Gaining experience through APPE rotations

By Jenna Waits,

P3, or fifth year pharmacy students at the University of Findlay spent this academic year preparing for the experiences they will gain by participating in Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) rotations.

Fifth year student, Carson Shoemaker has described his special plans when it comes to his APPE rotations.

“My hub site is Premier Health Miami Valley,” Shoemaker said. “Most of my rotations are at that hospital and I can’t wait. One of my elective rotations will be in Kyushu, Japan.”

Shoemaker shared that he leaves for Japan on May 11. To prepare for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, he is learning small amounts of Japanese, as well as learning how to respect their traditions and culture.

“The Japan site is the place that I’m most looking forward to,” Shoemaker said. “I will get to travel and live in another country or a short period of time. I will be attending lectures and learning about the Japanese healthcare system.”

Shoemaker is one of several students who, over the years, through APPEs, have gotten the opportunity to travel and gain different types of work and learning experiences because of it.

Dr. Tonya A. Brim Dauterman, Clinical Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice, Associate Dean of External Affairs and Advocacy and Chair of Experiential Education, describes APPEs as the rotations that students do at the end of the didactic (teaching and classroom based) curriculum.

The University’s website provides information about what APPEs are, as well as how they work. Sixth year or P4 students are assigned to a “hub-site.” Hub-sites can be an area with a very large healthcare or hospital system or they can be a geographic area with multiple small or mid-size systems.

Shoemaker is participating in election rotations, which are also a possibility for others participating in APPEs.

UF’s experiential program has a key characteristic that makes it unique, which includes continuous moves and acclimating to a new place each site. Each month when students more sites, UF’s program allowed P4s to remain in the same area for longer.

Besides not having to secure a living space and acclimate to a new living situation, new city, and new people, another advantage is that P4s are able to build stronger relationships with their coworkers and mentors because they will be around longer than they might have been otherwise.

Shoemaker is planning to take advantage of the amount of stability that UF’s program offers. He will be doing most of his rotations at the same site, but with the opportunity that elective rotations provide, he will also gain the experience of studying and working in a different country. This will allow him to learn about a different healthcare system than the United States.

“In my opinion the Findlay pharmacy program has done an excellent job preparing me for my APPEs,” Shoemaker said. “I feel confident in my ability to apply clinical knowledge to treat patients.”