About the Department of Pharmacy


The Department of Pharmacy's mission is to provide excellent patient care through safe and effective drug therapy. It strives toward leadership in pharmacy practice education and research.

Goals & Scope

The Department of Pharmacy's goals and scope are: (1) Recognition as a national leader in the innovative use of resources and technology to provide the highest quality and most cost-effective patient care (2) Recognition for excellence in the clinical education of UC San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences students and (3) Recognition for its contributions, including research and publications, in all aspects of pharmacy practice

About the Department of Pharmacy

Its Role at UC San Diego Health

The Department of Pharmacy includes inpatient, ambulatory care, transitional care and home health patient care services. Our academic health system serves as a primary teaching site for UC San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences IPPE and APPE students, UC San Diego School of Medicine students and other professional programs in the health sciences.

UC San Diego Medical Center, Jacobs Medical Center, Perlman Ambulatory Care Center, Moores Cancer Center, an NCI designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center support a full range and scope of medical and surgical specialties as well as general medicine and surgery units.

As part of the only academic health system in San Diego, Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center is the only facility providing cardiovascular research, patient care services and programs in one location. Pharmacists are instrumental in providing patient-centered care and education, fighting heart and vascular diseases.

The UC San Diego Regional Burn Center is a leader in making notable advances in burn therapy; the pharmacist is a member of the multidisciplinary team responding to the complex medical problems experienced by burn victims.

The UC San Diego Center for Transplantation is the leading location for volume of solid organ transplants in the San Diego region. As a team member of this national hub of clinical expertise and research, the pharmacist is dedicated to improving organ transplant outcomes through optimal medication management at all points in the patient’s transitions of care.

The 49-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is a highly specialized, nationally recognized center; the pharmacist is an active member of this Level III designated care center, providing medication management for these extremely complicated and frail patients.

UC San Diego Health operates the region’s first Level 1 Trauma Center, part of the San Diego Trauma System, a collaborative, life-saving, countywide effort of six hospitals, responding to the highest level of critical injury. Pharmacists and Pharmacist residents are an integral component of the multidisciplinary Trauma team.

Department of Pharmacy Responsibilities

The UC San Diego Health Department of Pharmacy is responsible for service to these hospitals, as well as six ambulatory care pharmacies, two Infusion Centers and multiple clinic sites. In addition, a Pharmacy Home Infusion Service program is operated in support of the Home Health Care Program. The department is staffed by over 200 full time employees comprised of pharmacists, technicians, clerical and supportive personnel. Currently, we have 25 resident positions (twelve acute and three ambulatory care PGY1, and ten PYG2 residents) and 60 fourth-year SSPPS pharmacy students, all of whom participate directly in the provision of patient care.

Pharmacists and pharmacy residents serve as members of interdisciplinary patient care teams on inpatient medical, surgical and intensive care units, with special emphasis on oncology, HIV, transplant, trauma surgery, neonatology, infectious diseases, cardiovascular diseases and transitions of care. In the ambulatory care area our current areas of disease state emphasis are family medicine, anticoagulation, transplantation, diabetes, CKD, CHF, and HIV, with expanding emphasis on the Transitions of Care model. Responsibility for these patients is shared by the staff, full-time faculty, residents, fellows and students. Our Pharmacy Home Infusion Service staff, which includes pharmacists and nurses, provides care for a wide range of patients seen through the allied home health care programs. The Department also has formal programs in the areas of Informatics, Antimicrobial Monitoring and Investigational Drugs.

In support of our decentralized clinical pharmacy services, the department operates a 24-hour centralized drug distribution area. Drug distribution is provided through a house-wide, point-of-use unit dose system, which uses computer-actuated dispensing equipment and a barcode driven medication administration system. All UC San Diego Health patients (ambulatory care, inpatient, and home care) are included in an integrated, computerized patient information system. Computer terminals are available in all patient care locations, within pharmacies and at the pharmacy offices. A computerized physician order entry system (CPOE) has been implemented. Pharmacists review and validate orders prior to dispensing.