U of MN Recognized for Excellence in Experiential Education

A team of Minnesota faculty was recently recognized by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Experiential Education Section with the Award of Excellence in Experiential Education. The experiential education curriculum was significantly modified as part of the curriculum revision that started with the graduating class of 2017. Some of the goals were to increase preceptor engagement, promote consistency and quality in experiences for students, and to connect to pre-APPE portions of the curriculum.

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Part of the experiential education steering committee accepting the award at the AACP annual meeting. From L to R (after the award presenter) Drs. Moon, Philbrick, Frail, Pittenger, Jolowsky, and Rodriguez. 

One of the key changes for the new experiential education is the addition of course directors for the major rotation types i.e. community and ambulatory care rotations, acute care/institutional rotations, and elective rotations. From the award nomination, “… our design of a course director model in APPEs has increased faculty engagement and collaboration in experiential education… By utilizing APPE course directors, new learning activities have emerged creating multiple areas of innovative scholarship around practice management, patient tracking, and evidence-based medicine.” These activities, which are often extensions of the  pre-APPE curriculum, allow for increased student-student dialogue across rotation sites, as well as creating consistency in the experiences that students are receiving on rotations.

The team has worked to engage preceptors by providing a more standard curriculum or guidance for students and preceptors to follow in collaboration with site specific activities and objectives. Students are asked to work with preceptors on several guided activities and conversations throughout the semester. For example, students on community and ambulatory care work through an evidence based medicine sequence as well as guided dialogue and activities related to philosophy of practice, medication safety, quality measures, and interprofessional team work.

The steering committee was also responsible for shifting grading of APPEs from A-F to using universal Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs). Preceptors were vital in the creating, consensus building, and calibrating of the EPAs used on rotations. By utilizing EPAs to assess students, preceptors are able to provide feedback that is more applicable to clinical practice. UMN-COP was one of the first Colleges of Pharmacy to utilize EPAs. Since the UMN-COP has developed and implemented EPAs on APPEs the AACP has identified a set of core EPAs for new pharmacy graduates with guidance from UMN-COP’s experience from Dr. Amy Pittenger.

The team is now entering the second year of the new experiential curriculum and they continue to revise and innovate. Many of the team members presented at the AACP annual meeting at various sessions and posters. Drs. Frail, Philbrick, and Moon presented on the evidence-based medicine sequence utilized in APPEs. In addition the team presented several posters related to the experiential education curriculum including patient tracking, pharmacy management, and evidence-based medicine.

The UMN-COP Experiential Education Steering Committee is made up of staff and faculty involved with Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPEs), Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs), preceptor development, and assessment. The team includes Dawn Carlson, Scott Chapman, Angela Cortese, Caity Frail, Christene Jolowsky, Mary McGuiggan, Jean Moon, Jordan Orzoff, Ann Philbrick, Amy Pittenger, Raquel Rodriguez, and Megan Undeberg.

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