The primary goal of the clerkships is to educate and train the student in the detection and management of medication related problems and to assist the student in applying acquired knowledge in the promotion of rational drug therapy. The clerkships are designed to provide instruction and academically supervised clinical experiences which will give the students a better knowledge of the most current appropriate methods of collecting and applying information concerning the therapeutic and toxic effects of drugs. Upon completion of this course the student should:
1. Be able to effectively monitor drug therapy and function to prevent, detect, and correct drug related problems;
2. Effectively function in managing and optomizing drug therapy relative to the total needs of the patient while working collaboration with the physician, nurse and other health professionals;
3. Effectively assume certain patient-care drug management responsibilities which may be delegated by the primary care physician.
Course Description and Format
The clerkship courses are combined into one clerkship of one semester in length in which the students meet two days per week for 6-7 hours per day. The credit hours are all practical hours (PHCL 446: 0+4; PHCL 447: 0+2). Each student is assigned to a specific medical speciality team e.g. pulmonary, gastro- enterology, nephrology, pediatrics etc. They are precepted by a clinical pharmacist who is also assigned to the team. Each student will complete three four-week rotations on a different team. During each four-week rotation, the student is required to actively participate in patient care as outlined, but not limited to the activities listed below:
1. Attend rounds with assigned medical team.
2. Attend grand rounds or other selected medical conferences when arranged by the faculty.
3. Conduct patient interviews to obtain drug histories and/or discharge consultations.
4. Monitor those patients being cared for by the team. This is accomplished through contact with clinical pharmacy preceptors, physicians, and patients as well as chart review. In this regard students will be required to maintain drug monitoring cards or a useful alternative note system.
5. Give oral presentations of patients to instructors and fellow students.
6. Communicate drug information to team members and use drug information resources to document drug related questions.
Each student is required to conduct drug histories or discharge consultations per semester, and to turn in the completed forms.
Each day patients being followed by the students and faculty are presented and discussed. The students are required to give information about the patients they monitor, and discuss such aspects as rationality of drug therapy, alternative therapy, monitoring parameters, particular problems, and progress of the patients.
In addition to the above activities, some topics will be presented by the faculty during the semester and exams will be given over the material covered. Although the topics may vary depending on the students' needs. Example includes :
1. Red blood cell indices and their use.
2. Heparin and warfarin therapy and monitoring.
3. Renal function tests and their use.
4. Digoxin use and monitoring.
5. Theophylline use and monitoring.
6. Hyperglycemia and insulin use.
7. TB: Skin tests, antituberculous therapy.
8. Liver function tests, cirrhosis, encephalopathy.
9. Aminoglycosides use, calculations and monitoring.
10. Analgesics use and monitoring.
11. Steroids use and monitoring.
12. Bilharziasis treatment and monitoring.