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Geriatrics training is infused throughout the Pharm.D. curriculum to longitudinally prepare graduates to serve the growing older adult population. The curriculum includes a 2-credit introduction to “PHAR 529: Special Populations” in the spring semester of the P1 year that covers topics such as ageism, biology of aging, comprehensive geriatric assessment, falls, medication-related problems in older adults, and geriatric pharmacokinetics through didactic and active learning methods. In the spring semester of the P3 year, students take “PHAR 620: Complex Patients,” a course that addresses medication management in complex, multimorbid older adult patients by incorporating patient-specific goals and prognosis into prescribing and deprescribing decisions. The content is covered in a team-based learning environment, using patient cases and small group discussion. In addition to these two modules, geriatrics and gerontology content is integrated into courses ranging from “PHAR 545: The US Health Care System” to the Clinical Therapeutics Module series, including within cardiology, endocrinology, neurology, gastroenterology, pulmonary medicine and psychiatry modules.
This 2-credit course is designed to expand upon the fundamental geriatric concepts presented throughout the Pharm.D. curriculum and to challenge students to apply gained knowledge to patient cases and scenarios. Content is presented by experts from a variety of healthcare disciplines including medicine, occupational therapy and social work. The overarching goal of this course is to prepare student pharmacists to communicate with, assess, and treat older adults in a variety of settings.
The Interprofessional Virtual Geriatrics Case is an innovative course offering that involves senior students from pharmacy, medicine and nursing working collaboratively in small groups to manage an evolving complex geriatric patient case. Faculty members from multiple disciplines were involved in the creation of this unique learning activity, and Geriatric Pharmacotherapy Program faculty remain engaged in its delivery.
The School of Pharmacy has offered a Pharm.D./Graduate Certificate in Aging Studies dual-degree program in collaboration with the Department of Gerontology for more than 25 years. This unique opportunity allows pharmacy students to interact with colleagues from other disciplines including gerontology, social work, nursing and psychology who share a common interest in caring for older adults. Enrollees in this 21-credit-hour program collaborate with a faculty mentor to complete an independent study project in an area of their research interest. Pharmacy students are challenged to expand their thinking beyond their primary discipline in ways that enrich their professional relationships and thus the care they provide to older adults. For more information contact Krista Donohoe, Pharm.D., or visit https://pharmacy.vcu.edu/admissions/dual-degree/.
We offer a graduate program in the pharmaceutical sciences with a track in pharmacotherapy. Students interested in geriatrics work with faculty in the Geriatric Pharmacotherapy Program to conduct dissertation research related to medications and older adults. Students undertake a curriculum including courses in research methods, statistics, pharmacotherapy, geriatrics, and gerontology to support their development as researchers in geriatric pharmacotherapy. For more information contact Elvin Price, Pharm.D., Ph.D.
We offer postdoctoral training opportunities for individuals who are interested in aging research that spans the spectrum of translational research. These interprofessional research positions are designed to equip early career scientists for successful transitions to careers in academia, health systems, pharmaceutical industry, government or public policy agencies. Our clinical postdoctoral research fellows will collaborate with multidisciplinary team members and have opportunities to receive training in basic/clinical pharmacology, pharmacogenomics, clinical research, scholarship of teaching and learning, and community based participatory research. The research experiences will feature basic/clinical functional analyses, epidemiological analyses of population level data and genetically informed data from urban Richmond communities. For more information contact Elvin Price, Pharm.D, Ph.D.
On the occasion of his retirement, gifts made in honor of Dean Emeritus Victor Yanchick were used to create the Victor A. Yanchick professorship in pharmacy. The fund is used to recruit or retain a faculty member at the School of Pharmacy. Yanchick served as dean of the VCU School of Pharmacy for 18 years from 1996-2014. The professorship is awarded to a Virginia Commonwealth University faculty member who has demonstrated recognized excellence in teaching and scholarship primarily related to geriatrics and interdisciplinary work. Program Director Elvin Price was named the Victor A. Yanchick Professor in 2019. Consider supporting this professorship here.