Pharmacy Three-year Accelerated Pathway Course Descriptions
Biochemistry I-III – 5 Credit Hours
This three-course series begins by introducing the student to foundational chemical concepts in biochemistry and other pharmaceutical sciences. These courses explore the physical structures and chemical properties of sugars, fats, amino acids, nucleic acids, vitamins, and other biological important chemicals. The course series will progress to explore the complex interaction and properties of proteins, membranes, genetic material and cell signaling. A strong emphasis will be on metabolism, enzymes, pathology and the mechanisms of drug action.
Drug Information I – 1.5 credit hours
A review of biostatistics will make up the majority of the Drug Information 1 course. Topics will include measurement and descriptive analysis (including variables, measures of central tendency, organizing and visualizing data), interpretation and basic concepts (including z-distributions, the central limit theorem, statistical inference, hypothesis testing, statistical and clinical significance), bivariate analysis (including t-tests, ANOVA, chi-square, alternative testing approaches, correlation), simple and multiple linear regression, logistic regression and survival analysis and, finally, sample size considerations and power analysis.
Immunology – 1.5 credit hours
This course involves a study of the organization, function, and clinical significance of the immune system.
Pharmaceutics I – 2 credit hours
The primary content of this course is a study of physical pharmacy.
Pharmacy, Drugs and Healthcare – 3.5 credit hours
This course will introduce students to the pharmacy profession and how it fits within the U.S. health care delivery system. It will provide an overview of the basic structures and operations of the U.S. health care delivery system, including its historical origins, and the technical, economic, political, and social forces that impact it. Students will learn how the profession of pharmacy evolved in the health care delivery system and will understand the history of the profession, pharmaceutical care concepts, including ethics, and areas of practice for pharmacists. Students will begin learning information about the most commonly prescribed medications.
Pharmacy Calculations – 1.5 credit hours
Students will be required to perform dosage calculations based on individual patient needs and characteristics as well as computations required for accurate preparation of solid and liquid dosage forms, injectable medications, isotonic solutions and extemporaneously compounded prescription products.
Anatomy and Physiology I with Lab – 2.5 credit hours
This course will relate anatomical structure of cells, tissues and organ systems to physiological functions. Attention also will focus on etiology, homeostasis and clinical consequences of abnormal physiological function. This course is tailored to the needs of the pharmacy students and includes special emphasis to the molecular basis of physiological functions as the target of pharmacotherapeutic intervention.
Effective Communication in Pharmacy Practice – 1.5 credit hours
This course is designed to provide students with an opportunity to learn, observe, apply and receive feedback on effective communication skills and techniques. It will build on the medication counseling information students learn in Pharmacy, Drugs and Healthcare. Students will be instructed on important principles required to develop positive relationships and promote positive therapeutic outcomes: to engage, empathize, educate and enlist.
Microbiology – 2.5 credit hours
This course is designed to introduce the students to the various infectious agents, prior prions to worms, and their microbiology. The course will describe the fundamental characteristics of all classes of microorganisms that cause disease. The course will present the basics of bacteriology, virology, mycology and parasitology with an emphasis on the agent-drug relationship, i.e. what makes these infectious agents susceptible to certain drugs.
Pharmaceutics II – 2 credit hours
This course will cover fundamental drug-delivery principles that are applied in the design, development, and manufacturing of safe, effective, and stable pharmaceutical dosage forms and finished drug products. Specific topics/concepts will focus on the physical, chemical and biological principles essential for understanding basic pharmaceutics, pharmaceutical dosage forms, drug delivery systems, and their clinical performance. In addition, students will learn about drug product development and relevant issues involved in the preparation of various dosage forms and novel drug delivery systems. Students will study on how the development of dosage forms progresses from the initial design phase to a product on the shelf. For a drug to advance beyond the design phase strict policies and regulations established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) review panel and other requirements must be satisfied. Students will be exposed to the most relevant of these criteria, with a special focus on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Good Compounding Practices (GCP).
Pharmaceutics II Lab – 1 credit hour
The focus of this laboratory course is on learning and practicing of appropriate compounding techniques used to prepare various extemporaneous dosage forms in pharmacy settings. The students are also exposed to the key legal requirements and quality control procedures for compounded products to comply with the national standard such as USP <795>. The knowledge gained in Pharmaceutics I, Pharmaceutics II, and Pharmacy Calculations is essential for completing laboratory exercises.
Research Methods and Epidemiology – 2 credit hours
This course will introduce principles of research design, methodology, and drug literature evaluation. Topics will include trial design (including randomized controlled trials, cohort and case-control studies, case reports and case series, systematic review and meta-analysis), principles of evidence-based medicine, and the systematic approach to drug information questions. Primary, secondary and tertiary literature will also be introduced. Students will begin to determine the quality of drug information sources, including the internet used by both patients and health care professionals. This course will use active learning strategies to help the students learn important drug information skills.
Anatomy and Physiology II with Lab – 2.5 credit hours
This course is a continuation of Physiology and Anatomy I. Emphasis will be placed on the circulatory, renal, respiratory, endocrine, and gastrointestinal systems.
Basic Pharmacokinetics – 2.5 credit hours
This course provides students with a qualitative and quantitative overview of drug disposition and the processes important to disposition, namely absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion. It is anticipated that students will learn how to calculate various pharmacokinetic parameters that are important to the therapeutic use of drugs. Finally, by understanding and calculating the impact of various factors on drug disposition, students will develop an understanding of how therapeutic dosing may be modified.
Pharmacist Provided Care – 1.5 credit hours
This course is designed to provide students with appropriate information and experiences to acquire the necessary skills to become an effective health care practitioner. The course will engage the students in active learning to enhance their self-care medication knowledge. It also will develop the students’ ability to document patient encounters by writing appropriate patient care plans. The course will heighten the team concept as well as develop professionalism and communication skills.
Pharmacy Practice Essentials I – 0.5 credit hours
This course is the first step in a four-course series designed to assure the student is ready for their Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) Rotations and Pharmacy Practice after graduation. This course, PPE I, will evaluate the student’s learning success strategies, including the use of SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound). In addition, the course will evaluate the student’s progress through low stakes assessment of the PCOA 1 results, APPE reflection, professionalism, and ethics.
Pharmacotherapeutics I with Principles of Pharmacology – 2.5 credit hours
The pharmacotherapeutics courses will cover pathophysiology and therapeutics per organ system. Course work will cover the following therapeutic topics: respiratory, cardiovascular, hepatic, renal, degenerating diseases, genitourinary, endocrinology, gastrointestinal, critical care, infectious diseases, neurology, psychiatry, oncology, and men’s & women’s health. The courses of pharmacotherapeutics will be taught in a sequential and integrative manner to tie in the knowledge and concepts from Medicinal Chemistry coupled with the Pharmacology of the medications involved in the corresponding organ system and to the pathophysiology and therapeutic principles in clinical practice. The fundamental concepts of Pharmacology will be incorporated into this course, thus enabling individuals to relate the knowledge from both basic sciences and clinical sciences.
Sterile Dosage Forms with Lab – 1 credit hour
This course introduces the organization and administration of an admixture program and admixture techniques utilizing sterile products and aseptic technique. Based on the national standards put forth in USP<797>, the students will learn safe and proper utilization of parenteral products, as well as parenteral drug compatibility and stability literature, is also considered. The laboratory sessions give the students hands-on experience in the skills required for preparing sterile products.
IPPE Institutional – 4 credit hours
The goal of this rotation is to have the student gain experience in the competencies necessary in the daily practice of institutional (hospital, long-term care, etc.) pharmacy operations through active learning and participation. The emphasis is on the operations, distribution system, professional conduct and direct patient-care in the hospital environment. The following three (3) steps of the medication-use system will be emphasized: selecting, procuring and storing; ordering and transcribing; and dispensing and preparation.
IPPE Community – 4 credit hours
The goal of this rotation is to have the student gain experience in the competencies necessary in the daily practice of community pharmacy operations through active learning and participation. The emphasis is on the operations, distribution system, professional conduct and direct patient-care in the community environment. The following three (3) steps of the medication-use system will be emphasized: selecting, procuring and storing; ordering and transcribing; and dispensing and preparation.
Clinical Pharmacokinetics – 2 credit hours
The course will apply the basic concepts of Biopharmaceutics/Pharmacokinetics to the clinical management of various patients’ conditions. The goal is to optimize therapy, achieve maximum efficacy while preserving safety for the patients.
Complementary and Alternative Medicine – 2 credit hours
The professional pharmacy curriculum focuses on alternative and complementary medicine and the use of non-prescription medicines as a primary therapeutic modality. This course introduces the students to additional medical therapies. Students develop an understanding of the theories and practice of commonly-used integrative medical therapies in order to be better informed on such therapies when dealing with patients in the future.
Pharmacology/Medicinal Chemistry I-III – 9 credit hours
These courses will present, in a coordinated manner, basic principles, medicinal chemistry and pharmacology of therapeutic agents currently available to treat different disease states and conditions. The major focus of each topic will be pharmacology and medicinal chemistry associated with drug receptor interactions and subsequent biological responses, biochemical mechanisms of drug action, adverse and toxic effects, contraindications and important drug-drug interactions. Chemical features of therapeutic agents required to elicit biological response and their role in affecting physiochemical properties as well as important pharmacokinetic properties will also be presented. This approach will provide a clear understanding of the current agents available and lay the foundation for the study and practice of the principles of pharmacotherapy. The course will use traditional lecture-based learning in addition to in-class activities where appropriate.
Pharmacotherapeutics II-V – 18 credit hours
These courses will cover pathophysiology and therapeutics per organ system. Course work will cover the following therapeutic topics: respiratory, cardiovascular, hepatic, renal, degenerating diseases, genitourinary, endocrinology, gastrointestinal, critical care, infectious diseases, neurology, psychiatry, oncology, and men’s and women’s health. The courses of Pharmacotherapeutics will be taught in a sequential and integrative manner to tie in the knowledge and concepts from Medicinal Chemistry coupled with the Pharmacology of the medications involved in the corresponding organ system and to the pathophysiology and therapeutic principles in clinical practice. This will enable individuals to relate the knowledge from both basic sciences and clinical sciences.
Pharmacotherapeutics II-V Lab – 2 credit hours
These courses are the active learning, clinical application to the Pharmacotherapeutic lecture series.
Clinical Laboratory and Physical Assessment – 1.5 credit hours
The students will learn aspects pertaining to physical assessment, the interview process, the proper use of glucometers and inhalers, sensitivity, and laboratory results. Basic life support certification will also be offered as a required component of this course.
Drug Information II – 1.5 credit hours
This course builds upon concepts presented in drug Information I and Research methods courses. Students will read and critically evaluate medical and scientific literature using an evidence-based approach to clinical decision-making. The students will then put this information into practice through evaluation of assigned primary literature research papers. Students will read, critically evaluate and discuss the assigned articles in class in a “journal club” format utilizing MAARIE framework. Students will learn and apply strategies to delineate relevant questions, critically appraise evidence, including its applicability to the clinical question, and formulate conclusions and/or recommendations based on scientific data. An emphasis will be placed on using landmark clinical trials as examples of the utility of evidence-based medicine as it applies to clinical practice.
Pharmacy Practice Management – 2 credit hours
This course gives emphasis to the managerial aspects of pharmacy practice within the health care system as well as the pharmacoeconomic principles needed for successful pharmacy careers. This course provides the basic financial and operational management knowledge and skills necessary for successful professional practice in any venue.
Patient Safety and Medication-related Errors – 1.5 credit hours
The main objective of this course is to expose pharmacy students to a background that will allow reliable translation of the science of preventable medication errors into clinical practice. Upon completion of this course, students will have the basic knowledge to understand the science of errors and basis of safe practices. The students will also be expected to gain competency in their analytical skills that are necessary to perform system analyses of adverse events, design simple processes, build and participate in multidisciplinary teams, and implement practices that promote patient safety.
Pharmacy Law – 2 credit hours
This course will examine federal and state laws and regulations regarding the practice of pharmacy and the regulation and control of drugs, cosmetics, and medical devices.
Pharmacy Practice Essentials II – 0.5 credit hours
This is the second of a four-course series and the predecessor to the yearlong longitudinal final year online course (PPE III and PPE IV). This coursed PPE II will expand on the values enforced in PPE I and additionally evaluate the student’s progress through high stakes assessment of the PCOA 2 results, an IPE required didactic component, professionalism, and ethics evaluations.
Pharmacogenomics – 2 credit hours
This course provides students with an understanding of the ways that inherited variations in genes affects response to drugs, and how an understanding of these variations can be used to predict response. The course will provide an overview of the principles of genetic medicine and bioinformatics, and consider ethical, legal and social issues in genomics. The impact of genetics on drug metabolism, and drug transporters will be discussed as well as the role of pharmacogenomics in drug discovery and development. Finally, the role that pharmacogenomics plays in treatment of specific diseases will complete the course.
PharmD Seminar – 2 credit hours
This course will integrate the many concepts that the student has learned across multiple disciplines throughout the didactic curriculum. The goal is to prepare the student for success in the advanced pharmacy practice experiences and in pharmacy practice. The course will utilize active learning in the format of case discussions, journal club presentations, SOAP notes and literature review and evaluation. The course will also prepare students to become certified immunizing pharmacists.
APPE Advanced Community – 6 credit hours
Under the supervision of the pharmacy preceptor, the student will provide direct patient-centered care in a community pharmacy setting. Students will experience the operation and management of community pharmacy systems and the functions and responsibilities of a pharmacist in a community setting. Students will have the opportunity to be involved in all aspects of the medication use process and health care delivery in the community setting, including the need for continuity of care.
APPE Advanced Institutional – 6 credit hours
Under the supervision of the pharmacy preceptor, the student will provide direct patient-centered care in the institutional, inpatient setting (including hospital long-term care, etc.). The student will experience the operation and management of institutional pharmacy systems and the functions and responsibilities of a pharmacist in the institutional setting. Students will have the opportunity to be involved in all aspects of the medication use process and health care delivery in the institutional setting, including the need for continuity of care.
APPE Inpatient/Acute Care Medicine – 6 credit hours
Under the supervision of the preceptor, students put into application the knowledge of pharmacology, pharmaceutics, drug information, medication safety, communication skills, critical thinking, pathophysiology, and therapeutics to the care of patients (all ages) as well as share their knowledge with health care team members in an inpatient/acute care setting. The student will interact with all members of the health care team to provide patient-centered care and include a focus on continuity of care.
APPE Ambulatory Care – 6 credit hours
This rotation is designed to offer the student the opportunity to experience firsthand the functions and responsibilities of a pharmacist in the Ambulatory Care setting (patients being treated at home or at facilities but not admitted for inpatient services). Under the supervision of the preceptor, students will apply the knowledge of pharmacology, pharmaceutics, drug information, counseling skills, critical thinking, pathophysiology, and therapeutics to the care of patients (all ages), as well as share their knowledge with health care team members. The student will interact with all members of the health care team to provide patient-centered care and include a focus on continuity of care.
APPE Elective I and II – 6 credit hours each
Each elective rotation offers different and specific learning experiences based on the site and the type of specialties. Examples of potential rotation settings include any of the required rotation sites, research, management, drug information, education, managed care, long-term care, hospice, home health care, nuclear, etc. Students will select elective rotations to individualize their training and experience in preparation for their careers as well as to complement the experiences gained in the required rotations.
Pharmacy Practice Essentials III and IV – 1 credit hour each
This is a longitudinal final-year series designed to provide the student with a comprehensive review in preparation to enter the profession. Over the span of the courses, students implement both guided and self-directed learning goals at specific check points, demonstrating effort, and strengthening their confidence.
Geriatric Pharmacy Practice – 2 credit hours
This course will prepare the student for an active-learning experience in any practice setting that treats the geriatric population. Didactic and active learning techniques will be used to meet the course objectives.
Biologics Development-A Regulatory Overview – 2 credit hours
This course will focus on the development of biologically derived therapeutics – such as vaccines, therapeutic proteins, recombinant DNA, and monoclonal antibodies – and their approval process by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Specific topics will cover modern bioengineering techniques that are utilized in the production of biotherapeutics, their preclinical and clinical evaluation protocols, and manufacturing arrangements. In addition, students will be exposed to quality assurance issues and related regulatory topics associated with successfully bringing biologics to the pharmaceutical market, including current good manufacturing practice regulations, to assure the quality of marketed biopharmaceutical products.
Prenatal and Postnatal Care Elective Course – 2 credit hours
This course is designed to enhance the students’ knowledge of prenatal and postnatal care topics. The course will also enable students to apply their drug information and communication skills. The students will create numerous lectures on prenatal and postnatal topics, and devise test questions pertaining to the lecture. Basic instruction on various topics related to lecture preparation and drug information skills will be provided. The students’ lectures will be evaluated by an instructor and will receive oral and/or written feedback on how to improve his/her teaching style and/or content. The students should utilize both didactic and active learning techniques in the delivery of their lecture. Additionally, students will be expected to evaluate other groups and provide constructive feedback.
Problem Based Learning in Pharmacy Practice – 2 credit hours
This course is designed to enhance the students’ application of pharmacotherapeutic knowledge to patient-specific scenarios. Students will work in groups and be assigned a facilitator for each session. The use of communication and drug information skills will be stressed in this course as the students work collaboratively within their groups to collect and analyze patient information, access treatment guidelines and medical literature, formulate and initiate patient-specific treatment plans and perform patient education. The opportunity to sharpen these skills will better prepare students for their APPE rotations.
Ownership in Pharmacy – 2 credit hours
This 2 credit-hour elective is designed to give pharmacy students an understanding of pharmacist entrepreneurial positions, including independent pharmacy ownership, specialty pharmacy, long-term care consulting, independent contracting, research consultation, concierge medicine, compounding/veterinary practice, and professional organization consulting.
Advanced Compounding – 2 credit hours
This advanced compounding elective will provide professional pharmacy students with the background knowledge and practical laboratory experience needed to solve difficult pharmaceutical compounding problems and allow students to create unique, patient-specific pharmaceutical dosage forms used in contemporary pharmacy practice. The elective will provide students with exposure to advanced pharmaceutical techniques, which may be required by some states for licensure.
Independent Research Elective I-III – 2 credit hours each
This course will provide an opportunity for pharmacy students to conduct pharmaceutical research. Students will pick a mentor from the pharmacy faculty to conduct scientific inquiry in the form of literature reviews, experiments, data analysis and other directed activities. The student will be required to write a paper or create a scientific poster or both.
Empathy and Patient Care – 2 credit hours
This course will examine the components of empathy through readings, case reports, facilitated conversations, discussions and reflection. The course will be offered mainly via the LECOM portal online, but it will also include live discussion.
Introduction to Pharmacy Residency Elective – 2 credit hours
This course is designed to help the student prepare to enter pharmacy residency training following graduation. The course will provide the student with a thorough overview of career and training opportunities, the residency application process and residency resources. The student will gain experience in the application of his or her existing knowledge base, efficiently responding to patient care or drug information questions, interviewing and presenting patient cases. Other covered topics include time management, research project design and implementation, life as a resident, and introduction to hospital pharmacy.
Medication in Knowledge and Games Elective – 2 credit hours
This elective is intended for those students interested in improving their knowledge of the top 300 drugs. This course will utilize the drug cards purchased during first year and board-game-like challenges each week. Students will utilize fun and competition to study the top 300 drugs, becoming more familiar with brand/generic names, dosage forms, indications, adverse drug events, contraindications, drug interactions, warnings, and patient counseling tips. Students will determine which topics about which they are individually less knowledgeable (by scores on objective quizzes and tests) and will be encouraged to study these topics. Games have been developed by LECOM APPE students and others.
Quality Improvement in Healthcare – 2 credit hours
This elective course is designed to provide students an introduction to quality improvement (QI) in the healthcare setting. The course will discuss why quality is important in healthcare practice, which healthcare organizations promote quality improvement, and what tools are used to implement a QI project. Students will also have the opportunity to apply what they’ve learn from didactic lectures by creating several QI projects for different case scenarios regarding patient safety and concerns with medical errors.
Presentation Skills Elective – 2 credit hours
The students will create a presentation on pharmacotherapy topics or pharmacy law cases and devise test questions pertaining to the lecture. Basic instruction on various topics related to lecture preparation skills will be provided. The students’ lectures will be evaluated by an instructor and will receive oral and/or written feedback on how to improve his/her teaching style and/or content. The students should utilize both didactic and active learning techniques in the delivery of their lecture. Additionally, students will be expected to evaluate other groups and provide constructive feedback.
Managed Care Pharmacy Elective – 2 credit hours
This course will introduce the students to managed care principles and the influence it has over the U.S. Healthcare System. Topics will include healthcare reform, prescription drug benefit and formulary management, drug use evaluation, specialty pharmacy, and the clinical pharmacist’s role in quality assurance programs in managed care health systems. Students will have an opportunity to analyze current issues and topics and trends within managed care pharmacy. Students will participate in case studies and weekly discussions as part of the courses active learning component.
Toxicology Elective – 2 credit hours
This course will provide an analysis of important concepts of toxicology, including various cellular mechanisms associated with toxic responses. Emphasis will be laid on the toxic effects of clinically relevant drugs and chemicals. Agents which are capable of causing massive harm to human lives will also be discussed.