Experiential Education

Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPE)

Students are required to complete the following introductory pharmacy practice experiences during the first, second, and third professional years. Portfolios are a required component for successful completion of the Practice of Pharmacy courses.

These courses incorporate required Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPEs) which are composed of Service-Learning, Patient Caring Experiences, Introductory Pharmacy Practice Competencies: Community-Based (P1), Institution-Based (P2-P3), and a Capstone component.

Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPE)

Students are required to complete eight advanced practice experiences during the fourth professional year. Students must have satisfactorily completed all required and elective courses in the professional curriculum to be eligible for fourth year standing and to start the advanced experience sequence. Advanced pharmacy practice experiences are preferentially assigned to students on normal academic progression. Students who interrupt their normal academic progression will be assigned to experiential sites as they become available. Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the chairperson of the Department of Pharmacy Practice.

Five (5) Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPE) are required in the areas of Community Pharmacy, Institutional Pharmacy, Acute Care (2), and Ambulatory Care. Three (3) practice experiences are electives. Each APPE is five weeks in length. A one week Pharmacotherapy Case Conference course also is required. 

During Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences, students will gain competency in the following areas: problem-oriented drug monitoring; therapeutic drug monitoring; medication histories; managing a patient’s drug therapy; identification, resolution and prevention of drug-related problems; drug information/ retrieval skills; application of knowledge of diseases and drug therapy to pharmaceutical care; consulting and counseling with health care professionals and patients; education of health care professionals; communication and presentation skills and professional conduct.

Students are surveyed during the third professional year to determine elective preferences and eligibility for assignment. Assignments are made through an online program that randomly assigns students based on site availability. 

College policy requires that all students have proper records of immunization and proof of current health insurance on file with Campus Health Care Services prior to any assignment to a patient care setting. Students are also subject to background checks and drug screening as required by their assigned experiential sites’ policy.

The majority of Mercer’s advanced pharmacy practice experiences are completed within the following areas: metropolitan Atlanta, Columbus, Macon, and Savannah. Mercer pharmacy students, however, may be required to complete part of their advanced pharmacy practice experiences at other locations based on site availability. A complete list of sites is available in the Experiential Education Office. Site availability is subject to change.

Pharmacy students also can consider participating in one of the following unique advanced pharmacy practice experience programs: Advanced Clinical Track (ACT), Global Medical Missions, Indian Health Service (IHS), or International Pharmacy. A list of the current sites utilized for these programs is available in the Experiential Education Office.