What is an Area of Emphasis?

An Area of Emphasis provides students with the opportunity to concentrate their elective courses and one or more experiential rotations in a specific area of study within pharmacy. An Area of Emphasis requires between six (6) to sixteen (16) credit hours. Each of the Areas of Emphasis available to PharmD students are designed to be completed during the PharmD program, and require no additional semesters of coursework. Successful completion of an Area of Emphasis will be indicated on the student’s transcript at graduation.

Currently, the School of Pharmacy offers five Areas of Emphasis for students. Additional information on each of the programs can be found in the WVU academic catalog.

Area of Emphasis in Advanced Clinical Practice

The Advanced Clinical Practice Area of Emphasis (AoE) is designed to enhance the preparation and competitiveness of Doctor of Pharmacy students applying for a PGY-1 residency. The AoE focuses on providing didactic and experiential education, as well as one-on-one mentorship, to allow students to understand and appreciate the nuances of clinical pharmacy practice. This track will offer a road map for students to be successful in critical areas including scholarship experience, organizational involvement, experiential education, and additional basic tools for navigating the application and interview process. The experiences provided in the AoE will provide students with a strong core foundation upon which further training in a residency program can expand upon.

Area of Emphasis in College Teaching in Pharmacy

This area of emphasis program helps to prepare student pharmacists for teaching at the college level. The program combines courses and expertise at the university level with those at the School of Pharmacy to provide a broad range of knowledge and experience in pedagogy training, diversity issues in higher education, current issues in academic pharmacy education, and mentored teaching experience. Together, the program components will develop students’ ability to design and teach their own courses while implementing effective classroom techniques and assessment. By completing the area of emphasis, students will be more competitive for residency and fellowship programs with an emphasis in teaching and will also be prepared to participate in college teaching as an adjunct pharmacy instructor or preceptor.

Area of Emphasis in Geriatric Pharmacy

This area of emphasis program offers students pursuing the Doctor of Pharmacy degree the opportunity to explore the basic biological, psychological, sociological and medical processes of aging, the needs and experiences of older people, and the impact of social policies related to human aging.  An understanding of the unique experiences and needs of older adults in Appalachia and other rural areas is emphasized.

Area of Emphasis in Global Health (for Pharmacy)

The area of emphasis program in global health trains students to be able to provide patient-centered care at home and abroad. Its focus is on providing both didactic and experiential education that will allow students to have an understanding and an appreciation for the global nature of healthcare and how pharmacy practice can impact individuals worldwide.

Area of Emphasis in Health Outcomes and Informatics

The Health Outcomes and Informatics program is designed to introduce students to concepts and issues as they relate to a variety of practice settings, including managed care, pharmaceutical industry, hospital, clinical research organization, and specialty pharmacy. The overall goal is (i) to understand the importance of clinical, economic, and patient-reported outcomes related to pharmaceuticals and clinical services in healthcare, and (ii) to train students in health outcomes and informatics that improves their clinical decision making for patients, providers, payers, pharmaceutical industry, and government.

Area of Emphasis in Translational Pharmacy Research

The Area of Emphasis (AoE) in Translational Pharmacy Research will allow students to understand and recognize the importance of and participate in translational research (e.g., how basic sciences contributions are applied in improving the quality of patients’ health, how observations in the clinic direct new scientific hypotheses, and how health services and outcomes research impacts access, cost, quality and outcomes of health care). Participants conduct original research under the mentorship of a faculty member.