Troy C. Daniels Awards support curricular transformations

The Troy C. Daniels Curricular Innovation Awards provide funds in 2016 to support the evolution of the UCSF School of Pharmacy doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum to prepare leaders for a changing health care marketplace.

The award and its endowment honor Troy C. Daniels, PhD, who served as dean of the School from 1944 to 1967. Dean Daniels led bold revisions of the pharmacy curriculum during his tenure and was committed to continuous curriculum improvement.

Indeed, the nine awardees will pursue projects that support the current PharmD curricular transformation work under way, known as the UCSF Bridges Pharmacy Curriculum Project, which aims to further prepare PharmD graduates to:

  • Think critically as a matter of course
  • Work as unique members of health care teams
  • Routinely integrate new science concepts into their thinking and perspectives
  • Lead in new ways through advanced practice, non-traditional pharmacy practices, and post-graduate training

The awards (maximum $10,000 each) are funded by interest income from the endowed Troy C. Daniels Distinguished Professorship in Pharmaceutical Sciences, which is held by School’s dean, B. Joseph Guglielmo, PharmD. The projects selected for award funding are:

Update: The UCSF Bridges Pharmacy Curriculum Project is now known as the UCSF PharmD Curriculum Transformation Project: 2018 and beyond.

Adapting a game-like app to teach interprofessional, team-based clinical decision making

Principal awardee: Tina Brock, EdD, faculty member in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy, associate dean of global health and educational innovations

Project: Clinician-educators will adapt a mobile training app pioneered by UCSF School of Medicine and technology startup Holodox, which features videos of patient history/exam, the ability to order laboratory tests and review results, and a game-like points system and leaderboard.

They will expand the interactive app beyond its previous diagnostic focus to monitor critical thinking and problem solving by interprofessional teams considering therapeutic options for a virtual patient.

The awardees’ modified app will further interprofessional education by embedding a mechanism for virtual consultations between pharmacy and medical students, and also will allow for assessment of when and how they reach out to other professions for advice and assistance. The goal is have students pursuing at least one such collaborative case per term.

Using branched-logic online cases to enhance clinical simulations

Principal awardee: Conan MacDougall, PharmD, faculty member in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy

Project: Branched-logic case simulations go beyond static point-in-time patient scenarios to demonstrate how a student’s initial decisions can affect subsequent information and decisions; in short, students can see the varying outcomes that result from different decisions.

Having successfully incorporated branched logic into an interprofessional workshop on appropriate antimicrobial use, the project educators will purchase software to further develop, evaluate, and scale up this instructional innovation for the transforming curricula of the UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine. If successful, based on post-pilot surveys and evaluations, they will disseminate the teaching method to other pharmacy and health professional schools.

Enhancing pharmacy student communication and clinical skills

Principal awardees: Kirby Lee, PharmD, and Jennifer Cocohoba, PharmD, faculty members in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy

Project: Currently, standardized patients are hired for the School’s simulation exercises known as Observed Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs), which help prepare students for Advanced Practice Pharmacy Experiences (APPEs) by honing and assessing their skills in areas such as:

  • Interviewing, (e.g., taking medication histories)
  • Counseling
  • Clinical reasoning (e.g., assessing medication-related problems)
  • Decision making

The awardees will evaluate an approach that instead enlists first-year pharmacy students as simulated patients—a more cost-effective approach with potential for the added benefits of third-year/first-year peer mentoring and improved quality and efficiency of education and training.

Piloting further curricular integration of pharmacy simulation software

Principal awarded: Jaekyu Shin, PharmD, faculty member in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy

Project: MyDispense is a high-fidelity computer simulation that provides students an opportunity to process prescriptions virtually, as if in a community pharmacy. It can enhance student learning by delivering instant feedback, providing repeated practice opportunities, and encouraging experimental decision making in a safe environment.

Currently, MyDispense is used in the first year of the PharmD program, but this project will pilot its integration into the Therapeutics II course taught to second-year pharmacy students. If successful upon evaluation, the pilot will help to integrate the innovative education technology into other therapeutics courses and throughout the Bridges curriculum.

Developing more structured, comprehensive preparation for post-graduate training

Principal Awardee: Valerie Clinard, PharmD, faculty member in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy, and director of experiential education

Project: One goal of the Bridges curriculum transformation is to have all UCSF PharmD graduates go on to advanced training. (In recent years, more than half have accepted residency positions, while up to seven percent pursued fellowships.)

A comprehensive program will be created to prepare students for competitive post-graduate training and education opportunities, beginning in the first year. It will include seminars, webinars, online modules, mentor and networking contacts, podcasts, and blogs. Baseline and follow-up surveys will establish UCSF PharmD students’ satisfaction and preparedness scores for post-graduate training. Further follow-up will assess trends in overall placement of students upon graduation.

Research and analysis toward introducing ePortfolios

Principal Awardee: Celeste Nguyen, EdD, curriculum design and implementation manager

Project: Electronic portfolios (ePortfolios) are an increasingly popular tool used in higher education to assess student learning, including both a technology platform and an online space for students to reflect and engage with faculty about their learning.

Implementation of the project has two drivers:

  • The Bridges Pharmacy curricular transformation, which supports new approaches to teaching, learning, and assessment
  • New pharmacy education accreditation standards, which require schools to provide enhanced evidence of and quality improvement in experiential, interprofessional, and co-curricular (e.g, complementary) education

The project will include Schoolwide needs analysis as well as research into ePortfolio best practices in health care education in literature, at other schools, and at a national colloquium, in order to recommend next steps to introducing ePortfolios at the School, including a pilot project and technology platform.

Creating videos to train pharmacy and medical students to edit health-related Wikipedia pages

Principal Awardees: Tina Brock, EdD, associate dean of global health and educational innovations, and Amin Azzam, MD, faculty member in UCSF School of Medicine

Project: The UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine have been training students to edit the widely consulted heath- and medicine-related entries on Wikipedia for reliability and thoroughness. These efforts have earned positive press, a best poster award, and other recognition. But while nearly 200 English-language pages have been edited as a result of UCSF’s efforts, there are more than 155,000 health-related Wikipedia articles across 255 languages supported by nearly a million references.

To scale up the Schools’ pioneering faculty-delivered background lectures, this project will partner with the Wikipedia Education Foundation to develop and produce high-quality English-language training videos (with transcripts for translation) covering the science of accessing, assessing, editing, and peer-reviewing health-related content on Wikipedia. The videos will be hosted on a Wikipedia page with other schools that sign on as project partners having access. It is expected that the quantity of edits and view rates of these pages, measureable by Wikipedia analytics, will increase substantially once schools worldwide have access to these training materials.

Training PharmD students for evidence-based health care entrepreneurship

Principal Awardee: Kevin Rodondi, PharmD, faculty member in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy and associate director of leadership, Healthforce Center at UCSF

Project: To apply their therapeutics expertise in new ways and to serve as health care leaders, pharmacy students will need additional skills that complement their clinical training—such as developing a systematic approach to advancing a new idea or even launching a company.

Silicon Valley now routinely creates new businesses and products via a method dubbed lean startup—which favors experimentation and iterative design over elaborate upfront planning, and customer feedback over intuition. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has adopted this framework, which has greatly aided grantees translating research to practical applications in gaining federal small business funding.

Starting this fall, this pilot project will introduce these startup processes and tools to students pursuing 10-week projects on small interprofessional teams with at least one PharmD student. The projects will require extensive customer interviews to test hypotheses of who they are and what they want, thus validating or refining the teams’ health care business models. Dovetailing with the Bridges curricular transformation, goals include increased collaboration between professional students and the basic sciences as well as exposure to non-traditional pharmacy careers and leadership roles.


School of Pharmacy, Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, PharmD Degree Program

About the School: The UCSF School of Pharmacy aims to solve the most pressing health care problems and strives to ensure that each patient receives the safest, most effective treatments. Our discoveries seed the development of novel therapies, and our researchers consistently lead the nation in NIH funding. The School’s doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree program, with its unique emphasis on scientific thinking, prepares students to be critical thinkers and leaders in their field.