Pitt School of Pharmacy: In the Community

Patient Population
All pharmacy patients.
March of each academic year
Over 70 community pharmacy locations within a 30-mile radius of the University of Pittsburgh participate
Student Pharmacist Community Outreach:  Second Professional Year

All second professional year students are required to participate in Experiential Learning 3 and 4.  The purpose of the course is to expose students to the development of patient care practice skills in the community pharmacy setting.  Intended to be a continuation of classroom learning, students will enhance and develop communication, problem solving, and practice management skills while working alongside a practicing pharmacist.  Students develop the foundation to identify, prevent and resolve drug-related problems encountered in the community setting.  Students are required to complete one community outreach project at their pharmacy site.

Services Provided

Second-year Professional Student Pharmacists design and deliver a community outreach program in assigned pharmacy sites.


Each student provides a final write-up of their event and class data are compiled.

Student/Resident Participation

All second year professional students participate; approximately 100 students per year.

Calendar of Events

Outreach events are advertised February/March of each calendar year in the individual pharmacies.

Student Feedback

"I learned that community outreach projects, when planned properly, can be an excellent way for community pharmacists to provide a valuable service for their patients, to establish better relationships with their patients, and provide opportunities to make an important intervention in their health/drug therapy."

"That the role of the pharmacist is changing and it is our duty as emerging professionals to take an active hand in helping the profession to make that change." 

"The most important thing I learned is that I can help patients! I think this course has given me the confidence to talk with patients, consider their problems, and come up with solutions. Also, the assignments made me very aware that the things we learn about in school are not happening in the pharmacy in terms of patient care. We are part of the beginning of changing how some things are done in the community."

"This course taught me a lot about working in the community. Many of these skills I would not have without this class. I loved doing the outreach event and I think similar programs should be implemented in other areas of the curriculum as well. The assignments were very challenging because a lot of it is not done in pharmacies currently. I think it was good that we "pushed the envelope" as pharmacy students."


Melissa Somma, PharmD, CDE
Assistant Professor
E-mail: somma@pitt.edu