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Pharmacy Student Rotations

Pharmacy Student Rotations

We offer tomorrow’s practitioners a broad variety of educational opportunities and experiences in medicine, critical care, pediatrics, infectious diseases, oncology, transplant, cardiology, ambulatory care, emergency medicine and more.

Contact Us

If you have questions about our Pharmacy Residency, email  jrebuck1@pennstatehealth.psu.edu or call

717-531-5885.

The Department of Pharmacy precepts pharmacy students from seven schools of pharmacy

  • Duquesne University
  • Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Temple University
  • Thomas Jefferson University
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of the Sciences in Philadelphia
  • Wilkes University

Student Responsibilities/Activities (if applicable)

  • Attend daily Patient Care Rounds
  • Follow patients on service
  • Attend shared topic discussions/preceptor discussion, case presentations, journal club and other scheduled events
  • Attend Grand Rounds as scheduled
  • Perform Adverse Drug Reaction/Medication Error Reporting
  • Perform DUE’s upon request
  • Write newsletter articles upon request
  • Write a drug monograph
  • Become familiar with the Lexicomp Formulary & Pharmacy Infonet
  • Conduct medication histories
  • Present a journal club to your preceptor and group journal club session
  • Present a formal patient case presentation using PowerPoint slides
  • Provide pharmacotherapy information to the patient care team and to individuals in one-on-one situations
  • Drug information line involvement     
  • Document all clinical interventions
  • Additional pharmacy projects
  • S.O.A.P. notes as required
  • Development of protocol summary
  • In-service pharmacy team
  • Renal dosing
  • IV to PO conversion
  • Vancomycin monitoring
  • Aminoglycoside monitoring
  • Warfarin monitoring
  • Medication reconciliation
  • Focused medication counseling
  • Discharge counseling

Information on our 21 student rotations offered can be found below.

Anticoagulation Clinic

Elizabeth Bitner, RPh
Amy Foltz, RPh
Paul Kocis, PharmD
Gretchen Richardson, PharmD

The Ambulatory Care rotation at Penn State Hershey Medical Center exposes students to experiences in our Anticoagulation Clinic (ACC). Within the ACC experience, the student will be given the opportunity to expand his or her knowledge base in disease states requiring outpatient anticoagulation and current trends in safe and effective pharmacotherapy. The student will provide direct management of anticoagulation therapy in ambulatory patients. A major part of this experience is developing and improving effective methods to communicate with these patients. Requirements of this rotation include a case presentation, journal club and topic presentation.

Topic Discussions

  • Warfarin pharmacology, indications and side effects
  • Warfarin drug-drug interactions
  • Warfarin drug-food interactions
  • Prothrombin time/international normalized ratio (PT/INR) testing
  • Embolic and hemorrhagic events
  • Low-molecular weight heparins

Pharmacy Administration

Vincent A. Lacroce, Pharm.D

The Hospital Pharmacy Administration rotation offers the student experiences within multiple facets of pharmacy management and leadership. The Administrative Director of Pharmacy serves as the principle preceptor. The preceptor is the learning resource for the student and coordinates and delegates activities. He or she expects students to function independently to accomplish their goals and assignments. Activities allow for interaction with other disciplines within the Institution as well as the Pharmacy leadership team members.

Antimicrobial Stewardship

Mark Lesher, PharmD, MBA, BSPS, BCPS

This rotation provides an overview of the role and responsibilities of the antimicrobial stewardship team. It provides students with the opportunity to better understand microbiology, antibiotic therapy and infectious disease state management. Students will participate in the patient selection, review and intervention process.

Cardiology Experience

Sallie K. Young, PharmD BCPS (AQ-Cardiology)

The cardiology rotation will expose the student to the diagnosis and treatment of adult patients with cardiovascular disorders. Common diagnoses include acute coronary syndromes, heart failure, atrial/ventricular arrhythmias, hypertension and dyslipidemia. Patients are typically receiving anticoagulation therapy for a variety of indications such as venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis, acute coronary syndromes, arrhythmias or mechanical heart valves. Students will round with one or both of the cardiology teams (acute care cardiology and heart failure/heart transplant). Students will strive to provide quality, cost effective care using the latest in cardiac technology and research.

Topic Discussions

  • Acute coronary syndromes
  • Anticoagulation
  • Cardiac arrhythmias
  • Heart failure
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Hypertension

Community Pharmacy

Adult Critical Care Experience

Medical ICU: Kim Keefer, PharmD, BCPS
Neuroscience ICU: Cynthia Halas, PharmD
Heart and Vascular ICU: Jen Morrow, PharmD
Surgical ICU/Anesthesia ICU: Ashley Quintili, PharmD, BCPS

We offer rotations for students in several adult critical care areas. Clinical activities will include rounding with the critical care intensivists, daily evaluation of assigned patients from their designated intensive care unit (ICU), pharmacokinetic dosing, answering drug information questions and documentation of clinical activities. Topic discussions will focus on current issues in critical care and informal patient presentations. The student will be assigned to present one formal case presentation and presentation of one journal club article presented to the pharmacy department.

Topic Discussions

  • Nutrition
  • Sedation/analgesia
  • Electrolyte imbalances
  • Seizures
  • Sepsis
  • Acid-base disorders
  • Antibiotics
  • Stroke
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH)
  • Cerebral salt wasting
  • Neurostorming
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)

Emergency Medicine

Sarah Livings, PharmD, BCPS, BCCCP
Drew Lockstein, PharmD
Katie Derrig, PharmD

This Emergency Medicine rotation will familiarize students with the key skills of a clinical pharmacist in the Emergency Department (ED). The student will have the opportunity to participate in the essential key roles and objectives that a pharmacist completes daily in the ED. These roles include medication reconciliation in order to optimize medication therapy for patients being admitted to the hospital or being discharged home from the ED, drug therapy monitoring, toxicology, patient education, participation in high-risk procedures including resuscitation and other time-dependent emergencies, medication preparation, and drug information. Students work with an interdisciplinary team to optimize medication therapy management and improve patient care. Students will be exposed to a wide scope of patient acuity from the ambulatory to the critically ill.

Adult Hematology/Oncology Experience

Jeffrey Sivik, PharmD, BCOP

The rotation in Adult Hematology/Oncology is an inpatient acute care rotation. The student will have the opportunity to expand his or her knowledge base to include a variety of medical oncology or malignant hematology disorders and non-malignant hematological disease states, as well as the supportive pharmacotherapeutic care associated with these disorders.

Notably, there is a stem cell transplantation student rotation available that requires previous experience with hematology rotation for the student who is advanced practice clinician-based (physician assistant or certified registered nurse practitioner). Specifically, the student will be given a significant opportunity to expand his or her pharmacotherapeutic skills in chemotherapy, infectious diseases and pain management.

Topic Discussions

  • Acute lymphoid leukemia (ALL)
  • Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
  • Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Various brain tumors
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Ewing’s sarcoma/PNET
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma
  • Immune primary thrombocytopenia
  • Wilm’s tumor
  • Neutropenic fever
  • Tumor lysis syndrome
  • Antiemetic therapy
  • Anticoagulation therapy
  • Hemophilia A and B
  • Aplastic anemia
  • Stem cell transplant
  • Graft vs. host disease
  • Safe handling of antineoplastic agents
  • Aseptic technique
  • Chemotherapeutic agents by class

Hospital Pharmacy Practice

Ronald E. Lay, MS RPh

This rotation will expose students to the operational aspects of hospital pharmacy practice. Students will receive hands-on experience with purchasing and inventory control, drug distribution, pharmacy automation and sterile product preparation. Students will also be involved with human resources, financial, regulatory and quality improvement initiatives. Students will work alongside the pharmacists, evaluating medication orders and answering drug information questions. Opportunities for shadowing in other hospital departments such as Nursing, Respiratory Therapy, Diabetes Education and Interventional Radiology are available.

Infectious Diseases Experience

Cory Hale, PharmD, AAHIVP

The infectious diseases (ID) rotation is a specialized elective rotation that will expose the student to the diagnosis and treatment of adult patients with various infectious illnesses. The clinical activities for the student will include rounding with the general ID consult service, evaluation of all the patients the team is following (which includes patient assessment and design of evidence-based pharmacotherapeutic regimens) and appropriate monitoring and follow up. In addition the student will be responsible for pharmacokinetic dosing, answering drug information questions and documentation of clinical activities.

The student is also to attend weekly microbiology rounds and weekly ID case conference. Topic discussions will include a review of bugs and drugs and pharmacokinetics and common infectious diseases encountered in the institutional setting, such as community-acquired and hospital-associated pneumonias, urinary tract infections, endocarditis, meningitis, catheter-related blood stream infections, intra-abdominal infections, and opportunistic infections. The student will be assigned to present one formal case presentation and presentation of one journal club article presented to the pharmacy department, and will lead one topic discussion of his or her choice.

Topic Discussions

  • Bugs and drugs
  • How to read a culture
  • Endocarditis/bacteremia
  • Pneumonia Osteomyelitis
  • Fungal infections
  • HIV infection

Pharmacy informatics

Dwayne Gallagher, PharmD

The Pharmacy Informatics rotation, with a strong multidisciplinary focus, introduces the student to many of the benefits and challenges of information technology in the health care environment. Students will be exposed to the strategic nature of technology decisions in the care of patients.

Specifically, the student will learn about the medication process within a clinical information system. Examples include the use of computerized provider order entry (CPOE), electronic prescribing, pharmacy information systems, pharmacy automation and nursing documentation. Additional topics will include technology essentials, database structure and design, patient confidentiality, data security, project management, system testing, user training, system maintenance, and support.

Investigative Drug Services

Alysse Fazzi, PharmD
Heather Heisey, RPh
Amy Kane, PharmD

The Investigational Drug Service experience will allow the student to gain knowledge of pharmacy involvement in the clinical research process in a medical center. The student will be exposed to a variety of different topics related to clinical trials. The rotation focuses on care for patients enrolled in investigational clinical trials, as well as the role of the pharmacy in successfully initiating, maintaining study drug, dispensing study drug and caring for these patients.

Discussion Topics

  • Essential elements of a study protocol
  • Roles and responsibilities of study staff
  • Role of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in study development
  • Four phases of clinical trials
  • Monitoring/audit activities
  • Institutional review board
  • Role of National Cancer Institute (NCI)
  • Informed consent
  • Investigational drug procurement
  • Patient randomization procedures
  • Storage controls for investigational drugs

Internal Medicine Experience

Lydia Nace, PharmD
Morgan Myers, PharmD, BCPS
Valerie Breznak, PharmD
Elizabeth Kenney, PharmD
Manuel Isherwood, Jr, PharmD
Sarah Tanner, PharmD, BCPS
Catherine Gibilisco, PharmD

As a pharmacy student, you will be responsible for rounding with the Internal Medicine or Family Medicine team. This will include making recommendation as deemed appropriate and following up on any necessary monitoring parameters on all patients being cared for by that team. You will contribute to pharmacotherapy issues for each patient being followed by the team and monitor appropriateness of all medications (e.g. indication, dosage, duration, route, etc.) on all patients daily. One journal club article and one patient case presentation will be completed during the rotation. Afternoons will consist of meeting with the preceptor to discuss general internal medicine and patient care matters.

Topic Discussions

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Infectious diseases
  • Depression
  • Electrolytes
  • Endocrine disorder
  • Insomnia
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Liver failure
  • Nephrology
  • Pain
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Seizures
  • Urinary incontinence

Neonatal Intensive Care Rotation

Catherine Rejrat, PharmD, BCPPS

The rotation in Neonatal Intensive Care is a highly specialized elective rotation. The student will be given the opportunity to expand his or her knowledge base to include a variety of neonatal disease states and the pharmacotherapeutic care associated with these disorders. Orientation to the service will include direct introduction to the current multidisciplinary team on service (e.g., physicians, nurses, dieticians and social workers), formal review of rotation responsibilities, scheduling of planned discussions and a brief introduction of service-specific pharmacotherapeutic practices. One journal club article and one patient case presentation will be completed during the rotation. Afternoons will consist of meeting with the preceptor to discuss patient care matters and topic discussions pertaining to the Neonatal ICU.

Topic Discussions

  • Nutrition
  • Sedation/analgesia
  • Electrolyte imbalances
  • Seizures
  • Sepsis
  • Acid-base disorders
  • Antibiotics
  • Stroke
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH)
  • Cerebral salt wasting
  • Neurostorming
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Neonatal respiratory distress syndrome
  • Patent ductus arteriosus
  • Neonatal pulmonary hypertension
  • Apnea and bradycardia
  • Neonatal sepsis and pneumonia
  • Neonatal abstinence syndrome
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia
  • Intraventricular hemorrhage
  • Necrotizing enterocolitis
  • Neonatal seizures
  • Hyperbilirubinemia
  • Neonatal nutrition: Fluid and electrolyte management

Solid Organ Transplant Rotation (Abdominal)

Tracy M. Valania, BS, PharmD

The Solid Organ Transplantation rotation is a highly specialized elective rotation. The intent of this rotation is to familiarize the student with the pharmacologic management of disease states relating to the kidney, pancreas, and liver and transplantation of these organs. Students will round with a multidisciplinary medical team including an attending surgeon, an attending nephrologist, a nephrology fellow, surgical resident, surgical intern, transplant coordinator(s) and social worker(s) on a daily basis. The student will be expected to evaluate assigned patients daily, provide pharmacokinetic dosing, answer drug information questions, provide medication education to the transplant team patients, and document clinical activities. The student will also be expected to lead informal topic discussions related to the management of the solid organ transplant patient, discuss patients daily, present one formal case presentation, and present one journal club article.

Topic Discussions

  • Basic immunology
  • Immunosuppressant review
  • Acute rejection
  • Chronic rejection
  • Vascular rejection
  • Infections in transplant patients

Outpatient Pharmacy Practice

Pediatric Experience (General)

Kevin M. Mulieri, BS, PharmD, BCPPS
Catherine Rejrat, PharmD, BCPS, BCPPS
Lindsay Trout, PharmD, BCPPS

The rotation in General Pediatrics will give the student the opportunity to expand his or her knowledge base to include a variety of pediatric disease states and the pharmacotherapeutic care associated with these disorders. Particular emphasis will be made on pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic differences of medications in the pediatric population.

Topic Discussions

  • Fluid and electrolyte therapy
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Nutrition
  • Seizure disorders
  • Infectious diseases
  • Vaccinations
  • Asthma
  • Apnea and bradycardia

Pediatric Critical Care

Lindsay C. Trout, PharmD, BCPPS

The rotation in Pediatric Critical Care is a highly specialized rotation. This atmosphere will provide the student with exposure to a variety of pediatric surgical and medical services such as cardiology, neurology, pulmonary, GI, hematology/oncology, cardiothoracic, trauma, neurosurgery and other various surgical specialties. Additionally, the student will be given a significant opportunity to expand his or her pediatric pharmacotherapeutic skills in the ICU in nutrition, pain management, sedation and infectious diseases. Orientation to the service will include direct introduction to the current multidisciplinary team on service (e.g., physicians, nurses, dieticians and social workers), formal review of rotation responsibilities, scheduling of planned discussions and a brief introduction of service-specific pharmacotherapeutic practices.

Topic Discussions

  • ICU sedation/paralysis
  • ICU acquired infections
  • ICU prophylaxis
  • Trauma
  • Head injury
  • Meningitis
  • Congenital heart disease and repair
  • Respiratory distress syndrome
  • Bronchiolitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Sepsis
  • Fluids and electrolytes
  • Parenteral nutrition
  • Enteral nutrition
  • Diuretics
  • Status asthmaticus
  • Status epilepticus
  • Blood gas interpretation
  • Poisoning/overdose

Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Experience

Kevin M. Mulieri, BS, PharmD, BCPPS

The rotation in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology is a highly specialized rotation. The student will be given the opportunity to expand his or her knowledge base to include a variety of pediatric solid and liquid tumors, hematological disease states, stem cell transplantation, and the supportive pharmacotherapeutic care associated with these disorders. Additionally, the student will be given significant exposure to pharmacotherapeutic issues with pediatrics, chemotherapeutics, infectious diseases and pain management.

Topic Discussions

  • Acute lymphoid leukemia (ALL)
  • Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
  • Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Various brain tumors
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Ewing’s sarcoma/PNET
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma
  • Immune primary thrombocytopenia
  • Wilm’s tumor
  • Neutropenic fever
  • Tumor lysis syndrome
  • Antiemetic therapy
  • Anticoagulation therapy
  • Hemophilia A and B
  • Aplastic anemia
  • Stem cell transplant
  • Graft vs. host disease
  • Safe handling of antineoplastic agents
  • Aseptic technique
  • Chemotherapeutic agents by class

Medication Safety

Lisa Wilhelm, BS Pharm, RPh

The Medication Safety and Quality rotation will help students become familiar with the key strategies utilized in an academic tertiary care hospital and outpatient clinics to improve medication safety. The rotation is designed to expose pharmacy students to medication safety nomenclature, key principles, tools and available resources. The student will participate in several activities designed to improve the student’s working knowledge and experience with medication safety concepts. The rotation will enable the student to apply knowledge in pharmacy practice settings to improve medication safety for patients.

Transitions of Care Clinic  — Anticoagulation/Heart Failure/Stroke

Michele Haydo, PharmD, BCACP
Ritu Light, PharmD

Transitions of Care is commonly described as the shift from one health care setting to another. Continuity and coordination of care needs to be maintained among all health care providers involved in the patient’s care (i.e., hospital health care providers, primary care physician, pharmacist, etc.). It is important to provide education and assistance to patients and their families along the continuum of care to make sure they understand the patient’s care plan. Pharmacists play an integral role in the transition of care by providing medication education, assisting in the transfer of information to the patient and other providers, and ensuring patient follow-up with the care plan. During this rotation, students have the opportunity to experience transitions of care for various patient populations.

Penn State Health Children's Hospital
Penn State College of Medicine
Penn State Cancer Institute
Penn State University