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Plein Center for Geriatric Pharmacy Research, Education and Outreach


Why should I complete the Plein Certificate in Geriatric Pharmacy?
As the number of adults over age sixty-five grows each day, so do the number of opportunities for pharmacists to put their knowledge of Geriatrics and Gerontology to work for this important population. Especially in the coming years as the baby boomer generation reaches the age of retirement, an expertise in Geriatric and Gerontological Pharmacy will be highly sought-after and highly utilized by both institutional and community health centers nationwide. In combination with recently-enacted health care reform in the United States and the increasingly instrumental roles that pharmacists play in the lives of their patients, specialized training with this population will have far-reaching effects.
Will the Plein Certificate in Geriatric Pharmacy give me an advantage in the workplace?
Graduates of the Plein Certificate in Geriatric Pharmacy may have an advantage when applying for positions, especially those associated specifically with caring for older adults. This includes practice in a variety of settings, including community pharmacy, clinic, long-term care, and inpatient facilities. For some graduates, the certificate has facilitated a high level of specialty practice and work as independent consultant pharmacists. An education in Geriatric Pharmacy is also great training for nationally-recognized board certification offered through the Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties (BCGP).
Who can I talk to if I am interested in these geriatric training options?
The Student Services advisors can be helpful to you in answering your questions about these training and education opportunities. You can also speak with Dr. Leigh Ann Mike, Assistant Director for Education, Plein Center for Geriatric Pharmacy Research, Education and Outreach.

For general information, please send inquiries to

How do I identify the elective choices?
You may begin your studies at any time, even before applying to the Plein Certificate in Geriatric Pharmacy. This opportunity is intended to be independent in nature and allow you the flexibility to develop your studies over the course of your PharmD curriculum.

You can choose electives in geriatrics and gerontology from several courses offered at the University of Washington School of Pharmacy. Courses taught by other Schools will be awarded elective credit based on the nature and extent of geriatrics/gerontology content. General criteria for acceptance of an elective are that at least 50% of the coursework is focused on the care, needs, or services required by older adults.

For a sample listing of courses that satisfy elective requirements, please click here, or to inquire about whether a particular course satisfies Geriatrics/Gerontology requirements, please contact

What are GPA requirements for the Plein Certificate in Geriatric Pharmacy?
Successful completion of the certificate requires a minimum grade of 2.70 in each numeric graded geriatrics course (including the geriatric clerkship) and a CR grade in each CR/NC geriatrics course.
How well do the geriatrics courses correlate with the core classes?
The courses you will complete for your studies in geriatrics qualify as professional electives for your PharmD degree. The courses are sequenced similarly to the general PharmD course curriculum so that they supplement your learning in other core courses.
Should I anticipate any scheduling conflicts?
There should not be any conflict with your core courses, however, you may need to request a certain lab section of a core course in the case of multiple sections. In this case, please contact Susan Taylor ( at least two weeks prior to registration to request a specific section. Sometimes, there are conflicts with other elective courses so it is good to plan your course schedule over the next few years to anticipate and prevent conflicts.
How do I put together a Pharmacy 595 or independent study in geriatrics?
There are many potential ideas for Pharmacy 595 projects. You should work directly with a School of Pharmacy faculty member to develop and implement your project, registering for Pharmacy 595 under this faculty advisor’s registration code. Examples of Pharmacy 595 projects include performing a needs assessment and developing geriatric services offered by a community pharmacy, implementing a new geriatric care guideline at an institution, or conducting research in gerontology or geriatrics.
How is the Pharmacy 566 (Geriatrics APPE) scheduled?
Students will sign up for Pharmacy 566 through the regular clerkship scheduling database program during the third professional year. Those who are enrolled in the Certificate Program will have priority when registering for Pharmacy 566 clerkship sites.
How will I be recognized for receiving this training?
Prior to your graduation from the School of Pharmacy, you will submit a nomination for your recognition “Certificate in Geriatrics”. If you have completed the course requirements, as verified by Students Services offices, you will be recognized with this accomplishment at graduation. This recognition will also appear on your university transcript.
How can I network with the geriatrics faculty and other students pursuing education and training in geriatrics?
The UW student chapter of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP) will be the key place to network with other faculty and students interested in geriatrics. Please consider joining and participating in the various activities throughout the year, which include health fairs for older adults, networking, and professional development seminars.