Pharmacy students participating in Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) rotations with the FDA Pharmacy Student Experiential Program (PSEP) gain insights into FDA's regulatory framework, drug evaluation processes, and safety programs, acquiring practical skills and supporting tangible impacts on public health outcomes. The program fosters a sense of purpose and commitment to the field of pharmacy and reinforces the importance of public service in safeguarding the nation's health.
In addition to improving communication, critical thinking, problem-solving, and teamwork skills, students benefit from networking opportunities with other students and professionals from diverse backgrounds within FDA and other participating organizations. Exposure to various career paths within regulatory pharmacy, public health, and FDA aids participants in making informed decisions about their future professional endeavors and contributes to a broader understanding of the pharmacy landscape.
The Rotation Experience
During an APPE rotation with PSEP, pharmacy students gain valuable insights into the mission, function, and organizational structure of FDA. They receive firsthand exposure to the laws, regulations, and guidances governing drugs, biologics, and devices for human use, as well as the drug review process within the United States.
APPE rotations are available in various centers, offices, and divisions throughout FDA. PSEP rotations are offered year-round and typically last between 4 to 6 weeks, according to each school's APPE calendar.
PSEP participants have the opportunity to attend congressional hearings, public workshops, and advisory committee meetings, providing them with unique insights into the regulatory processes and decision-making. Additionally, a lecture series designed specifically for students on an APPE rotation through PSEP exposes them to various aspects of FDA operations, with expert speakers sharing their knowledge and expertise. This lecture series also offers an excellent platform for students to interact with peers and explore diverse pharmacist career opportunities available in the government sector.
Beyond FDA, PSEP students gain knowledge about other government agencies, national pharmacy organizations, and institutions based in the Washington, D.C. area. These include the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS), National Institutes of Health (NIH), American Pharmacists Association (APhA), American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists (ASHP), and United States Pharmacopeia (USP). This exposure provides a broader understanding of the pharmacy landscape and potential career paths in the public health sector.