Ambulatory Care Degree Option

Ambulatory care pharmacy practice has been defined as the "...provision of integrated, accessible healthcare services by pharmacists who are accountable for addressing medication needs, developing sustained partnership with patients, and practicing in the context of family and community."

The purpose of the ambulatory care specialty track is to improve competence in ambulatory care for graduates interested in pursuing postgraduate-education, graduate education, and other areas of pharmacy practice that serve ambulatory patients. Through the didactic and experiential components of this track, students will be given opportunities to enhance their skills in communication, in identifying and prioritizing problems, and in managing the problems appropriately. In addition, it will sharpen student knowledge of various standard measures of care specific to various chronic disease states.

It is our hope that students within this track will be able to contribute to improved quality of life and prevention of healthcare costs for patients with chronic diseases.

Program Background

Ambulatory Care is a broad field that includes both community pharmacy as well as specialized clinical outpatient care. It is estimated that approximately 67% of pharmacists practice in an ambulatory setting, with the majority in the retail setting. Nonetheless, knowledge and skills of chronic disease state management are imperative regardless of ambulatory care type.

  • Employment Opportunities

    Completion of the specialty track program will provide the student with additional skills and experiences in chronic disease state management that will translate into the community setting, hospital setting, and other areas of pharmacy practice. In addition, the track will provide an additional foundation for students interested in advanced training experiences through post-graduate residencies and fellowships.

  • Requirements to Apply

    Students can apply in their 2nd or 3rd professional year. To apply for the track, students must submit an application, curriculum vitae, letter of intent, and three letters of reference. These materials are due by November 21, 2023 and should be submitted to Dr. Katherine O’Neal. In addition, all applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.75, which will be verified through Student Affairs. The ambulatory care track can accept up to 8 students per professional class. Following review of application materials qualified students are offered interviews. Selected candidates officially start in the track in the spring of their 2nd professional year.

  • Track Requirements Once Accepted

    Once accepted into the track, students are assigned a mentor to help facilitate their growth and provide direction during the next 2 years in the professional program. The track is individually tailored to meet the specific needs of every student. Furthermore, on a semester basis all students in the track and pediatric faculty meet to discuss student development in the track and areas for growth of the track.

    The required coursework can be accomplished by completion of one of the following: 

    • 7 hours of didactic coursework and 3 APPE rotations
    • 9 hours of didactic coursework and 2 APPE rotations. 

    Required didactic courses include Introduction to Ambulatory Care and Advanced Diabetes Care. The remaining didactic hours will be obtained by completing one or more of the other didactic coursework options listed below. 

    Required APPE rotations above and beyond what is required of the regular curriculum include an ambulatory care selective rotation and a research rotation. If a third APPE rotation is needed, it will be completed with another ambulatory care selective rotation. 

    See Ambulatory Care Specialty Track Coursework Options below for complete list of ambulatory care selective rotation options.

  • Track Directors

    Track Director:

    Katherine O’Neal, PharmD, MBA
    Associate Professor

  • Ambulatory Care Specialty Track Coursework Options

    Didactic Options (subject to change) 

    1. PHAR 7773 Ambulatory Care (3 credit hours) – Required for track 
    2. PHAR 7543 Advanced Diabetes Care (3 credit hours) – Required for track 
    3. PHAR 7990 Special Studies in Pharmaceutical Sciences (2 credit hours) 
    4. BMSC 5102 Fundamentals of Scientific Writing (2 credit hours)

    APPE Ambulatory Care Selective Rotation Options May Include (subject to change)

    1. Variety Care 
    2. Geriatric Ambulatory Care 
    3. Camp selective
    4. Applied Chronic Disease Management 
    5. Indian Health Services 

    Other didactic courses/sites may be available in the future as approved by the College.

  • Global Objectives for Ambulatory Care Specialty Track

    Upon completion of the Ambulatory Care Specialty Track electives, the student will be able to:

    1. Obtain from the patient and document in the patient’s medical record pertinent subjective and objective history, medication history, and any other pertinent information that may directly affect the intended therapeutic plan.
    2. Using established therapeutic protocols, work collaboratively with the healthcare team to manage a patient’s drug therapy by designing a rational pharmacological or non-pharmacological treatment plan.
    3. Identify drug therapy problems by evaluating safety and efficacy of established drug therapy using physical assessment, laboratory data, and information gained during a patient interview, and medical record review.
    4. Refer the patient, when appropriate, to other health care providers for the management of disorders beyond the scope of practice of pharmacists.
    5. Identify non-adherence and initiate strategies to correct this undesirable patient behavior.
    6. Educate and counsel patients, the general public and health care providers on the proper use of medications and drug delivery systems.
    7. Communicate effectively, either verbally or in writing, with other health care providers while providing accurate, unbiased drug information.
    8. Appreciate the organization and operation of an ambulatory care pharmacy service, including, but not limited to, professional and supportive personnel required to deliver optimal patient care, interrelationships of the service with other health care services and providers, and the necessity for efficient patient flow within the medical center.