In May 2019, the School graduated the inaugural class of students in our new, transformative Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum. With the new curriculum, students learn fundamental concepts before class, and are challenged to apply and extend those concepts in the classroom. Immersion in patient care in the experiential setting begins immediately after the first year and occurs continually through years two, three, and the entire fourth year. Students also have more opportunities to develop leadership skills and experience with increased emphasis on inquiry, research, innovation, and problem solving.

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Curriculum and Student Experiences

Curriculum Overview

Year One: Foundations of Pharmacy

  • Introduces you to the foundational pharmaceutical sciences, which are the building blocks of pharmacy
  • Gives you the solid foundation you’ll need to start working with patients and health-care professionals

Years Two and Three: Immersion in Patient Care and Engagement in Inquiry and Innovation

  • Early experiences in the real-world practice of pharmacy followed by reflection and discussion
  • Small-group and large-classroom experiences to further learning, professional development, and career-path exploration
  • Immersion begins the summer after the first year.

Year Four: Advanced and Elective Pharmacy Practice Experiences

  • Numerous advanced patient-care and elective rotations
  • Opportunities for you to mature your approach to pharmacy practice and to define your career path

Specialized Learning Pathways

Students have the option to elect specialized pathways of learning:

  • Research and Scholarship in Pharmacy (RASP) is a longitudinal, selective pathway within the Doctor of Pharmacy elective curriculum that is built around a mentored, in-depth, scholarly project where each student will (1) frame an answerable question with a faculty mentor, (2) generate and interpret relevant data, and (3) communicate their findings in an oral and written form. This experience could include hypothesis-driven research (e.g., preclinical, translational, clinical, epidemiologic, health services, educational) or non-hypothesis driven research (e.g., method development and validation, quality improvement).
  • The Rural Pharmacy Health Certificate is a focused program of study that prepares student pharmacists for collaborative, inter-professional practices that serve the health care needs of rural and small communities. This program is offered on the Asheville campusas part of the School’s commitment to increasing the number of pharmacists practicing in rural, Western North Carolina.
  • Our Global Pharmacy Scholars program sends more than 50 students annually to one of nine international locations for a one-month Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience rotation. Students are exposed to different health care systems, cultures, and may participate in research initiatives with other academic institutions and organizations at select sites.

Co-Curricular Experiences

Our Co-Curricular program is designed to complement the PharmD curriculum and provide value-added student experiences through four distinct pathways:

  • Career Pathway: This pathway is focused on the intersection of the student pharmacist and the future. Personal interests, abilities, and values form the cornerstone of a productive, satisfying career. Students are expected to grow their knowledge of self, grow an understanding of the full breadth and depth of personalized career matches, develop skills/abilities/dispositions that will situate them for career success, and develop a transition plan from study to practice.
  • Horizon Pathway. This pathway focuses on learning more about others – particularly those who are not like you or who may view the world we live in through a different lens. Students are expected to develop a global mindset towards pharmacy practice, grow cross-cultural awareness/responsiveness related to the profession, invest in service of underserved/rural populations, and embrace inclusive mindsets regarding the multiple identities of those with whom we work and serve.
  • Professional Pathway: This pathway focuses on investment in oneself. Through this pathway, students are expected to grow an awareness of self; develop knowledge/skills to maintain well-being and healthy perspectives; hone holistic leadership capabilities; engage with other health professions students in meaningful ways; and connect with national professional organizations that match their career and professional interests.
  • Patient Pathway: This pathway focuses on the ultimate goal of the PharmD experience – the patient. Students are expected to engage with any number of patient populations through creative advocacy, service, outreach or education. This spans the areas of direct patient care, drug development, industry, managed care, among other areas of practice.

Immersion Experiences

We believe talented pharmacists are developed through practice. This is why our students complete over 50% of their curriculum (2,400 hours) in real-world pharmacy settings around the state of North Carolina and nationwide with world-class healthcare institutions and clinically advanced pharmacies.  We provide future pharmacists with unprecedented experience in:

  • Collaboration with nationally renowned physicians and healthcare teams
  • Patient education and training in a variety of practice settings
  • Holistic and culturally competent direct patient care
  • Communication skills development

Experiential Education Regional Hubs

Health Systems | Community Pharmacies | Direct Patient Care Practices

 

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Outside of the classroom is where our future pharmacists learn to:

  • Assume responsibility for medication optimization
  • Utilize health resources to make real-time treatment decisions
  • Provide education to patients and other healthcare professionals
  • Establish their role on an inter-professional healthcare team
  • Critically approach current pharmacy issues and opportunities
  • Practice with the highest ethical and professional standards

Curriculum Guide

PharmD-Curriculum-Guide

Download our PharmD Curriculum Guide for detailed information on classes, immersion experiences and elective learning pathways.

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Student Life

Student Support

Academic Advising

The School employs a developmental approach to advising within the PharmD program – realizing each student is a unique person, student, and scholar. Faculty advisors serve as coaches, mentors, and advocates as students aim to maximize their growth and development over a 4-year PharmD experience.

Academic advising focuses intently on helping PharmD students plan and make meaning of value-added co-curricular experiences. At the beginning of the program, students are placed into “Pharmalies” – advising familes – in an effort to build community. Three faculty advisors and six peer mentors are paired with students in each Pharmily. Pharmalies engage in consistent and on-going interactions.

Peer Mentor Program

The Peer Mentoring Program promotes the successful transition of new students to the PharmD experience. Peer Mentors are paired with new PharmD students to add an additional layer of support and advocacy throughout the first year of study. Peer Mentors provide guidance on all things related to the doctor of pharmacy program while also serving as a consistent point of contact for questions and referral.

Tutoring

Free tutoring services are available for PharmD students through the Office of Curricular and Student Affairs and the Rho Chi Honor Society. It is highly recommended that students seek help from their course TA and Course Director if they have a grade lower than a B in any class.

Eshelman Care Team

The Eshelman Care Team provides coordinated assistance and support to students exhibiting concerning behaviors through a centralized structure and method for outreach, referrals, and case management. The care team uses discretion in collaborating with School units and University resources when collecting pertinent information for the development of appropriate interventions and strategies, also known as Care Action Plans. The central goal of Care Action Plans is to address immediate concern(s), and ultimately support the academic and personal success and wellness of our students. Care Team Referrals are categorized in four different areas: Academic, Health/Well-being, Professionalism and Discrimination/Harrassment (including sexual assault, sexual violence, interpersonal