Evaluation of a novel process for selecting advanced pharmacy practice experiences

Elizabeth B. Hearn, Laurie W. Fleming, Adam N. Pate, Scott S. Malinowski, T. Kristopher Harrell, Meagan A. Brown, Kristin M. Gilbert, Robert Metzger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Matching an increasing number of pharmacy students with a limited number of advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE) sites has become challenging for pharmacy schools. Selective tiered optimization (STO), a process for matching students with competitive APPE electives, was implemented by The University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy (UMSOP) in 2015 to address these concerns. This pilot study sought to evaluate student and preceptor satisfaction with the process. Methods: Electronic surveys were sent to students enrolled in APPEs and individuals who precepted APPE students at the UMSOP from 2016 to 2019. The surveys were designed to gauge satisfaction with STO's process, goals, utility, and fairness. Results: There were 63 responses from 149 preceptors (42% response rate) and 70 respondents from 314 students (22% response rate). Overall, both students and preceptors expressed satisfaction and found value in participating in STO. Both groups indicated that the benefit they received from participating in STO outweighed the extra effort required. Preceptors indicated that students who participated in STO were of higher quality and more focused, hardworking, and interested than those who did not participate. Conclusions: Respondents were satisfied with the STO process and experience. The process was perceived by preceptors to be fair for all students and worthwhile for its participants. Our results also demonstrated that this process is effective for easing the competitive APPE selection process. Schools and colleges of pharmacy should consider utilizing this process to alleviate applicable challenges with APPE selection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1300-1305
Number of pages6
JournalCurrents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Advanced
  • Education
  • Experiential
  • Practice
  • Rotations


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