IPPE IV participate in a structured experience in a hospital pharmacy under the supervision of a pharmacist preceptor where they demonstrate competency in basic hospital pharmacy practice skills. During the course of the year student must also participate in community service and attend a Board of Pharmacy meeting.
Preceptors for IPPE III and IV typically work with a group of 3 to 5 students over the course of a semester to supervise the medication history/medication reconciliation activities, or with 1 student at a time to supervise the hospital portion of the experience.
Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs)
Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs) are offered in the final year of the College of Pharmacy curriculum and allow students to apply their knowledge and skills in a real-world practice setting under the supervision of a preceptor. APPEs encompass all aspects of patient care including drug distribution, formulation, pharmacotherapy, outcomes management, etc. APPEs are typically based on a 4-week, 40 hours per week schedule as a minimum. Most APPEs will require significantly more time per week than this depending on the setting. Nine APPEs are required for the Pharm.D. degree. Pharm.D. students have five required APPEs and four elective APPEs. Elective rotations can be chosen from any available APPEs. The five required APPEs are:
- Ambulatory Care (8 weeks)
- Hospital Practice
- Adult Medicine (8 weeks)
- Community Practice,
- Specialty Patient Care (Pediatrics, Geriatrics, Oncology, Critical Care, HIV, Hospice, Neonatology, Nephrology OB/GYN, Psychiatry, Transplant )
APPEs differ from the basic internship experiences and IPPE experiences in that an emphasis is placed on patient care and pharmacotherapeutic intervention on behalf of the patient. These experiences are monitored very closely and student performance is assessed by the instructor via the SUCCESS online evaluation system. The student is given a grade based on their performance, willingness to learn, and professional behavior.
Preceptors for APPEs typically work with 1 or 2 students at a time (or more a team-based approach is used) and provide patient care opportunities depending on their practice site and patient base.