Poster session offers first-year pharmacy students opportunity to showcase population health findings

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Students in Orlando take a selfie with their poster

First-year pharmacy students are embracing the College of Pharmacy’s new Pharm.D. curriculum in many ways, including a poster session focusing on the health and wellbeing of populations. On Sept. 11, students at all three College of Pharmacy campuses in Gainesville, Jacksonville and Orlando presented more than 40 research posters with findings aimed at improving population health.

Students in the pharmacy and population health course, a new class introduced at the college this fall, were assigned a special population during the first week of class and asked to accomplish the following:

  1. Research the health issues and disparities that are particularly relevant for that special population
  2. Identify the modifiable determinants of those health issues and disparities
  3. Propose a population health improvement program that included a pharmacy or pharmacists to address those determinants and health issues

The special populations researched included a variety of sometimes underserved groups including the homeless, refugees, blind and prisoners. Each student group spent weeks exploring the factors impacting their assigned group and presented their findings before faculty and peers on the last day of the four-week class.

“The course helped students understand the various determinants of health and illness, especially those outside of the health care system such as socioeconomic factors and human behavior,” said Steven Smith, Pharm.D., MPH, BCPS, a clinical assistant professor and director of the pharmacy and population health course. “Many of the teams also worked directly with members of their special population to identify needs, existing programs and infrastructure to build upon to improve population health. The poster project offered students an opportunity to showcase their team’s work in addressing public health situations that patients experience every day and introduced students to the critical role that pharmacists play in improving population health and wellbeing.”

To view photos from the poster sessions, visit: