Here is the low-down on the new integrated curriculum from a current P1. Yes, there have been some growing pains, but the faculty and administration of the PharmD program have been very supportive, attentive, and encouraging as everyone, including them, gets used to a new way of doing things.
Yes, the integrated curriculum is fast paced and there is a ton of information! But never fear—it will be ok! The foundational classes you get in the first two blocks can be a little overwhelming, however, you re-visit the information over and over again. Each time you re-visit concepts learned previously you build on it, getting a more detailed picture and how to apply the foundational concepts to pharmacy practice. For example, we learned about nucleotide synthesis during Block 1—and many of us were asking “why are we learning this?!” Well, Block 3 rolls around—Infection and Immunity—low and behold, we learned about drugs used for rheumatoid arthritis and chemotherapy that target these pathways! That’s one of the advantages of the integrated curriculum—you get to apply foundational concepts so much quicker, which also means you don’t have to go back and re-learn them a year or so later! Another advantage is being exposed to pharmacy practice concepts earlier and being able to used them when you do your Intro to Community rotation the summer after P1 year. I’ve heard so many of the P2 and P3 students say they wish they had the exposure that we do before going on their first rotation.
Here are some things to keep in mind/tidbits of advice–be prepared for long days in class, to possibly have to change your study habits (what worked in undergrad may not work in pharmacy school), expect to be challenged (remember this is not undergrad, this is a doctorate program and eventually patient’s lives will be in your hands!), expect to be stressed out, and lastly, TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF! We hope to “C U Soon”!
— Susan Blanton, P1