This is an Experience.

Pharmacy students in scrubs

During the fourth year of the program, Harrison School of Pharmacy students apply and refine knowledge learned during the first, second, and third years while on Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs).

Students complete eight five-week APPEs or “rotations” during the P4 year. The Harrison School of Pharmacy prides itself on the diverse and unique APPEs offered to its students. While there are many available in traditional pharmacy settings, there are also opportunities to expose students to niche areas of pharmacy practice that are not as common.

Here are personal stories from two P4 students, one of which completed a rotation at the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine and the other in Thailand.

Pharmacy students behind the counter with pharmacist in Thailand

Emily Rivenbark

I have thoroughly enjoyed the variety of P4 rotations HSOP has to offer. The different experiences give the students an overall picture of the many career paths that encompass the profession of pharmacy and prepare students for their future with real hands-on experience.

One of the most unique rotations that our school offers is the abroad APPE in Thailand. I worked in the Neurosurgery Ward of a hospital, interacted with all types of health-care professionals, and worked directly with patients everyday. I “worked up” patients throughout the day, made any changes that I saw necessary, and attended rounds every morning.

I also had the chance to travel around the country and gain experiences one could never possibly imagine. Being immersed in their culture and healthcare practices, in addition to making unforgettable friendships, provided the most amazing memories that will be with me forever.

Kelsey Dobbs

HSOP offers a wide variety of APPE rotations for fourth-year student-pharmacists to explore. These engaging experiences enable student pharmacists to apply knowledge and skills obtained during the first three years of the pharmacy curriculum.

One particular practice site that offers a unique experience is the veterinary medicine elective associated with Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. It is here that student pharmacists expand their horizon by exploring pharmacology as it is applied to animals.

I had the privilege of rotating within the large and small animal hospitals in Auburn for five weeks. As part of an interdisciplinary team, I participated on rounds with doctors of veterinary medicine, technicians, and fourth-year veterinary students also on their clinical rotations.

I rotated throughout all departments of the hospital including dermatology, radiology, oncology, cardiology, ophthalmology, theriology, rehabilitation, neurology, community practice, dairy, equine, exotics, canine performance sciences, and even the raptor center where I cared for Auburn’s beloved War Eagle who flies over the field, hearing its name by tens of thousands, circling and landing with precision on his designated mark creating a fan experience like no other.

Within the hospital pharmacy, student-pharmacists practice sterile and nonsterile compounding to create pharmaceutical formulations best suitable for animals.

During my rotation I collaborated with nationally renowned doctors of veterinary medicine to create a compound that aimed to reduce inflammation and soreness of Alaskan sled dogs’ paws. I developed an ingredients list, ordered the products, and formulated both a balm and a spray to use topically on the dogs’ paws.

The owner was greatly appreciative of my help in creating/tailoring a compound to her request in the best interest of her adored dogs. It was a professionally rewarding experience, seeing firsthand the effect of my work and innovative thinking in helping others.

Auburn pharmacy student with dog in vet clinic

Last Updated: February 28, 2017