Auburn Pharmacist Spotlight: Dr. Karen Marlowe

Dr. Marlowe addresses the P1 class Dr. Karen Marlowe speaks to the Class of 2021 during Orientation Week.

August 29, 2017

AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala.Periodically, the Harrison School of Pharmacy will highlight one of its students, faculty members, staff members or alums. This month, we will feature Dr. Karen Marlowe.

A two-time Auburn graduate with a bachelor of science in pharmacy and a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, Dr. Karen Marlowe holds multiple hats at the Harrison School of Pharmacy as a Professor, Associate Department Head in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, and Assistant Dean for the Mobile Campus. She also has a practice based in Mobile and is affiliated with the University of South Alabama Medical School, Department of Internal Medicine.

Most recently, Dr. Marlowe held an integral position with the Practice Ready Curriculum Team and served as the coordinator for P1 orientation. Given her positions, she has a great insight to HSOP's new curriculum, rolled out in the Fall of 2017. To learn more, you can read about HSOP's vision: The Practice-Ready Graduate.

Why was a curriculuar change necessary for HSOP?
“Healthcare is changing at an ever increasing rate. Pharmacists at graduation are expected to directly care for patients and to have the skills to address this changing healthcare environment. The motivation to change our curriculum is to ensure our graduating pharmacists are practice ready and team ready.”

What has the process been like?
“The process began four years ago with a group of faculty defining what it meant to be practice ready. The faculty then developed that description into the competencies that formed the framework of our curriculum. What is most exciting is seeing hard work and vision coming to fruition.”

How was orientation different for the P1s this year?
“Each day of orientation served two purposes. The first was to orient HSOP’s students to the Practice-Ready curriculum. The second was to raise their awareness of the role of the pharmacist. We began that process using themes each day including teamwork, pharmacist patient care process, advocacy, leadership, and mentoring. Each of these were selected because they are important for them as students and in their future roles as pharmacists. We used activities each day to encourage them to develop their understanding through discussion and practice.”

What stands out about the new curriculum?
“From the beginning we will be helping the students to understand how their learning is directly related to practice and patient care. To accomplish this goal, faculty from all three departments will be teaching alongside each other in integrated learning experiences from day one. The students will also be prepared for work in interprofessional settings. Throughout the curriculum the students will have interproffesional experiences and learning opportunities which encourage them to become to become team ready. Lastly, the students will be engaging in activities through their work in student activities and other pieces of the co-curriculum.”

How does the new curriculum prepare the Practice-Ready Graduate?
“The curriculum is designed to show the students application of information and skills as they are learning. The goal is to produce Practice Ready pharmacists who have a positive and enduring impact on people and communities and the health care system through the advancement of the profession.”


About the Harrison School of Pharmacy
Auburn University’s Harrison School of Pharmacy is ranked among the top 20 percent of all pharmacy schools in the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report. Fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), the School offers doctoral degrees in pharmacy (Pharm.D.) and pharmaceutical sciences (Ph.D.) while also offering a master’s in pharmaceutical sciences. For more information about the School, please call 334.844.8348 or visit

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Last Updated: August 29, 2017