A major component of the Pharm.D. curriculum (approximately 30%) is comprised of Experiential Education. This can best be defined as practical experience in a variety of pharmacy settings. Experiential Education, often called "rotations," is the bridge between the classroom and the pharmacy practice environment. During their off site experiences students work with practicing pharmacists or faculty members who are commonly referred to as "preceptors."
Contemporary pharmacy curriculums have two levels of experiential education incorporated over the course of the program: Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPE) and Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPE). During the IPPE program students develop practice skills while during the APPE program they are expected to demonstrate their achievement of the skills needed to be a practicing pharmacist.
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The capstone experience consists of four components (didactic class, APPE rotation, paper and poster) that begins in the spring semester of the P3 and finishes with a poster presentation in the spring of the P4 year. The experience starts with a didactic class in the spring semester P3 year that defines the experience. As part of this class, the students are assigned a five-week APPE capstone rotation block to be completed during their P4 year. During this APPE five week capstone rotation, the student is expected to work on a capstone project and have a rough draft of the final paper ready for the mentor and course coordinator at the end of the rotation. A final paper and poster is due in April of the P4 year.
The capstone project is an independent, research based project that should follow the established guidelines for a research or publishable paper. It is desirable that the student can work on all aspects of a research project which include development of the idea, literature search, collection of data, analysis of the data and an appropriate conclusion based on the results. The project is small in scope so the student is able to spend a minimum of 120 hours from start to finish.
Capstone projects are guided by a pharmacy mentor and the capstone coordinator. Mentors for the project can be preceptors, faculty, employers, or other interested pharmacists. The mentor usually has a project or projects in mind and requires some assistance in getting the project started, maintained or finished. The mentor and student discuss the project. Both the student and mentor then decide on a common goal and if the project is of interest to both parties. General categories for projects include bench research, business plans, clinical services, educational services or other pharmacy-related projects.
Previous poster titles
Poster winners and senior showcase presenters
Capstone Poster Day Photos
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