Course Descriptions

Fisher Pharm.D. Online courses have been thoughtfully designed by the same Wegmans School of Pharmacy faculty who teach in our on-campus pathway, in collaboration with a skilled production team to bring our course content online.

The curriculum is designed to teach you the scientific skills you need to prepare to become a patient-centered pharmacist. It matches our on-campus pathway and is aligned with Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) standards for study. Courses build upon one another as you progress through the program. You will supplement your learning in the online classroom with experiential learning in your community and on-campus immersions.

You can view a sample course schedule here.

Online Courses

Pharmacy Calculations (2 credits)
This course is an introduction to prescription terminology, systems of measurement, and pharmacy calculations. Students will apply appropriate mathematical concepts found within the practice of pharmacy, including prescription compounding and patient-specific determinations. Emphasis will be placed on improving and applying problem-solving skills for the needs of an individual patient within the practice of pharmacy.

Pharmaceutics I (4 credits)
This course is intended to provide a foundation of the principles that are fundamental to the study of pharmaceutics and drug delivery, including physical pharmacy and dosage form design. Students will study the design, composition, and proper use of dosage forms, including manufactured commercial products for the mass market and extemporaneously compounded preparations for individual patients. Basic concepts in drug delivery will be discussed in relation to the dosage forms. An emphasis will be placed on how to select the optimal dosage form for the drug molecule and disease condition based on pharmaceutical principles. A broad overview of the drug development and approval process in the industry will also be provided.

Pharmaceutics I (4 credits)
This course is intended to provide a foundation of the principles that are fundamental to the study of pharmaceutics and drug delivery, including physical pharmacy and dosage form design. Students will study the design, composition, and proper use of dosage forms, including manufactured commercial products for the mass market and extemporaneously compounded preparations for individual patients. Basic concepts in drug delivery will be discussed in relation to the dosage forms. An emphasis will be placed on how to select the optimal dosage form for the drug molecule and disease condition based on pharmaceutical principles. A broad overview of the drug development and approval process in the industry will also be provided.

Biosystems I (4 credits)
This course introduces important chemical and biological concepts to lay a foundation for pharmacological and pathophysiological principles considered later in the curriculum. A strong emphasis is placed on the integration of these fundamentals essential to the study of pharmaceutical sciences.

Systems Pharmacology I (4 credits)
This course introduces students to important concepts in anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and pharmacogenomics to provide a foundation for pathophysiological principles and the rational basis of various pharmacotherapeutic strategies considered later in the curriculum.

Pharmaceutics II (4 credits)
This course is a continuation of the two-semester series on commonly used pharmaceutical dosage forms and drug delivery systems. In addition, this course examines the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME) processes of drugs and the contributing factors. The principles of pharmacokinetic modeling will be discussed extensively to provide the foundation for rational design of dosing regimens for individual patients.

Biosystems II (4 credits)
The preparatory concepts examined in this course lay a foundation for pharmacological and pathophysiological principles considered later in the curriculum. A strong emphasis is placed on metabolic and cellular interactions, maintaining cellular homeostasis, and the interplay between host-defense and pathogenic microbes. Students will participate in a team-based learning project integrating fundamental concepts covered in Biosystems I and II.

Systems Pharmacology II (4 credits)
This course examines the concepts that provide the foundation for the rational use of pharmacotherapeutic agents in treating disorders of the autonomic nervous system, the respiratory system, the cardiovascular system, and the renal system. The relevant anatomy and physiology of each system is discussed in detail, as are the molecular disease etiologies of the disorders. The properties and actions of the pharmacological agents used in the treatment of each disorder and the molecular, cellular, and systems effects of these agents are discussed. A primary focus of all courses in this sequence is integration of concepts.

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Introduction to Diversity (1 credit)
The goal of this course is to increase students’ knowledge and broaden their perceptions of diverse populations. Differences in race, sexual orientation, culture, religion, and physical ability will be discussed. The course will focus on how diversity influences patients’ perceptions of the health care system and how health care providers can better serve diverse populations. The class will include guest lecturers, films, group discussion, and reflective writing assignments. Graded S/U for Pharmacy students.

Applied Pathophysiology and Therapeutics I (3 credits)
This course is part of a sequence that helps students learn the prevalence, pathophysiology, clinical presentation, diagnostic criteria, and therapeutic options for the treatment of select disease states. Teaching and learning will focus on the pharmacist process of collection and assessment of information, along with development, implementation, and monitoring of a plan. The optimal therapeutic regimen will be based on the application of clinical practice guidelines, evidence-based medicine, and self-care recommendations, while incorporating patient-specific characteristics to ensure safe and effective medication use. Identifying and resolving current and/or anticipated medication-related problems will also be emphasized. The clinical application of the course material utilizes various instructional techniques through the incorporation of active learning exercises that include problem- and case-based learning, patient interviewing, and triage skills. These application-based learning modalities help students develop abilities needed to select and recommend appropriate non-pharmacological and pharmacological therapies, both prescription and non-prescription, while providing monitoring and counseling parameters for therapeutic regimens.

Introduction to the Pharmacy Profession (1 credit)
This course will introduce students to the pharmacy practice environment by preparing them with a working knowledge of interprofessional education and practice, an understanding of the myriad factors that affect a patient’s health care decision-making, and a review of the medications that are most commonly used in the United States. By the end of the course students should understand how pharmacists work collaboratively with other health care professionals; appreciate the nature of interprofessional communication within the health care team; be able to develop strategies that will allow patients to make beneficial decisions with respect to their health and health care; and recognize the brand/generic names, drug class, dosage form, and major uses of the top 200 drugs.

State Pharmacy Law (2 credits)
This course examines the role of New York State government in the regulation of pharmacists, pharmacy practice, and drug products. Students learn about both the structure and the substance of the pharmacy practice environment. Students will obtain a working knowledge of the New York pharmacy practice law, the New York State Controlled Substances Act, the regulations associated with these, pharmacy “malpractice” law, the common law, and other law relevant to practice. These tools are necessary to be able to practice effectively and efficiently. In addition, students will be challenged to think critically about American-style regulatory process and its effects on patients, practice, and society.

Federal Pharmacy Law (2 credits)
This course examines the role of the federal government in the regulation of pharmacy practice and the interplay with New York State pharmacy law. Students will learn about both the structure and substance of pharmacy practice environment. Students will obtain a working knowledge of the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the federal Controlled Substances Act, the regulations associated with these, the common law, and other federal law relevant to practice. These tools are necessary to be able to practice effectively and efficiently. In addition, students will be challenged to think critically about American-style regulatory process and its effects on patients, practice, and society.

Systems Pharmacology III (4 credits)
This course examines the concepts that provide the foundation for the rational use of pharmacotherapeutic agents in treating select disorders of the cardiovascular, inflammatory, gastrointestinal, and endocrine systems. The relevant anatomy and physiology of these systems are discussed in detail, as are the molecular disease etiologies of the disorders. The properties and actions of the pharmacological agents used in the treatment of each disorder and the molecular, cellular, and systems effects of these agents are discussed. A primary focus of all courses in this sequence is integration of concepts.

Applied Pathophysiology and Therapeutics II (5 credits)
This course is part of a sequence that helps students learn the prevalence, pathophysiology, clinical presentation, diagnostic criteria, and therapeutic options for the treatment of select disease states. Teaching and learning will focus on the pharmacist process of collection and assessment of information, along with development, implementation, and monitoring of a plan. The optimal therapeutic regimen will be based on the application of clinical practice guidelines, evidence-based medicine, and self-care recommendations, while incorporating patient-specific characteristics to ensure safe and effective medication use. Identifying and resolving current and/or anticipated medication-related problems will also be emphasized. The clinical application of the course material utilizes various instructional techniques through the incorporation of active learning exercises that include problem- and case-based learning, patient interviewing, and triage skills. These application-based learning modalities help students develop abilities needed to select and recommend appropriate non-pharmacological and pharmacological therapies, both prescription and non-prescription, while providing monitoring and counseling parameters for therapeutic regimens.

Principles, Methods, and Clinical Application of Epidemiology in Pharmacy Practice I (2 credits)
This course will provide the student with techniques and skills for information retrieval, evaluation of medical and pharmacy practice literature, and application to specific patient problems. Students will retrieve appropriate medical information and gain an understanding of biostatistics, clinical trials, and epidemiological principles. By applying these principles together, students will be able to critically evaluate medical information in the literature and apply research findings to specific patient-care situations.

Communications and Counseling Skills (3 credits)
This course examines the principles of communication with a particular focus on health-related interactions. Effective communication is essential in the practice of pharmacy. Patient-centered care implies accepting responsibility for and reckoning with expectations for proper counseling. Students learn techniques and strategies that can be used by pharmacists to enhance communication with patients, colleagues, health care professionals, and other interested parties. Emphasis is placed on skills that will enable students to develop and maintain constructive interpersonal relationships in a variety of pharmacy practice settings. Coursework consists mostly of didactic lecture/discussion, with some role-play presentations by students.

Systems Pharmacology IV (4 credits)
This course examines the concepts that provide the foundation for the rational use of pharmacotherapeutic agents in treating central nervous system disorders. The relevant anatomy and physiology of this system is discussed in detail, as are the molecular disease etiologies of the disorders. The properties and actions of the pharmacological agents used in the treatment of each disorder and the molecular, cellular, and systems effects of these agents are discussed. A primary focus of all courses in this sequence is integration of concepts.

Applied Pathophysiology and Therapeutics III (5 credits)
This course is part of a sequence that helps students learn the prevalence, pathophysiology, clinical presentation, diagnostic criteria, and therapeutic options for the treatment of select disease states. Teaching and learning will focus on the pharmacist process of collection and assessment of information, along with development, implementation, and monitoring of a plan. The optimal therapeutic regimen will be based on the application of clinical practice guidelines, evidence-based medicine, and self-care recommendations, while incorporating patient-specific characteristics to ensure safe and effective medication use. Identifying and resolving current and/or anticipated medication-related problems will also be emphasized. The clinical application of the course material utilizes various instructional techniques through the incorporation of active learning exercises that include problem- and case-based learning, patient interviewing, and triage skills. These application-based learning modalities help students develop abilities needed to select and recommend appropriate non-pharmacological and pharmacological therapies, both prescription and non-prescription, while providing monitoring and counseling parameters for therapeutic regimens.

Health Care Delivery (3 credits)
This course provides future pharmacists with an overview of the structure and function of the U.S. health care market and organization of care. We begin with economics and insurance, for example supply and demand of health care, the theory of insurance and a private health care market, and government involvement in health care. A review of key differences in international health systems serves as a launching pad for our consideration of U.S. health care reform efforts. We then consider various delivery settings in which pharmacists practice, including behavioral health, public health, and long-term care. We round out the course with special topic such as off-label prescribing, drug shortages, direct-to-consumer advertising, and foreign clinical trials.

Principles, Methods, and Clinical Application of Epidemiology in Pharmacy Practice II (2 credits)
This course will further enhance the student’s skills in research methodology, statistical and study design principles, and the evaluation of drug information. The course builds on prior concepts to provide the student with advanced skills in the application of biostatistics and literature evaluation to the practice of evidence-based medicine. A combination of classroom lectures and a group clinical trial project will be used to facilitate the student’s understanding.

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Applied Pharmaceutics I (1 credit)
This course is a continuation in the pharmaceutics sequence focusing on problem-based learning in a laboratory setting. Students will develop the skills needed for extemporaneous compounding of various pharmaceutical dosage forms. Emphasis will be placed on prescription interpretation, ingredient selection, calculations, and compounding techniques. Students will also practice proper packaging, labeling, and patient counseling of compounded drug products.

Applied Pharmaceutics II (1 credit)
This course is a continuation in the pharmaceutics sequence focusing on problem-based learning in a laboratory setting. Students will develop the skills needed for extemporaneous compounding of various pharmaceutical dosage forms. Emphasis will be placed on prescription interpretation, ingredient selection, calculations, and compounding techniques. Students will also practice proper packaging, labeling, and patient counseling of compounded drug products.

Systems Pharmacology V (4 credits)
This course examines the concepts that provide the foundation for the rational use of pharmacotherapeutic agents to treat infectious diseases and neoplasms. Relevant aspects of the physiology of microbial, viral, and mycotic pathogenic organisms will be discussed. The molecular etiology of cancer and the various stages of tumor development will also be introduced. Those chemotherapeutic agents used for the purpose of eradicating the invading populations will be presented with an emphasis on their chemical characteristics and their mechanistic and systemic actions. A primary focus of all courses in this sequence is integration of concepts.

Applied Pathophysiology and Therapeutics IV (5 credits)
This course is part of a sequence that helps students learn the prevalence, pathophysiology, clinical presentation, diagnostic criteria, and therapeutic options for the treatment of select disease states. Teaching and learning will focus on the pharmacist process of collection and assessment of information, along with development, implementation, and monitoring of a plan. The optimal therapeutic regimen will be based on the application of clinical practice guidelines, evidence-based medicine, and self-care recommendations, while incorporating patient-specific characteristics to ensure safe and effective medication use. Identifying and resolving current and/or anticipated medication-related problems will also be emphasized. The clinical application of the course material utilizes various instructional techniques through the incorporation of active learning exercises that include problem- and case-based learning, patient interviewing, and triage skills. These application-based learning modalities help students develop abilities needed to select and recommend appropriate non-pharmacological and pharmacological therapies, both prescription and non-prescription, while providing monitoring and counseling parameters for therapeutic regimens.

Concepts in Pharmacy Practice I (3 credits)
This course guides students to apply and employ the therapeutic knowledge and pharmaceutical care skills that they have developed in previous courses in the domains of pharmacotherapy, professional communications, patient assessment, education, and pharmacy practice. It is designed to integrate all aspects of pharmaceutical care in a simulated practice environment in a systems-based approach. The course consists of didactic workshops, simulated patient interactions, seminar preparation and presentations, and basic physical assessment training. There will be a focus on continuity of evaluation to ensure consistent student improvement throughout the semester. Students will gain practical experience in prescription assessment, patient profile review, clinical problem solving, patient counseling, and education. They will also learn how to do basic patient screenings such as taking blood pressure, glucose monitoring, and the proper use of medication delivery devices. The simulated patient scenarios will be a major part of this course and include videotaping as an assessment tool for evaluation, feedback, and professional growth.

Critical Evaluation of Medical Literature I (1 credit)
Students will be instructed in the critical evaluation of current medical literature within the context of statistical concepts and the application of study results to pharmacy practice. These exercises will improve the students’ understanding of research design and statistics, critical thinking skills, and drug information knowledge. Specifically, students will be assigned articles about varied disease states, study designs, medications, and methodologies. The instructor- moderated discussion will provide insightful interpretation based on study design, methods, results, and conclusions with integration of clinical knowledge and expertise. Relevant content for review will be synchronized with clinical topics covered in the Applied Pathophysiology and Therapeutics (APT) courses. Students will complete journal clubs based on the primary topics/units covered in APT courses.

Population-Based Health Care (2 credits)
Population based health care is an emerging discipline covering a variety of methods used to manage both resources and patient health outcomes. In this course, we first master the basic methods and applications of pharmacoeconomics, with a focus on understanding the value provided by a particular drug relative to other treatment or policy choices. After an overview of pharmacoepidemiology study designs, we briefly consider key factors, methods, and reporting opportunities that a clinician should consider when faced with a potential adverse effect of prescription drug use. Finally, we consider a variety of methods and case studies in population health management.

Concepts in Pharmacy Practice II (3 credits)
This course is the second of a two-course sequence. It applies the same concepts in the Concepts in Pharmacy Practice I course to a new set of patient and pharmaceutical care scenarios. The same four domains—practice simulation, health assessment, seminar, and disease management certification—will be included in this course. As the final pharmaceutical care course before students begin their advanced practice experience rotations in a real patient care setting, it is designed to integrate all aspects of pharmaceutical care in a simulated practice environment in a systems-based approach. The course consists of didactic, discussion, and simulated patient care activities that are closely monitored and evaluated by faculty. Students will gain practical experience in prescription assessment, patient profile review, clinical problem solving, and patient counseling and education.

Applied Pathophysiology and Therapeutics V (6 credits)
This course is part of a sequence that helps students learn the prevalence, pathophysiology, clinical presentation, diagnostic criteria, and therapeutic options for the treatment of select disease states. Teaching and learning will focus on the pharmacist process of collection and assessment of information, along with development, implementation, and monitoring of a plan. The optimal therapeutic regimen will be based on the application of clinical practice guidelines, evidence-based medicine, and self-care recommendations, while incorporating patient-specific characteristics to ensure safe and effective medication use. Identifying and resolving current and/or anticipated medication-related problems will also be emphasized. The clinical application of the course material utilizes various instructional techniques through the incorporation of active learning exercises that include problem- and case-based learning, patient interviewing, and triage skills. These application-based learning modalities help students develop abilities needed to select and recommend appropriate non-pharmacological and pharmacological therapies, both prescription and non-prescription, while providing monitoring and counseling parameters for therapeutic regimens.

Critical Evaluation of Medical Literature II (1 credit)
Students will practice the critical evaluation of medical literature within the context of statistical concepts and the application of clinically relevant study results to pharmacy practice. Students will review pertinent pharmacy practice literature to improve their understanding of research design and statistics, critical thinking skills, and drug information knowledge. In addition, students will have the opportunity to apply their literature evaluation skills by leading journal club discussions. Relevant content for review will be synchronized with clinical topics covered in the Applied Pathophysiology and Therapeutics (APT) courses; students will complete journal clubs based on the primary topics/units covered within APT courses.

Ethics in Pharmacy Practice (2 credits)
This course prepares students to approach ethical dilemmas objectively with a thorough understanding of professional moral responsibility. This course assists students in distinguishing ethical issues from other kinds of issues in professional practice, identifying the morally relevant features of a case, identifying the moral options open to a pharmacist faced with a moral problem, providing justification for the best options, considering counter-arguments for one’s position, practicing the act of responding personally to an ethical problem in clinical practice through 1:1 interaction, and enhancing commitment to promoting the dignity of others. Practicing pharmacists are called upon to resolve ethical conflicts; this is unavoidable. Whether dramatic or relatively trivial, the choices made are important. Also, as practice evolves toward increasing application of the principles and methods of pharmaceutical care, acumen and skill in management of ethical issues is crucial.

Managing Practice and Personnel (3 credits)
This course covers basic management principles involved in pharmacy practices from manufacturing to the consumer. Management theories, marketing strategies, regulatory issues, contracts, accounting concepts, and pharmacy security are some of the issues covered throughout the course. Drug evaluation, processing, drug acquisition, inventory, and storage will also be discussed. In addition, human resource management, including selection, performance appraisal, and diversity issues, will be covered.

Elective Courses (2 credits each)
In addition to required courses, all students must complete at least six credit hours of electives

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Experiential Education

Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience I (3 credits)
The first of four introductory rotations, this course will provide the student with actual experience in a working community pharmacy for a minimum of eight hours per week for 15 weeks. Students will learn and practice the basics of dispensing medications, counseling patients, and operating a pharmacy in a safe and legal fashion. In addition, there will be didactic classwork to allow for reflection, student discussion, and critical thinking. The discussions will review student activities that occurred on rotation.

Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience II (3 credits)
This course will provide the student with actual experience in a working institutional pharmacy for four consecutive weeks. The student will learn and practice the basics of dispensing medications in a safe and legal fashion.

Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience III (1 credit)
This course will provide the student with working experience in a long-term care facility, where greater than 80% of the resident population is geriatric (65 years of age or older). The focus of this course is on patient interviews and completing assignments that introduce the student to the provision of pharmaceutical services (F425) in a long-term care facility as described in the Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Manual System. Students will be introduced to the role of the pharmacist as part of a health care team as it relates to providing medication regimen review (F428) to identify unnecessary drugs and manage medications (F329) targeted to older adults and those with debilitating diseases requiring long-term placement. Students will use consult notes to document information collected during patient interviews and medication regimen review. In addition to on-site experience, there will be a class that meets weekly to help the student develop the skills necessary to complete on-site tasks and reinforce what is being learned through lectures, reflection, student discussion, and critical thinking.

Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience IV (1 credit)
This is the fourth and final introductory rotation offered at the Wegmans School of Pharmacy (WSOP). The focus of this rotation is to introduce students to the activities and assignments required to successfully complete Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) rotations. Preceptors will be WSOP faculty. Students may also have the opportunity to work with and learn from a WSOP APPE student. This is a 30-hour rotation that also includes classroom sessions to reinforce on-site learning and allow for reflection.

Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences Elective I (6 credits)
Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences Elective II (6 credits)
Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences Elective III (6 credits)
Each student will be required to complete three 6-week elective rotations in their final (P4) year. Each preceptor will use their own site-specific elective rotation syllabus approved by the Office of Experiential Education. Some electives may require a student complete a specific rotation prior to taking an elective, which will be stated in the syllabus. Electives are varied and are designed to offer students innovative opportunities to mature professionally and explore their own interests. Students are allowed to repeat one core rotation as an elective rotation at a different site in order to accomplish additional learning outcomes.

Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences Core Community (6 credits)
Students will perform a variety of activities including interviewing, dispensing, monitoring, and counseling patients receiving pharmacy services in the community setting. The student will also be introduced to financial performance indicators of the site, and the student should participate in the purchasing and inventory management process.

Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences Core Health System (6 credits)
Students will perform a variety of activities including order entry, preparation of sterile products, formulary management activities (such as preparing documents for and/or attending P&T meetings), error and adverse drug reaction reporting, and participating in the institution’s quality improvement program. Students will analyze errors and adverse drug reactions (ADRs) and discuss with their preceptor methods to reduce these events. Errors and ADRs should be actual events unless legal issues prevent students from reviewing these events; in this situation, the preceptor could compose an error or ADR event. Please note that due to the operational aspects of the introductory rotations, this advanced rotation does not mandate order entry as a required task.

Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences Core Acute Care (6 credits)
Students will perform a variety of activities including monitoring (rounding) patients as part of an interdisciplinary team including pharmacists, physicians, nurses, or other providers of care such as respiratory therapists, physical therapists, or discharge planners. Students will use a systematic process to provide patient-centered pharmacy care to assigned patients; that is, identifying drug-related problems and making interventions to improve patient care. Completing consult notes, patient presentations, journal clubs, and drug information papers will be required. Students may also be required to perform other activities as directed by the preceptor.

Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences Core Ambulatory Care (6 credits)
Students will perform a variety of activities including interviewing and counseling patients in an outpatient or primary care setting. Students will use a systematic process to provide patient-centered pharmacy care to assigned patients; that is, identifying drug-related problems and making interventions to improve patient care. Consult notes, patient presentations, journal club participation, and drug information papers will be required. Students will counsel patients on public health issues such as smoking cessation and immunizations. Using predefined criteria, students will conduct medication reviews and make interventions in specific populations such as diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia. Students may also be required to perform other activities as directed by the preceptor. Please note that order entry is not a requirement of the ambulatory care rotations.

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