Patient Safety

Summer Internship in Patient Safety

The Department of Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy offers a summer internship in Patient Safety for current students in the Health Sciences.

The internship is designed to offer students an experience in patient safety research.  Patient safety is commonly understood as the delivery of safe and effective health care and the prevention of medical error.  With drugs being one of the most commonly used medical treatment modalities, quality deficits are prevalent and errors are a significant threat to public health.  Research related to patient safety focuses on the evaluation of health care quality as well as the development and evaluation of quality improvement strategies.

Causes for medication errors can be found in the prescribing, dispensing, administration and monitoring of medication use, as well as with systems that lack resources and procedures assuring safe and effective use of medications.  Examples of ongoing research topics include the development of new quality measures for hospital quality assessment for Medicare.

The Department is involved in quality assessment and improvement activities in various health care settings, most importantly UF & Shands teaching hospital.  Research studies draw from both quantitative and qualitative methods, including epidemiologic methods as well as interviews and focus groups.

The demand for researchers in patient safety with clinical backgrounds has increased significantly over the past decade.  This development is expected to continue with the greater public attention to drug and patient safety and the increasing pressure on regulatory bodies and health care providers to improve the delivery care.  This internship will provide students with the insight into an exciting field they may not have considered as a career option.

Successful applicants will work closely with Department faculty, fellows, and graduate students, participate in ongoing research projects or the development of new research proposals.  Each student will have a primary faculty mentor.  While the extent of involvement in research is limited due to the short time period of the internship, the faculty mentor will engage students in small projects that can be completed during the internship and presented at a professional meeting.  Activities assigned to interns might include:

  • Conduct background searches on specific topics relevant to ongoing studies
  • Participation in data collection and analysis
  • Participation in preparation of manuscript, meeting abstracts and presentations


The internship will provide a stipend of $4,327 for a total of 10 weeks.  Start and end dates are negotiable.  Students are expected to work full-time and participate in all Department activities.  Students will also be required to present their work at a Department seminar and the College of Pharmacy Research Day. For application procedures and deadlines please visit the COP internship website here

Contact: Almut G. Winterstein, PhD; phone: 352-273-6258