Frequently Asked Questions - Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE)

Background Information

Course Policies

Absence Policies

PEMS (Pharmacy Education Management System)

Other questions

What is an APPE?

APPE is an acronym for Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience. The APPE program is for 6th year Pharm D candidates and consists of eight 5 week rotations. Within these eight rotations, there are five core required rotations that are to be completed within the current Philadelphia College of Pharmacy (PCP) network. Three additional non-core rotations may be done within or outside of the current PCP network.

The APPE rotations are offered throughout the year in 5-week long rotations (200 contact hours). Students will be assigned to 8 of the 9 available rotation periods identified on the Master Assignment Schedule. A copy of the Master Assignment Schedule is provided to 5th year students during their fall semester. The availability of specific facilities may vary from semester to semester.

The Advanced Pharmacy Experience rotations are each considered laboratory courses that require a minimum of 200 attendance hours. Forty attendance hours per week for 5 weeks are expected to ensure the successful completion of each specific rotation. Some preceptors may require a weekend or evening commitment. Preceptors will verify student attendance.

Rotation objectives, task lists, and the evaluation parameters, provide a structure for learning in core rotation areas. For non-core elective rotations the preceptor will define student tasks and responsibilities unique to the setting. Students participate in the schedule assignment process by identifying their unique experience interests. Students receive 40 academic credits and up to 1600 hours of State Board approved internship credit for successful completion of the course series. Students shall not receive compensation in any form, from any preceptor or facility, for their participation in these courses.

Can you briefly describe the five core APPE rotation requirements?

  1. General Medicine (MED):

    Taking place on adult internal medicine services located in acute care hospitals, this experience emphasizes primary patient care using a case-management approach, to include: patient data collection, organization, and assessment; development of plans that respond to desired therapeutic objectives; patient monitoring to include physical and laboratory assessment; communication with patients (and care givers) to acquire patient data, asses target outcomes, and provide education; communication with prescribers, and other health care providers, to seek clarification and provide observations and recommendations consistent with the care plan; and provision of drug information to health care professionals in the hospital.

  2. Acute Patient Care (APC):

    Taking place on a variety of inpatient services located in acute care hospitals, this experience emphasizes primary patient care using a case management approach with activities that resemble the General Medicine rotation. Service options include: Bone Marrow Transplant, Cardiac Care Unit, General Medicine, Heart Failure Unit (requires CCU in advance), Hematology/Oncology, Infectious Disease, Medical Intensive Care Unit, Neurosurgical ICU Organ Transplantation, Pediatrics, and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (both require Pediatrics in advance). Actual availability of specialty options varies from year to year.

  3. Ambulatory Care (AMB):

    Offered in a variety of ambulatory care settings, to include clinics and physician office practices, this experience emphasizes primary care using a case management approach with an out-patient population, to include: patient data collection, organization, and assessment; development of care plans that correspond to desired therapeutic objectives; patient monitoring, to include physical and laboratory assessment; communication with patients (and care givers) to acquire patient data, assess target outcomes and provide education and communication with prescribers, and other health care providers to optimize outcomes. Provision of preventive health education and screening services is expected in most settings.

  4. Community Pharmacy (COM):

    Taking place in community pharmacy services, this experience emphasizes a wide range of exposures, to include: prescription dispensing and OTC selection; patient communication and education; communication with prescribers and other health care providers; and pertinent management activities. Building upon previous internship experiences, assignments will be made to facilities that can provide the greatest degree of new and unique exposure for a particular student.

  5. Hospital Pharmacy Practice (HPP):

    Taking place in hospital-based pharmacy services, this experience emphasizes administrative and pharmacy service functions, to include: drug distribution; DUE.; ADR reporting, formulary review and amendment; cost containment outcome assessment; quality assurance; inventory control; and maintenance of mandated pharmacy records. Building upon previous internship experiences, assignments will be made to facilities that can provide the greatest degree of new and unique exposure for a particular student.

Can you briefly describe the non- core APPE rotation requirements?

  1. Patient Care Elective (PCE):

    These non-core experiences provide for individualization, to respond to unique student interests. Based on student preference and rotation availability, students will complete a rotation providing patient care services, such as: any Acute Patient Care, Advanced Community Pharmacy Practices, Ambulatory Care, Anticoagulation Services, Cancer Infusion Services, traditional Community or Hospital Pharmacy Services, Compounding Centers, Drug Information Services in a hospital, Emergency Medicine, HIV Services, Home IV Infusion, Hospice/Palliative Care, Long-term Care, Mail Order Pharmacies, Military and USPHS prison practices, Nutrition Support Services, Pain Management, Pharmacokinetic Services, Poison Control Centers, Psychiatric pharmacy services, Rehabilitation center practices, and Transplant (Organ) Support Services.

  2. Unrestricted Elective (URE) (Note: Two are required):

    These non-core experiences are less restricted, to provide for an even greater degree of individualization. In addition to repeating any core-type rotation or another PCE option, students can be assigned to a variety of non-patient care environments to include: Boards of Pharmacy; the FDA (Rockville, MD); The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (Huntingdon Valley, PA); private Law Practice, Managed Care/Pharmacy Benefit companies; Medical Communication companies; Nuclear Pharmacy Distributors, Pharmaceutical Industry options, such as medical information, drug safety, clinical research, marketing, or regulatory affairs; Pharmacy Associations; Pharmacy Administration in a hospital; research options at Clinical Research Companies, Investigational Drug Research Services in hospitals, or on-campus with PCP faculty.

    For rotations in non-patient centered environments, non-pharmacist preceptors may be approved on an individual basis.

    NOTE: Students may request assignment to Out-of-Network sites for any PCE or URE Rotation. The purpose of this option is to enable students to pursue experience in a unique practice type or geographic areas not provided by the PCP network. Out-of-Network proposals should focus on placements that would build upon (not duplicate) prior intern experiences. Students who display unprofessional behavior may lose this option.

What is a portfolio?

Currently we have implemented a hard copy portfolio enabling students to maintain and share their accomplishments and achievements from each individual rotation with future preceptors and even prospective employers. Our goal is that over time we expect the portfolio to be a compendium of accomplishments and competency assessment for all four years of the professional curriculum. Eventually it will be maintained electronically. A review article on student portfolios was recently published in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education. You can access the article via this link:

What are the overall goals for the APPE rotations?

The PCP Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience is designed to prepare students for entry level pharmacy practice through a series (PP661-668) of structured practical experience courses, supervised by the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Administration. Students are assigned to preceptors in a variety of practice environments in order to develop the essential competencies of pharmacy practice. The Goals for APPE rotations are as follows:

  1. For students to demonstrate acceptable competency levels in pharmacy practice, to include processing prescriptions/medication orders, identifying and resolving problems, patient information retrieval and assessment, development of patient specific drug therapy plans, therapeutic monitoring, communication with patients and other health care providers, and patient education and training.

  2. For students to demonstrate drug and literature information retrieval, evaluation, application, and related verbal and written communication skills.

  3. For students to further develop a practical and functional understanding of pharmacy services/systems in different practice settings, to include related patient safety and management responsibilities.

  4. To present the traditional and innovative roles of pharmacy practitioners in a variety of practice settings.

  5. To provide the opportunity to apply and further evolve knowledge and skills in practice environments.

  6. To assist in formulating a career direction and strategy, in conjunction with the efforts of the student’s academic advisor and preceptors.

What are the prerequisites for the APPE rotations?

Student participation in the Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience rotations requires the successful completion of all didactic elements of the Pharm D curriculum, in addition to the satisfaction of the proficiencies for writing and pharmacy calculations, along with First Aid & CPR certifications. Students are expected to show evidence of a Pennsylvania Intern Certificate and to comply with those requirements specified on page #52 of the 2004-2006 University Catalog, relative to the informational needs of assigned facilities.

Doctor of Pharmacy students in the sixth year (P-4) are defined as full-time with a minimum of 10 credits of completed coursework (2 rotations) in the summer, fall, or spring semesters. Completed coursework is defined as courses with an earned letter grade of A to F. Academic records for full-time students are evaluated, at the end of a semester, to determine Dean’s List recognition and probationary status.

What are the responsibilities of the APPE Preceptor or Rotation Coordinator?

  1. To provide the student with a thorough orientation to the rotation which includes: a review of pertinent policies and procedures including those required for HIPAA compliance, introductions to appropriate staff, a tour of the facility, a determination of the student’s attendance schedule, and a description of the preceptor’s philosophy of practice.
  2. To review the student’s portfolio at the beginning of each rotation to gain insights into past achievements and to optimize the student’s rotation schedule and experiences.
  3. To assign the student to tasks (responsibilities) consistent with the rotation objectives and which optimize the value of the rotation for the particular student, and to provide appropriate explanation and demonstration of the tasks.
  4. To provide supervision of the student’s activities and monitor achievement of required tasks to assess related student competencies.
  5. To provide the student with a mid-point performance evaluation (forms provided) during the third week, with specific recommendations for improvement as needed. Any failing mid-point evaluation (any category graded below 60) should be communicated to the Director of Clerkship Programs.
  6. To complete a written final evaluation of the students performance (forms provided), and to verbally present the evaluation to the student during a final conference, clarifying judgments as requested by the student. Attendance deficiencies should be documented on the submitted evaluation form.
  7. To communicate with the Director of Clerkship Programs call 215-596-8998 regarding any significant irregularities in student behavior, to include: irregular attendance, unprofessional appearance, violation of facility policies, and inappropriate communications with patients or facility staff.
  8. To review the online (in PEMS) Preceptor Performance Summary provided by the assigned students (updated in December and May each year).
  9. To assist in scheduling student meetings with Field Supervisors, and meeting upon request with Field Supervisors to discuss and address student concerns and/or for orientation/training related to the experiential program.
  10. To participate in preceptor training and development programs provided by PCP.

What are the responsibilities of the APPE student?

  1. To maintain a current email address in and access to the Pharmacy Education Management System (PEMS) and the USP Angel Course site. Students are responsible for communications distributed electronically using both systems and as posted in both systems. The primary residential address, inserted into PEMS, will be used for hard copy mailings.

  2. To contact preceptors, a week in advance, to coordinate first day arrival plans.

  3. To maintain a high standard of professional behavior, to include: appropriate attire and appearance, effective verbal and written communications (including proficiency in English language communications), compliance with site policies, and maintenance of patient confidentiality in compliance with HIPAA regulations.

  4. To actively participate in the professional and technical functions of the site, relative to the rotation objectives, students should complete all required tasks by the end of the rotation.

  5. To inform preceptors of the onset of any infectious disease that may place the student or patients at risk. Any diagnosis that impacts attendance should be communicated to the Director of Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences. Students should immediately inform the preceptor and Director of Clerkship Programs of any needle stick or other exposure to blood or bodily fluids, and proceed to acquire appropriate care.

  6. To develop and revise professional and personal goals for each rotation, and to share them with the preceptor to optimize the benefit of assigned activities.

  7. To maintain a student portfolio that will include written work completed by the student (ex. drug/formulary monographs, drug information questions answered, copies of slides for any presentation, etc.). Copies of each completed rotation task list (signed by the preceptor) should be included. The portfolio should be reviewed with each preceptor at the beginning and end of each rotation. (Field supervisors may review portfolios during site visitations).

  8. To satisfy the rotation attendance requirements (at least 200 hours) within the rotation period, conforming to the designated arrival and departure time agreed upon with the preceptor.

  9. To comply with the Communication Guidelines for APPE courses. Non-compliance will result in a final rotation grade adjustment(s).

  10. To submit a Preceptor Performance Evaluation using the PEMS within four weeks after each rotation ends. Non-compliance will result in a final rotation grade adjustment of 5 points for the first incident and 10 points for any additional incident.

What is a Task List?

A list of specific tasks has been established for each of the core rotations to serve as a guide to the minimum requirements necessary to demonstrate competency. Completion of each individual activity or task may be dependent on site expectations, practice of the preceptor and expectations of the preceptor. Reasonable effort should be made to accomplish these tasks when possible. Students who take initiative to achieve more than the minimum number of tasks should be reflected as such in their performance evaluation.

How are students evaluated and graded?

At the half-way point in a rotation, preceptors are expected to provide assigned students with a mid-point evaluation, using the PCP Evaluation of Student Performance (copies provided to students). At the end of the rotation, preceptors should also develop a Final Evaluation, using the same form. During a terminal conference, the preceptor will present and explain the evaluation outcomes, and clarify judgments as requested by the student. The evaluation form should be co-signed by the preceptor and the student (does not indicate agreement, only that the evaluation has been reviewed with the student by the preceptor) and promptly forwarded (by the preceptor) to the Director of Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences. Assuming that the student has satisfied the rotation’s attendance requirement during the rotation period, a final course grade will be derived from the evaluation, using only the assessment values in the “Final Evaluation” column on the form. If, after discussion with the preceptor, a student disagrees with any evaluation element, they should provide written documentation to the Director of Clerkship Programs.

Students must be competent (60 or greater) in each of the performance elements evaluated in order to pass the course/rotation. A final rotation grade of F will be assigned if any element is below 60. Non-compliance with Communication Guidelines will also result in final grade adjustments. If a student has satisfied all attendance and performance expectations, but has neglected to submit (on the PEMS) a Preceptor Performance Evaluation within 4 weeks after the rotation, a final grade adjustment (5 points first incident and 10 points for any additional) will be applied.

NOTE: Academic integrity is at the center of the educational experience at USP. Students are therefore expected to uphold the highest standards of academic integrity and not engage in nor tolerate academic dishonesty. Each student accused of academic dishonesty, to include fabrication, plagiarism, or cheating, will be investigated. If a student is held responsible for academic dishonesty through the Student Conduct Process, the student may receive a grade of “F” for the related course/rotation.

Do university policies apply at APPE rotation sites?

Students are advised that all University Policies and Procedures, as defined in the Student Handbook, apply to all rotation facilities. Students can access the Student Handbook at: Examples of such policy topics include: Disability Support Services, Drug and Alcohol Abuse, the FERPA, Grievances, Sexual Assault, Harassment, and Student Conduct. When students believe that their rights or privileges have been compromised or violated, they should communicate with the Director of Clerkship Programs, or a more appropriate officer of the University, regarding those concerns or need for assistance. Violations of University policies may be subject to the Student Conduct process.

Can APPE participation privileges be cancelled?

Participation as a student in the Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience course series is a privilege given to those who have satisfied all prerequisites. Under certain conditions, the Department of Pharmacy Practice reserves the right to cancel its obligation to provide such assignments. Specifically, any student who steals any assets, property, and particularly drugs, from any participating facility will be denied the privilege of future course participation. Students, who are under the influence of alcohol or a drug substance for non-medical purposes, or who have not been cleared for assignment based on a criminal background check, may also lose their participation privilege. Students with substance abuse problems are encouraged to communicate with the Dr. George Downs (, Dr. Lisa Lawson (, or the Dean of Students (215-596-8529) for assistance.

The intent of this policy is to protect APPE rotation facilities and the integrity of the program.

What is the appearance code for students?

Students are expected to maintain a high standard of professional appearance and conduct at all APPE rotation facilities. In patient care facilities, students must wear a short white (clean) lab coat with a name tag, unless otherwise directed by the preceptor. Men should wear a dress shirt and tie, and women should be suitably attired. Athletic footwear and jeans are not appropriate. Business dress is indicated for non-patient care facilities, such as industry, managed care settings, or regulatory agencies, unless otherwise directed by the preceptor. All body art and piercings should not be visible. A student’s personal appearance and behavior directly reflect upon the College of Pharmacy, the assigned facility, and upon his/her own professional credibility. Dress for success and act professionally!

What are the student absence and communication policies for APPE Rotations?

Note: Absence is defined as any non-attendance that takes place during the Monday to Friday portion of all weeks in the APPE master assignment schedule and within the 8.5 hour daily activity period, with the exception of the designated program holidays. Absence is considered unanticipated, elective, or unapproved.

To communicate, students should :
  1. Call Director of Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences 215-596-8998

Students are expected to immediately communicate both with the Director of Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences  and the facility preceptor(s) when any unanticipated absence (illness, injury, hazardous weather, other emergency/crisis) occurs. Absence due to illness/injury should be documented by the USP health service, emergency room, or a personal physician, and submitted to the Director of Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences if requested. Returning from 3 or more days of illness/injury requires evidence of physician approval. When able to return, the student should propose (to the preceptor) a modified schedule to accomplish the attendance requirement within the rotation period. Actual remediation plans may require the approval of the Director of Clerkship Programs.

Regarding any elective absence (medical appointments, funerals, professional meeting attendance, job interview, other unique personal need), students must acquire advanced approval (one week if possible) from the Director of Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences. Requests should be communicated by email only and approvals will be similarly communicated back to the student. Such approvals should be shared with the preceptor.

In the event that a student is unable to complete the full attendance requirement within the rotation period, they should communicate again with the Director of Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences during the final week of the rotation. If the attendance deficiency is due to causes beyond the student’s control (illness/injury, emergency) or from approved elective absence, the student will receive an Incomplete designation until resolved. In these cases, an attempt will be made to provide the student with a make-up opportunity at the current or another facility. A rotation grade will be assigned upon satisfaction of the make-up requirements. Incomplete designations will be assigned only when the attendance deficiency does not exceed 40 hours or 5 days.

Unapproved absence does not qualify as unanticipated or pre-approved elective time. It lacks a credible or verifiable purpose. In the event that a student has any unapproved absence, an incomplete designation will be assigned until the make-up requirements are satisfied. When a student accumulates (over all rotations) more than 2 days of unapproved absence, a final grade of F will be assigned for the current rotation.

Excessive absence of any type can significantly deprive the student of a critical level of continuity during a rotation. For this reason, a Withdraw designation will be assigned when an attendance deficiency, at any point during a rotation, exceeds 40 hours or 5 days. This action will occur in cases of both acceptable and unapproved causes, unless the unapproved portion exceeds 2 days. If a Leave of Absence is approved by the Dean of Pharmacy, a Withdraw designation will be assigned.

Final rotation grades will be adjusted for non-compliance with Communication Guidelines.

What is the policy regarding participation in interviews while on APPE rotations?

A common occurrence, particularly during the Spring semester, is the independent participation in interviews for employment, advanced training and continuing education. The Department of Pharmacy Practice remains supportive of these activities, provided that they do not significantly effect a student’s educational obligations. To avoid difficulty, while engaging in an APPE rotation, students are advised of the following procedures and guidelines:

  1. Interviews scheduled during designated rotation hours are considered “Elective Absence” which should be approved, complying with the Communication Guidelines. Acquire pre-approval from the course director, at least a week in advance, and identify a make-up plan for the absence. (Note: use email only: Director of Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences) Be sure to share emailed approvals with the preceptor.

  2. Avoid scheduling interviews during the 1st week of a rotation and on the final day of a rotation.

  3. Out-of-town interviews are best done on Mondays, to minimize traveling time during the week.

  4. All absences resulting from interviews must be made-up in a manner that is acceptable to both the preceptor and course director.

What about student attendance at ASHP Midyear?

You may have a student(s) electing to attend the 2007 ASHP Midyear Meeting in Las Vegas. They are permitted to be off-site for a maximum of THREE rotation days for this purpose. Most students will elect absence on December 3-5, but November 30 through December 4 is also acceptable. After the 3 days out, they will return to your facility for a portion of their last week.

Depending upon their compliance with certain meeting attendance requirements, students may need to make-up 1-2 extra days during the week of December 10. With compliance, no extra make-up is expected.

Dr. Sheaffer will determine compliance.

NOTE: For students not attending the ASHP meeting, Fall Rotation #6 ends on Friday, December 7.

What are the policy and/or guidelines regarding rotation absence due to snow or other hazardous weather?

A unique occurrence, particularly during Rotation #6, 7 and 8 is snow, ice or other hazardous weather which may affect a student’s ability to attend rotation activities. The Department of Pharmacy Practice is committed to the prevention of all injury and accidents that can occur under extreme weather conditions. Students are advised of the following policy and guideline statements:

  1. Announced snow closures at the University do not apply to off-campus rotation assignments. Absence due to hazardous weather conditions will be evaluated on an individual basis, due to the wide variation of student traveling requirements. Students who have functioning Public Transit alternatives are expected to avoid such absence.

  2. When you experience travel conditions that you consider unsafe for you or your vehicle, delay any travel, advise your preceptor/facility, and proceed to the facility only when it you consider it safe to do so.

  3. Students who experience absence due to unsafe travel conditions should communicate the specific details to the Director of Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences, complying with the Communications Guidelines for APPE rotations.

Do you need a particular rotation OFF?

If you “need” a particular rotation OFF, communicate an email request to the Director of Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences, identifying your name, the reason and date(s) conflicting with the particular rotation. Be prepared to also provide, if requested, supporting documentation, such as a wedding invitation, a graduation announcement, a surgical or medical procedure confirmation, or evidence of a unique family event.

Students requesting a Fall rotation OFF, should submit at least ONE acceptable Out-of-Network option.

Students requesting a Spring rotation OFF, should submit at least TWO acceptable Out-of-Network options.

Please DO NOT substitute non-verifiable requests.

What is PEMS?

PEMS is an acronym for Pharmacy Education Management System. PEMS is a web based system that provides tracking of student rotations assignments and rotation sites along with their corresponding preceptor(s). The PEMS system is both secure and password protected.

The system allows preceptors the opportunity to view student assignments, directly email students via a link next to the student’s name and download evaluation forms and documents specific to their respective rotation.

All preceptor evaluations by students are completed online using PEMS. Final submission is due by the student within 28 days after the final day of the rotation. When at least 3 students have completed their preceptor evaluations at a particular site, the preceptors can view a summary of these evaluations from their homepage in PEMS.

How do I log into the PEMS system?

To Log onto the system the first time go to our home page:

USER ID: Firstname.lastname (not case sensitive)
INITIAL PASSWORD: Use Password (note P must be in caps). You will be prompted to create a new password.

If you forget your password and need us to reset it to Password, please email Mrs. Eleanor Kelly at or call her at 215-596-8579.

When you log on you will see YOUR information that is currently in the system. Please review and update incorrect or incomplete information using the following instructions:


If you click on UPDATE PROFILE, you may enter additional emails, pager numbers, cell phones etc that students can view. The Primary Email in the system cannot be changed by you. If you need to change it or if it is missing please email Mrs. Kelly and she will enter it. PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS THE EMAIL THAT WE WILL USE FOR ROUTINE EMAIL COMMUNICATIONS TO PRECEPTORS: individually or in batch.


For preceptors, the Primary or Rotation SITE address will be used for all communications and is the only address viewable online by students. No need to enter home address unless you want experiential administration staff to be able to contact you at home.

If you want to update or change this info, click on ‘Address Request” (far right).

  • First change the “address type” from “all other addresses” to the second option which is “preceptor = site”
  • Unfortunately you will need to reenter all the data in each field that you want to display under your primary address.
  • Then click on “submit”. We will process the updated address within a week.


Did you know these resources are available to USP/PCP preceptors?

We are pleased to inform you of the availability of access to information resources through the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Pharmacy Administration webpage. Through agreements with the J.W. England Library and several information resource vendors, we are pleased to provide you access to:

  • Lexi-Comp clinical information system
    • A complete drug information system that includes drug monographs, drug interactions, natural products, drug-induced nutrient depletion, physical identification and other clinical information.
    • You will need a password to access the system, which you may receive by emailing Eileen Facciolo at:


  • Links to clinical information via
    • Cochrane abstracts
    • Medlineplus (USP DI Advice for the Patient, ASHP Medmaster)
    • National Guideline Clearinghouse
    • PubMed
    • RxList
    • Free Medical Journals

We are also providing you with a link to “Ask a Librarian.” Through this link you can chat online with a reference librarian or send a reference question via email.

If you want an article that’s not available free online, the library can deliver it to you (for a discounted $5.00 delivery charge), up to 10 articles per year. If you will be on-campus and want to copy the article yourself, there will be a copycard available at the library counter for you to use (free of charge). You’re also welcome to use all online resources while you’re on campus.

You may access these services via the Department of Pharmacy Practice/Pharmacy Administration website found at:

If you have questions or comments regarding this service, please contact Andrew Peterson at or 215-596-8877.

Thank you for being part of the USP/PCP faculty!

What are the Site and University Requirements for Student Clearances and Training?

When required by an assigned site or University/Program policy, the student is responsible for meeting any prerequisites as agreed to or required by the University. Such requirements may include security clearances, fingerprinting, background checks, drug screens, completion of mandatory orientation or competency evaluations, and documentation of health insurance, immunization records, or other health clearances. Failure to complete these requirements, non-disclosure of information (ex. Criminal history), lack of reporting / completion of required information in the time frame required to start a rotation, or reports/findings that exclude the student from the rotation site may result in cancellation of or student removal from the rotation. Consistent with University policies, certain situations will be referred to the Pharm.D Program Director, the Dean of Pharmacy or the Dean of Students, for further evaluation and action.

What is the policy regarding insurance coverage for APPE rotations?

All USP students are expected to be covered by a medical insurance policy. The University’s Student Counseling Office (215-596-8536) can arrange for such coverage through a selected source if requested. New coverage can only begin on the first day of each month. Failure to maintain adequate medical insurance will result in a Withdraw from the related course/ rotation. In such cases, enrollment costs will not be refunded. Students who are injured at a rotation facility should seek appropriate medical evaluation and treatment, and should advise the Director of Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences within 24 hours of the incident. Additionally, students enrolled in APPE courses are covered by a University maintained Professional Liability Insurance policy, for liability of performance at assigned facilities. Students and preceptors are encouraged to communicate with the Director of Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences about liability issues at any time.

What is a typical rotation schedule?

At the beginning of any rotation, the preceptor should identify the unique daily start time. The start time should be between 7:00 and 9:00 AM, depending upon the type of rotation or facility. Preceptors or students who desire a daily start time outside of the 7-9AM window should seek approval from the Director of Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences. The student should expect to be in attendance for 8.5 hours from the designated start time. Some rotations or experiences may require planned evening (attendance at a professional meeting) or other non-standard time commitments. Students should be informed well in advance with an offsetting adjustment for the extra time required. A mandatory rest/lunch break, for at least a half hour, is expected. Requiring more than 8.5 hours of attendance on any day is only acceptable if the extra time is part of an approved remediation plan, or necessary to respond to an immediate patient need. Students may voluntarily extend their day to meet their personal goals for experience. Some rotations will require attendance at campus based sessions.

What are the General Expectations of a Pharmacy Student Team Member on Rotation?

  1. To have an up-to-date medication list for ALL patients.
  2. To have reviewed these lists for drug-drug, drug-herbal, drug-food, and drug-disease state interactions.
  3. To have reviewed pertinent lab for ALL patients that are important for medication dosing (i.e. SCr, Blood Glucose, LFT's, etc.).
  4. To review ALL medication lists for possible duplications in therapy and for appropriateness of use.
  5. To offer recommendations to the appropriate team member in regards to points 2, 3 and 4 above.
  6. To review ALL medication lists for preventative medicine if appropriate (i.e. ASA, heparin, LMWH, statins, etc.).
  7. To be actively engaged in all discussions during rounds, including teaching rounds
  8. To have an in-depth knowledge of medications and disease states for patients the student is closely following.
  9. To answer all drug information questions posed by team members in an accurate and timely fashion.
  10. To recommend pertinent laboratory tests based on current medication lists.
  11. The student should provide at least one in-service on any pharmacotherapy topic to their team.
  12. To offer medication counseling services (including discharge counseling) to ALL patients on their team.
  13. Student should perform ALL pharmacokinetic dosing for ALL medications on their team, regardless if this service is offered by the pharmacy .
  14. Student should have access to resources necessary for assessing drug costs to patients
  15. Student should appropriately monitor and report ALL ADE'S that occur on their team (and there should be a minimum set by their preceptor to report).
  16. The student should have access to and provide formulary information, including available dosage forms.
  17. Student should be actively engaged in reading primary literature daily and participate in a journal club with students, preceptors or pharmacy residents.


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