Objectives: To determine the availability of experiential learning opportunities in culturally diverse areas and to identify opportunities and barriers to attract and sustain sites for the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy.
Methods: Utilizing variables of census tract income, racial/ethnicity composition and crime index, data analyses included descriptive statistics and multivariate logistic regression. Faculty members involved in experiential education were interviewed to identify other factors influencing site placement and selection for community-based advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs).
Results: Median family income and Asian population were significantly higher and black population was significantly lower in census tracts with community APPE sites than in census tracts without APPE sites (p < 0.05). No significant differences were found in the population variables of white and Latino populations and crime index. The Asian population variable was the only significant predictor of an APPE site (p = 0.0148) when controlling for other variables. Distance from the College, pharmacy staffing issues, goodwill, influence of district and corporate managers, and strategic initiatives were critical considerations in site establishment and overall sustainability.
Conclusion: Advanced community pharmacy practice sites were fairly well distributed across metropolitan Chicago, indicating that exposure to diverse populations during the advanced community practice experiences parallels with strategic College objectives of expanding and diversifying experiential sites to enhance pharmacy students' abilities to meet emerging patient care challenges and opportunities.
Keywords: advanced pharmacy practice experiences; community pharmacy; cultural diversity; experiential education; students.