The experiential curriculum at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Pharmacy offers a diversity of quality experiences for students in all academic years of the professional program. Students are assigned to four different regions to complete their rotations, Abilene, Amarillo, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Lubbock. Students spend their first two years learning about different pharmacy careers, completing community service activities, participating in health screenings and other patient care events, and begin the process of lifelong learning through the art of reflection. As student’s progress to their 3rd professional year they complete (4) Introductory to Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) six-week rotations entitled inpatient clinical skills, ambulatory clinical skills, hospital, and community. Students report to rotation for ½ day (Monday – Thursday) during each of the six weeks. Each of these rotations is designed to prepare students for their advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs) in their 4th year. In the fourth and final year of the program students are required to complete (8) six-week rotations. These rotations are full days (Monday – Friday). All students are required to complete a Geriatrics, Pediatrics, Medicine, Ambulatory Care, Rural Community, and Advanced Hospital rotation. The remaining two rotations are electives of the student’s choice. In all, students complete more than 2,400 experiential hours during their four year career. These experiences are performed under a combination of adjunct and full time faculty preceptors. In many cases, IPPE students are paired with APPE students for their six-week experiences to take advantage of peer teaching opportunities.
Aside from managing the experiential curriculum, the Office of Experiential Programs is also responsible for the development and delivery of innovative preceptor continuing education programming. The Office regularly offers both online and live programs to their preceptors and recently embarked on a new initiative that has received national recognition. This Preceptor Mini-Series concept allows preceptors to watch entertaining video scenarios of students-preceptors in challenging experiential rotation situations. I invite you to peruse our website and see some of the great things we have going on with our institution. We are proud of our program but through our quality assurance initiatives are always trying to find new and innovative ways to continue to enhance the effectiveness of our experiential program!
Craig D. Cox, PharmD, FCCP, BCPS