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  • Practice Experiences

    Learning by doing: practice experience is essential to your education

    In the McWhorter School of Pharmacy, we supplement your classroom education with extensive experiences in a variety of practice settings. There is no substitute for these hands-on experiences.


    We have two primary practice programs:

    Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPE)+

    Gain experiences in both community pharmacy and institutional settings.

    • P1 students: Learning medication distribution in a community pharmacy setting

      The P1 clinical is divided into three sections. In the fall (IPPE I), students work for four hours each week in a community pharmacy, shadowing their preceptor and learning the distribution process. In January (IPPE II), you will spend 40 hours each week at your clinical site. In the spring (IPPE III), you'll work five hours a week, ideally in a chain pharmacy setting.

    • P2 students: Learning medication distribution in an institutional setting

      In the fall or spring, you'll spend a full two weeks in an institutional setting. Your role is to shadow your preceptor and learn about institutional pharmacy and drug distribution systems, including processes for dealing with medication errors.

    • P3 students: focusing on public health in a community pharmacy setting

      In the fall (IPPE V), you'll participate in simulation activities as part of your final preparation for your Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences.. You'll work a full 40-hour week in a community pharmacy setting, with a concentrated public health focus. You will help counsel patients to improve medication adherence. In the spring (IPPE VI), you'll participate in simulations focused on communication with patients developing drug-related problems. You'll develop interventional prioritization skills, while participating in rounds simulations and experiencing a code simulation.

    If you have questions about the IPPE program, please contact:
    Dr. Jennifer Beall

    Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPE)+

    Hone your skills in a variety of real-world settings.

    Each student in the McWhorter School of Pharmacy completes 1,440 hours of clinical experience in their P4 year. Your required experiences include:

    • Primary/Ambulatory Care
    • Community Pharmacy
    • General Medicine
    • Institutional/Healthcare Systems Pharmacy
    • Two elective experience

    Because we are located in Birmingham, one of the leading health care cities in the country, you have access to wide variety of clinical sites in which to complete your required rotations. Whether you are interested in retail pharmacy or working in an acute care setting, you'll find ample opportunities to tailor your practice skills to your career goals. Our partnerships with leading health care providers, such as St. Vincent's Hospital and Baptist Health Center, opens opportunities that might be hard to find elsewhere. And while you're here, you will work with preceptors who have long experience in both patient care and student learning.

    Our outstanding pharmacy practice faculty is also active at numerous practice locations in the Birmingham area including Children's of Alabama, Brookwood Medical Center, Jefferson County Health Department, FMS Pharmacy, Shelby Baptist Medical Center, Princeton Hoover Baptist Medical Center, Birmingham VA Medical Center, St. Vincent's Health System and many more.

    The Drug Information Center: a resource for all pharmacists+

    The McWhorter School of Pharmacy Drug Information Center is a fee-for-service operation that provides comprehensive drug information service to a variety of clients, from hospitals to nursing homes. Our services include drug information consults, committee support (Pharmacy and Therapeutics, Institutional Review Board, Infection Control), formulary management, policy and much, much more. The Drug Information Center is also an excellent resource of students to gain practice experience in the Drug Information Advanced Practice Experience (i.e. clerkship rotation).

    As a center of excellence within the McWhorter School of Pharmacy, the Drug Information Center plays a vital role in the education of our Doctor of Pharmacy students. Alternatively, students play a vital role in the delivery of our day-to-day functions. We very much believe in the symbiotic relationship that academia can provide between student and educator to meet strategic goals of our school, while also giving students unique and unparalleled learning experiences prior to graduation.

    The five main objectives of the Drug Information Center:

    • To provide comprehensive, objective, and unbiased information to health care professionals; and ensure high-quality patient care.
    • To provide drug information services to health care institutions for delivery of quality patient care.
    • To teach pharmacy students, drug information residents, pharmacists, and other health care providers the skill of efficiently searching the literature, critically analyzing the information, and accurately communicating (both verbal and written) the response.
    • To serve as an information resource center for faculty, students, and health care professionals.
    • To conduct research for the advancement of drug information and pharmacy.

    Learn more about the Drug Information Center.