Pharm. D. Contemporary Curriculum

Beginning Fall 2023, new incoming students of the class of 2027 and thereafter, will experience the new contemporary curriculum.

The legacy curriculum will continue for the classes of 2024, 2025, and 2026.

The contemporary curriculum allows for threading of topics, such as communication and calculations, throughout the curriculum contributing to cumulative application, scaffolding, and relational learning.

Contemporary Curriculum chart as described below

The first year (P1) Fall semester starts off with a fundamentals of basic sciences and math course pertinent to the profession of pharmacy that is held during the first two weeks of the semester, before any other course begins. Then, the foundational science courses such as Foundational Pharmaceutical Biochemistry and Immunology is delivered using a “block” format which will allow the course to still have the same number of hours in an entire semester, but more concentrated in a shorter time frame.

A course called Principles of Pharmacy Readiness occurs every semester for 3 years and includes introducing the practice of pharmacy, clinical reasoning, interprofessional education skills and activities, communication, professional development, leadership, and other developmental activities.

The Therapeutic Problem Solving (TPS) course series begins in the P1 Fall semester and ends in the third year (P3) Spring semester. Each 2-credit block focuses on the pharmacotherapy related to disorders of a specific organ system, applying pathophysiology, pharmacology, and medicinal chemistry concepts. This holistic approach fosters the development of a comprehensive clinical understanding to prevent and manage diseases of these organ systems. Students will develop their ability to integrate and apply evidence-based medicine to provide medication-related patient-centered and population-based care.

Areas and concepts such as pharmacokinetics, pharmacogenomics, toxicology, immunology, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) will be threaded as appropriate to the topics so students can build upon their previously learned knowledge.

Application of knowledge is the focus of the Comprehensive Clinical Care (CCC) course, which runs alongside the TPS course series. The courses run from P1 Spring through P3 Spring and focuses on students applying their knowledge and improving their critical thinking skills to patient case scenarios to mimic real life situations. Patient cases in CCC become more complex as a student progresses through the program. Application, repetition, threading, and scaffolding of key components such as pharmacy law, calculations, communication, and DEI will be intentionally included.

Essential Pharmacist Skills is another course series that will run from P1 Spring through P3 Spring. This is a lab style course that includes topics such as pharmacy compounding and skills such as immunization technique, mock pharmacy simulation, medication device counseling, intravenous drug compatibility, and point of care testing. To enhance our students' hands-on learning experiences, DKICP has partnered with PioneerRx Pharmacy Software, which allows students to gain real-world experiences using the most advanced and number-one rated software amongst independent pharmacies. Students' clinical skills will be put to the test by utilizing the various features available within the pharmacy system (eCare Plans, Compounding, Integrated POS, etc).

Topics in Health Care is a 3-course series that will occur each Spring semester from P1-P3 year. Topics include US healthcare systems, pharmacy law, pharmacy insurance overview, medication safety, pharmacoeconomics, ethics, DEI, pharmacy management, and introduction to technology. This course series is important to help student pharmacists gain an understanding of the environment they practice in and consider factors that contribute to medication access issues.

A Pharmacy Informatics and Technology course will be part of the P3 year covering technological topics such as clinical decision support, computerized provider order entry, e-prescribing, telepharmacy, bedside barcoding, automated dispensing cabinets, inventory management systems, smart pumps, and robotic IV automation. This course is important to expose student pharmacists to how technology supports a pharmacist and helps to improve patient care and safe use of medications.

Throughout the P1-P3 years, students will engage in longitudinal Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPEs). Students will complete these rotations at clinics, hospitals, and pharmacies throughout the Fall and Spring semesters in East Hawai’i Island, as well as during summers throughout the State. The contemporary curriculum increases the number of hours in the IPPE curriculum, which will provide students with more real-life experience to complement what is being taught in the didactic classroom.

The final fourth year consists of Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs) and a one credit Board Exam preparatory course which ensures students are prepared for the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) and the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination (MPJE). Students will complete seven APPE rotations as compared to six in the legacy curriculum, providing an extra required clinical elective, increasing their opportunities to apply and strengthen their skills in real life settings where pharmacists practice.

The total credit hours in the revised framework of the contemporary curriculum is 144 hours as compared to 137.