IPPE Information

Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPEs)

Supervised pharmacy experiences introduce students to the roles of the pharmacist in a variety of settings. Through observation, direct participation, and project activities, students develop the foundational knowledge, skills, and attitudes for pharmacy practice. IPPE activities will prepare student pharmacists for Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs).

  • Community Pharmacy - P1 clinical rotations at local community pharmacies in the San Francisco Bay Area
  • Concentrated Health Systems - clinical rotations between P1 and P2 year
  • Longitudinal Health-Systems - P2 clinical rotations in the San Francisco Bay area, including UCSF Health (Parnassus and Mission Bay), UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, San Francisco VA Medical Center, Kentfield Hospital, and Kaiser Permanente




Through Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPEs), student pharmacists will be introduced to the fundamentals of pharmacy practice, in both community and health systems. Students will participate in a variety of pharmacy and patient care-related activities.

The purpose of IPPEs is to:

  • Develop the foundational knowledge, skills, and attitudes for pharmacy practice
  • Instill professionalism
  • Expose students to the roles of the pharmacist and pharmacy practice settings
  • Prepare students for Advanced Pharmacy Practice Rotations (APPEs)
Student and preceptor expectations

Performance expectations

Student and primary preceptor interactions

The primary preceptor is the students’ main resource during their experience. Preceptors will introduce student pharmacists to the pharmacy setting and their role on the team, they will guide their experience, and evaluate them throughout the program. Preceptors are informed of their role in the student experience, but students also have responsibilities in guiding their own learning experience.

Opportunities for students to enhance learning experience

  • Contact the primary preceptor to introduce yourself before you attend your first shift.
  • Discuss goals and expectations to ensure the same understanding regarding the student role in the system of care to avoid confusion later.
  • Discuss best means to communicate with him/her (i.e. email, phone, in-person meetings). Be flexible to his/her response.
  • At regular check-ins throughout the experience, discuss the experience honestly and work with the preceptor to improve performance.

What is expected of preceptors?

The preceptor’s main role is to act as a resource and point-person for students throughout their experience.
Read more about Preceptors.

The preceptor should:

  • Set expectations early.
  • Orient students to the clinical atmosphere and relevant sources of information.
  • Treat students like a member of the team.
  • Provide enough guidance and support for students to be successful in their role.
  • Meet with students often to check-in on goals, expectations, progress, etc., to provide an opportunity to reflect upon and debrief experiences, and to give and receive feedback.

Students should contribute to the workflow of the community pharmacy, but this is also a learning experience. While constant oversight is certainly not required, regular check-ins and on-the-job mentoring are expected.

What is expected of students?

By the end of each course, the student should have:

  • Successfully completed all IPPE-related trainings (and upload to E*Value).
  • Participated in all IPPE activities assigned during the quarter and earned a “Pass” on each corresponding Student Performance Evaluation form (including OSCEs).
  • Attended and participated in all scheduled IPE activities.
  • Completed all assigned assessments and evaluations.

The preceptor understands that students are still developing their knowledge and patient interaction skills. If the preceptor asks a student to complete a task beyond their current abilities, students should feel comfortable asking for guidance and/or additional training.

All preceptors will however, expect a high level of professionalism that informs students’ wardrobe, work ethic, and respect for patient care and the clinical care team. While the preceptor and other staff at the site may provide students with support, their role is meant to “add value” to patient care and workflow and should be accomplished with some degree of independence. Preceptors will expect you to be prepared to provide value to the team. Since “prepared” will mean different things for different sites, you should discuss expectations with your preceptor on your first day and continue to revisit these throughout your experience.

Dress code policy

Every student pharmacist participating in an IPPE activity is expected to conduct him/herself in an appropriate professional manner, consistent with that of other members of the patient care team. Students are expected to maintain a professional image while involved in IPPE activities, displaying neatness in appearance and appropriate attitude. Dress is generally business professional and jeans are unacceptable in most institutions. Additionally, each institution or experience site will have rules, regulations, policies, and procedures that the student must follow. A short white laboratory coat with your UCSF student pharmacist nametag and picture ID badge shall be worn while participating in IPPE activities. Student pharmacists may be required to wear I.D. badges assigned by the site. Some sites may not require students to wear a white coat.

Name tags are worn above the waist, not on the belt, and with the name visible. Revealing or potentially revealing garments such as low-rise trousers or short tops that could expose the mid-riff are not acceptable. Other examples of unacceptable attire include: sheer garments, halter or tank tops, items designed to be worn as undergarments, oversized or baggy garments or garments such as leggings or spandex pants designed to be worn as athletic wear. Soiled, torn or frayed garments are also unacceptable. Blue jeans, patient or isolation gowns, apparel accessories containing phrases or pictures and electronic equipment such as iPods/MP3 players or Blue Tooth devices which are unrelated to the professional environment are also unacceptable. Bear in mind that our work environment puts us in contact with people of various ages, cultures and backgrounds. Appropriate dress is essential to professional demeanor, gives additional credibility to your role in the patient care areas and reflects positively on pharmacy as a profession.

Grading and evaluation

Grading and Evaluations

Grading will be PASS/NOT PASS.

Minimum requirements for successful completion of the IPPE:

  • Meeting goals and objectives and demonstrating IPPE competencies as outlined in course materials
  • Completion of assigned course activities, trainings, performance expectations, and evaluations
  • Attendance, conduct, and participation in course activities
IPPE dos & don’ts

Patient’s rights

Please also read the UCSF Health Patient Safety and Rights information.

Patient’s confidentiality

The patient information that you obtain by rounding, reading the medical record, interviewing, etc. is confidential. It should not be discussed in places, e.g. the elevator, in the cafeteria, etc., where it may be overheard by the public. To ensure this is done in practice, students are to review the HIPAA Guidelines in the Policies & Procedures section as well as complete the HIPAA Training, which is noted in the Required Training Activities section of the IPPE Manual.


  • DO respect the confidentiality of patient information.
  • DO dress appropriately for the patient care environment. Check with your preceptor with respect to the need for lab coats, ties (for guys), etc. No cutoffs or shorts, Levi’s. If you have any doubts, take the conservative, professional appearance.
  • DO wear your name-tag.
  • DO wash your hands after contacting a patient.
  • DO contact your preceptor if you are ill or running late for your appointment.
  • DO introduce yourself appropriately to other health care providers if you are asked.
  • If you are going to see a patient, DO knock before entering the patient’s room and DO introduce yourself and your purpose.
  • DO be able to explain what you are doing on the patient care floor/clinic/etc., if you are asked.
  • DO ask questions of your preceptor. While this is a self-directed learning experience, ask for explanations regarding what, why, how and when if you don’t understand something. Some preceptors prefer ongoing questions/answers and others prefer you to save up your questions until the end of the session. Ask your preceptor’s preference.
  • DO remember that part of the experience is to provide you with an opportunity to see what you may be doing as an intern pharmacist and/or on your Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) rotations.
  • DO remember that in terms of priority, the patient and his/her care have top priority.


  • DON’T take the medical record any part of the medical record off the nursing unit or out of the clinic or other patient care area.
  • DON’T talk about patients and what you saw or heard during your experience in public places, e.g. elevators, cafeteria, etc.
  • DON’T take it personally, if your student preceptor indicates that he/she is involved in an issue or problem that needs to be resolved and sends you off to read a medical record while she/he resolves the patient care problem.
  • DON’T have your cell phone on in patient care areas.

Related Information

Interested in the UCSF doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree program?

Read more about the PharmD curriculum

Interested in becoming a preceptor?

Read details about UCSF School of Pharmacy Preceptor Information.