UCSF

Foundations

Foundations coursework is intended to solidify your baseline knowledge before you dive into the details of disease conditions and approaches to therapeutic treatment. You’ll continually build on Foundations topics in subsequent coursework. In Foundations, you’ll begin to develop the skills for academic and professional success.

In the first hour of Foundations, on the first day of class, you’ll meet your first patient and begin to ask and answer questions as a pharmacist. Your learning from this point forward will be rooted in patient cases.

Beginning in Foundations, you’ll gradually see that scientific thinking is a key element of the curriculum, underpinning all teaching and learning.

Foundations: a closer look

Foundations I

Foundations I begins at the start of year one, encompassing the study of therapeutic and biomedical sciences, evidence-based health care, and health care systems and pharmacy practice.

You’ll also explore learning strategies, the pharmacy profession, career options, and how to ensure your well-being as you build a foundation for your academic and professional success.

The topics in Foundations I refer back to patient cases as much as possible, preparing you for the Integrated Themes that follow:

Area 1: Therapeutic and biomedical sciences

Topics cover the basic sciences underlying drug therapy, including:

  • Adaptive immunity
  • Antibodies
  • Drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination (pharmacokinetics)
  • Drug action and effects (pharmacodynamics)
  • Drug bioavailability
  • Drug design
  • Drug discovery
  • Drug dosing
  • Drug permeation
  • Drug transport
  • Enzyme catalysis and inhibition
  • Homeostasis
  • Pharmacogenetics
  • Thermodynamics

Area 2: Evidence-based health care

Topics cover the basics of sound evidence gathering and interpretation, and evidence-based health care decision making, including:

  • Drug databases
  • Epidemiology
  • Journal club
  • Public health
  • Statistics
  • Study design
  • Trustworthy information sources

Area 3: Health care systems and pharmacy practice

Topics cover the information you’ll need to navigate to succeed in the changing health care environment and develop into a pharmacy leader, including:

  • Affordable Care Act
  • Boxed warnings
  • Cultural humility
  • Formulary development
  • Health care communications
  • Health care landscape
  • Health care economics
  • Insurance market
  • Leadership
  • Pharmacy law
  • Practice settings
  • Working in teams

Foundations II

The content of Foundations II is evolving with the rest of the curriculum. Foundations II runs over the course of two weeks, beginning in the late summer of year two.