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.

Pharmacy student examining a test tube

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, ideally in an independent community pharmacy, learning the distribution process. In the spring (IPPE II), you'll work five hours a week, ideally in a chain community pharmacy setting. In May (IPPE III), you will spend one 40-hour week at a community pharmacy site. 

P2 Students

Learning medication distribution in an institutional setting

At the end of your second year, you'll spend a full two weeks in an institutional setting. Your role is to 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 spend a full 40-hour week in a community pharmacy setting, with a concentrated public health focus. You will be responsible for providing immunizations and other activities related to health and wellness. In the spring (IPPE VI), you'll participate in simulations to enhance your critical thinking and communication skills, as well as engage in patient care activities in preparation for your Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPE).

Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPE)

Individualize your fourth year based on your career goals!

Each student in the McWhorter School of Pharmacy completes 1,600 hours of clinical experience in their P4 year. The experiences include:

  • Primary/Ambulatory Care
  • Community Pharmacy
  • General Medicine
  • Institutional/Healthcare Systems Pharmacy
  • Selective (medicine specialty)
  • Electives (3)

McWhorter School of Pharmacy is located in Birmingham, one of the leading health care cities in the country.  Students will have the opportunity to tailor their fourth year experientials which will give them access to a wide variety of clinical sites. Students will be able to not only have experiences in Birmingham in both community pharmacy and institutional pharmacy sites but also in other areas of Alabama including north Alabama and the gulf coast region,  the southeast and internationally.  In addition, we have long standing partnerships with leading health care institutions and state of the art community based pharmacies.  Students benefit from the excellent instruction from outstanding faculty and affiliate faculty or preceptors who practice in these facilities.