Third-Year Students Explore 100+ Rotation Opportunities at Annual APPE Fair

USC Mann’s annual Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPE) Fair gave 188 third-year PharmD students an opportunity to meet with more than 100 preceptors from over 70 sites to learn about an array of APPE rotations.

The PharmD program’s fourth year is entirely experiential, with students completing six, six-week APPEs that help them develop the competencies essential to the pharmacist’s expanding role as a healthcare provider.

“Since the role of a pharmacist is always evolving, we want to prepare students for those changes by expanding the breadth of APPE rotations available to them each year,” says Ying Wang, assistant professor of clinical pharmacy and director of Professional Experience Programs, who notes that the fair is an exciting moment for PharmD students because it signifies the initial planning stages for their final year of pharmacy school.

The 2019 APPE Fair, held in September at The Langham Huntington in Pasadena, California, convened preceptors from a wide range of locations across Southern California, including Kaiser Permanente, Allergan, Cedars-Sinai, Blue Shield of California, L.A. Care Health Plan, CVS, Ralphs, and USC sites such as LAC+USC Medical Center, Keck Medicine of USC and the five USC Pharmacy locations.

At the fair, Ellie Doan, PharmD, pharmacy manager at CalMed Pharmacy in Mission Viejo, discussed with students rotations available at her independent community pharmacy. “I love working with USC students because they’re so on top of everything,” Doan said. “They’re professional and they’re always eager to learn.”

For third-year PharmD student Noam Morningstar-Kywi, the APPE Fair was not only an opportunity to map out rotations, but also a chance to find a suitable mentor.

“What I look for in a rotation is having a preceptor who’s excited and willing to teach — that’s more important to me than just a big-name hospital,” he said. “Interacting with preceptors at the fair gives me the opportunity to determine who’s going to invest their time in students, so it’s been really helpful.”

USC Mann pioneered experiential learning for PharmD students in the late 1960s and today remains an innovator in preparing students for pharmacy practice in a wide variety of settings.