Acute Care Medicine Concentration | PCOM School of Pharmacy
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Acute Care Concentration

Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD)

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Acute Care Medicine Concentration 
Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) Program

The Acute Care Medicine Concentration includes six (6) credit hours in didactic elective coursework and is designed to give PCOM School of Pharmacy PharmD program students in-depth preparation for a career in acute care pharmacy.

Graduates will be encouraged to apply for PGY 1 and 2 residencies for specialty training to develop acute care pharmacy skills and knowledge. As space is limited, students will be selected based on availability.


What is an acute care pharmacist?

Acute care pharmacists consult with physicians to develop treatment plans, review and evaluate the effectiveness of medication therapies, and provide coverage to assist patients with medication-related questions and issues. They also provide valuable expertise and guidance in the proper and judicial use of antimicrobial agents in hospitals and healthcare systems.

As the drug therapy expert, an acute care pharmacist applies their training and expertise to caring for the critically ill in hospitals and healthcare systems. They also can practice and treat acutely and chronically ill patients at specialty clinics and other ambulatory clinics.

Which courses will I take for the Acute Care Medicine Concentration?

The Acute Care Medicine Concentration requires the completion of six (6) credit hours of elective coursework. Students will complete two, one-credit acute care courses per term in the third year (six courses for a total of six credits). Current course offerings are listed below and are subject to change. Consult the course catalog for additional information.

Opioid Stewardship, Pain and Palliative Care

This course is designed to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the pharmacotherapeutic management of pain while considering comorbid conditions, including advanced illnesses as well as concurrent medications. Relief of acute and chronic pain and support of advanced chronic illnesses by focusing on the physical, psychosocial, spiritual aspects of care for the best possible quality of life is also covered during this course. In addition, students are introduced to opioid stewardship, the coordinated intervention of all healthcare providers designed to improve, monitor, and evaluate the use of opioids in order to support and protect human health. Special attention is given to intervention strategies to mitigate misuse and potential abuse of opioids.

Emergency Medicine

The Emergency Medicine course is designed to introduce students to the principles of pharmacy practice in the emergency department as an interprofessional member of the emergency medicine team. Students will be exposed to the cases with medication recommendations for a variety of diseases and disorders seen in the emergency medicine environment. Special emphasis is placed on proactive role of pharmacist in reducing medication errors.

Special Topics in Pediatrics

This course provides introduction to and active engagement in specialized topics affecting the pediatric population in efforts to prepare student pharmacists for a specialty or board certification in the field. Special topics of interest for this course will include nutrition, neonatal and pediatric intensive care management, congenital heart disease, poisoning and poison prevention, as well as unique disease management in this patient population.

Nutrition and Transplantation

This elective takes the student through the steps in understanding comprehensive management of evidence-based nutrition support in the acute care setting, and achievement of outcomes in specialized nutrition support for specific patient populations such as solid-organ transplant patients. This course will cover recommendations of nutrition formulations in the management of fluid and electrolyte balance.

Antimicrobial Stewardship

This course will provide students with additional education about antimicrobial stewardship. The primary objective of the course is to expand and deepen student knowledge of microbiology and pharmacotherapy gained from core curriculum courses, with an emphasis on clinical application within the antimicrobial stewardship context. The course will introduce students to the principles of antimicrobial stewardship to facilitate the rationale of selection of antimicrobial regimens, stewardship interventions, quality improvement methods, and program development, implementation and evaluation.

Seminars in Evidence-Based Critical Care

This course is designed to expose the student to pharmacotherapeutic challenges encountered in the critical care setting and to expand the student’s knowledge base regarding the role of the pharmacist in the critical care setting. The course is designed in a patient-case format in order to discuss medications and disease states commonly seen in the critically ill patient. Students will have an opportunity to strengthen written and verbal presentation skills.

Psychiatry and Mental Health

This course* will introduce new topics not covered in the core curriculum related to psychiatric illnesses including concepts of behavioral medicine, and traumatic disorders. Additional attention will also be given to management of affective disorders, anxiety, schizophrenia and attention-deficit disorders. Students will apply the knowledge learned via the lecture through group cases conducted at the end of each lecture as well as movie/topic discussions pertaining to the lecture material.

*May also satisfy Ambulatory Care Concentration

Advanced Cardiovascular Management

This course* is designed to focus on important knowledge involving cardiovascular pharmacotherapy. The overall objective of the course is to emphasize the need for the student to provide clinical evidence to support drug therapy recommendations in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases during their clinical clerkships and future practice. By the conclusion of this course, the student will be able to cite data from clinical trials to justify their specific drug therapy recommendations for a variety of cardiovascular diseases such as ischemic heart disease (including unstable angina, chronic stable angina, acute coronary syndrome, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, hypertension, dyslipidemia and etc.).

*May also satisfy Ambulatory Care Concentration

Topic Discussions in Consultant Pharmacy and Geriatrics

The purpose of this course* is to expose students to the key concepts in consultant pharmacy practice pertaining to geriatric pharmacotherapy and assessment. The course is designed to focus on important clinical topics in geriatrics. There will be an emphasis on the physiology of aging, appropriate pharmacotherapy, complexity of regimens, changes in cognition, and the challenges of providing safe medication management of the elderly. The course will include, but is not limited to, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, Parkinson’s disease, depression, anxiety, behavioral disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, changes in hepatic metabolism, renal clearance and volumes of distribution and other topics.

*May also satisfy Ambulatory Care Concentration

Advanced Oncology

This elective* covers preparation of intravenous chemotherapy and oral chemotherapy by an oncologic pharmacist. It also covers survivorship including nutrition and wellness for the cancer patient. The student will have an opportunity to learn about various cancers that were not previously covered along with oncology nutrition. The student will also have an opportunity to verify chemotherapy orders and apply it to a patient case as well as a chance to complete an oncology volunteer activity.

*May also satisfy Ambulatory Care Concentration

Advanced Health Systems Management, Outcomes and Services

This course* provides the student with knowledge and skills for managing population health outcomes in healthcare systems. The focus is on understanding the role of costs in healthcare delivery and the balance between optimizing healthcare costs and achieving outcomes. Special emphasis will be given to the application of health services research data to the quality of care from the perspective of a population-health manager.

*May also satisfy Managed or Ambulatory Care Concentration.