The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy awarded its 2019 Innovation in Teaching Award to the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy.

UNC Fred Eshelman School of Pharmacy students studying in Beard Hall (Photo By Jeyhoun Allebaugh/UNC-Chapel Hill).

The School was recognized for redesigning the pharmacotherapy curriculum at the School and implementing the new integrated pharmacotherapy (iPHTH) course series. The iPHTH consists of three groundbreaking courses taught across consecutive semesters in the second and third year of the pharmacotherapy curriculum.

The award-winning project, co-led by Denise Rhoney, Pharm.D., and Amanda Corbett, Pharm.D., is titled “Master Adaptive Learning: Reengineering Core Integrated Pharmacotherapy Curriculum for 21st Century Learning.” Project team members included Sarah Anderson, Pharm.D., Tom Angelo, Ph.D., Ian Hollis, Pharm.D, Kathryn Morbitzer, Pharm.D., M.S., and Phil Rodgers, Pharm.D., among other key partners.

“This project was a culmination of hard work from the original design team, pharmacotherapy team members and dedicated community partners,” Rhoney said. “It is an absolute joy to see this collaboration pay off and to know that our students are participating in cutting-edge education as a result.”

The iPHTH course series ensures that students gain the high-level knowledge, clinical skills and abilities necessary to be a pharmacotherapy expert in the 21st century, Rhoney said.

“The iPHTH series was uniquely designed to mirror the real-world setting,” she said. “The iPHTH course series is the most contemporary example of the belief that we can no longer focus on imparting information to students, and must develop a set of self-regulated, self-directed learning skills.”

During iPHTH, students are exposed to increasingly complex problems in topics previously discussed and to disease states not previously discussed. This does not follow the traditional organ system approach; instead, it mirrors real-world patients, who do not present with single system-based diseases, but rather with multiple diseases across organ systems.

The team’s work will be published in the Annual Meeting Abstract section of the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, and they will have an opportunity to present their winning project during the 2019 AACP Annual Meeting in Chicago in July. At the conference, the group will host a booth featuring the Eshelman Institute for Innovation, in hopes of sparking collaboration and advancing medicine for life.

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