Friday, January 20, 2017

The UI College of Pharmacy is launching its first certificate program, the Palliative Care Certificate, within the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program beginning this spring semester.

Palliative care is the interdisciplinary specialty focused on improving quality of life for persons with serious illness and their families. A cornerstone of effective palliative care is the provision of expert pain and symptom management which relies heavily on pharmacotherapy based treatments. To date, there has been limited to no formal training in pharmacy education pertaining to palliative care. As such, there is currently an acute shortage of clinically-trained pharmacists with basic knowledge in palliative care.

The newly created Palliative Care Certificate program aims to address this shortage by preparing students to practice as palliative care generalists upon graduation from the Doctor of Pharmacy program. The certificate program is also a step towards a larger goal of making the UI College of Pharmacy the preeminent hospice and palliative care program in the United States.

James Ray, PharmD, clinical associate professor and Kashelle Lockman, PharmD, clinical assistant professor, in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science are working to expand the role of the pharmacist in serving patients and their families in this critical health care specialty through advocacy, education, training, and research, which includes the newly-established certificate program and the creation of a new PGY2 pharmacy residency in Pain and Palliative Care.

Students who complete the 17 credit hour certificate program will possess the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to serve patients living with serious illness across the trajectory of life. The certificate program will expose students to a variety of general pharmacy practice environments and non-palliative pharmacy specialties, including critical care, emergency medicine, geriatrics, and cardiology. Graduates of the program will also be prepared to pursue advanced post-graduate clinical training in palliative care and hospice, including palliative care residencies and fellowships.

This highly-competitive program will accept 16 students each year. Students who successfully complete all program requirements to demonstrate achievement of the program’s learning objectives will be awarded a certificate upon graduation from the UI College of Pharmacy. 

The first course offered this spring, Foundations of Palliative Care, introduces palliative care as a public health issue and provides exploration of the principles and practice of palliative care, including interdisciplinary care of the whole person and family, communication, and self-care.

Other courses in the certificate program are listed below. To learn more about them, please visit our certificate program webpage.

Foundations of Palliative Care
Ethics and Spirituality in Healthcare
Advanced Pharmacopalliation
Continuing Professional Development in Palliative Care
APPE elective in Pain Management, Hospice, or Palliative Care

To learn more about the certificate program and how to apply, please contact James Ray or Kashelle Lockman.