My First Pharmacy Rotation Experience

by Kaleena Johnson, P4 student pharmacist, University of Michigan College of Pharmacy

My first P4 rotation was in drug information at the University of Michigan Health System. Contrary to the formidable reports I heard about drug information, I thoroughly enjoyed this rotation. The Drug Information Center received calls during the day from doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health care professionals inquiring about a wide array of topics. Some were simple drug interactions and others required much more time to answer, often several days. This experience was comparable to being a detective and I was continually challenged to find the right answer for our callers.

Each morning, we would meet with the pharmacists at the drug information center and talk about our calls from the previous day. This gave us a great opportunity to learn from our colleagues and gain insight into how we can better answer a question or find additional resources. These morning meetings also gave us the opportunity to get to know our preceptors on a more individual and personal level.

My projects consisted of writing a drug monograph and preparing a presentation on that drug to determine if we should add it to our inpatient formulary. For an additional project, I had the opportunity to write an article for the Pharmacy For UM newsletter. Both of these projects provided great experiences in areas that I was not familiar or comfortable working in. In addition, they were challenging in that I had to alter my style of writing to fit the situation. Each will be a great resource when the time comes for me to start interviewing for positions. Overall, drug information was a great rotation and I know that the lessons I learned here will be beneficial throughout my career.

Investigational Drug Service (IDS) Internship

By Meenakshi Shelat, 2013 Pharm.D. candidate, University of Michigan College of Pharmacy

As a student pharmacist, I am thankful for my two-year experience as an intern in Investigational Drug Service (IDS) at the University of Michigan Health System (UMHS). As a designated section of the Department of Pharmacy Services within the UMHS, IDS handles the experimental drugs used for patients enrolled in clinical trials. IDS is responsible for the pharmacy-related tasks of both hematology/oncology and nonhematology/ oncology studies. This includes drug accountability, meticulous record-keeping, proper storage and disposal of medications, and compounding. The pharmacists, in addition to verifying every drug order or prescription, have many responsibilities. These include drafting and verifying dispensing guidelines, amendments and opening study procedures. Also, they are active members of several Committees and Task Forces, including the Institutional Review Board (IRB).

During my first year, the internship was focused on a basic understanding of regulatory procedures and the drug development process. I gained pharmacy technician skills, including dispensing inpatient and outpatient study drugs, preparation of sterile admixture and chemotherapy, and drug compounding. The second year transitioned to more professional-level activities, including project coordination, drug information writing and study support documentation for opening studies, and other IDS-pharmacist activities, such as drafting dispensing guidelines and prescription templates. As interns, we were also in charge of ensuring accuracy in our records and inventory in advance of audits and monitoring visits. A highlight of my second year was helping to design and pilot a new institutional Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE), or P4, clerkship experience.

There was never a routine day during my two years in IDS. As of this past summer, we crossed the mark of handling 400 active investigational drug trials. This was an accomplishment for our dedicated team of pharmacists, technicians and interns. With the experience of both technical and professional aspects of IDS operations, I have been able to help train students while working on my daily to-do lists. What I loved about IDS and this internship was the autonomy in my responsibilities and the ability to work on a variety of projects. The work accomplished in IDS is critical for patients and for data that the Food and Drug Administration will analyze when evaluating investigational agents for approved indications.

Medication Safety, the Pharmacist’s Role and Potential New Prospects

By Emily Cross, Pharm.D., Jennifer Idzior, Pharm.D., and Jacqueline Kisscorni, Pharm.D., Ferris State University College of Pharmacy, 2012 graduates

On March 26, 2012, as a part of our advanced community rotation, we visited Mrs. Bush’s anatomy and physiology class at Forest Hills Northern in Grand Rapids. We presented on the important role pharmacists play in medication management and safety. The class, which consisted of juniors and seniors, was learning about the renal system, which allowed us the opportunity to discuss the crucial role of kidney function in safe administration of medications. We reviewed creatinine, creatinine clearance and presented patient cases to engage the students in active learning. They practiced typical calculations a pharmacist would conduct to ensure a patient is receiving a medication safely and at the proper dose.

Considering our audience of upperclassmen, nearing the next step of their education, we seized the opportunity to educate the students on pharmacy and promote the profession as an excellent career choice. We discussed the multitude of career opportunities available to a pharmacy graduate as well as the variety of benefits of the profession. In addition, the students engaged in topics, such as what it takes to get into pharmacy school and the overall student pharmacist experience.

Our presentation “From Notes to White Coats” utilized the zooming presentation software Prezi to stay current with the advancing technology high school students are already engaged in themselves. Our goal was to emphasize the value of the pharmacist via our medication safety discussion and promote the pharmacy profession as an ever-evolving field in hopes of piquing the interest of at least one potential future pharmacist.

CAPA Accepting Applications for 2012 Student Scholarship

Every year, Capital Area Pharmacists Association (CAPA) awards up to two $500 scholarships to an individual(s) who meets the established criteria. The applicant must:

  • Have a residence in or be a resident of Ingham, Eaton, Clinton or Shiawassee counties 
  • Be in at least the first professional year of the pharmacy curriculum when applying 
  • Have a GPA of 2.0 or above 
  • Provide a letter of recommendation from an individual associated with the profession of pharmacy (family member excluded) 
  • Complete and submit application material by established deadline 

The use of the scholarship is nonrestrictive. A Committee assigned by the CAPA Executive Board will select the recipient(s) and may require applicants to attend an interview with the Committee. The scholarship will be awarded at CAPA’s annual Michigan Pharmacy Week celebration, continuing education program and general meeting held Oct. 18, 2012.

To access an application, please visit www.CAPApharm.org. The application, letter of recommendation and proof of the above requirements must be submitted by Sept. 28, 2012 to:

Heather Schalk, Pharm.D.
Sparrow Hospital Inpatient Pharmacy
1215 East Michigan Ave.
Lansing, MI 48909

If you have any questions, please e-mail Heather Schalk at Heather.Schalk@Sparrow.org, Sarah Eagleston at Sarah.Eagleston@Sparrow.org or Victoria McCausland at Victoria.McCausland@Sparrow.org.

Student Pharmacists: View Presentation on Mastering a Pharmacy Interview

MPA recently posted a new educational video designed for student pharmacists. The presentation covers preparing for and mastering a pharmacy interview, including tasks to complete before, during and after an interview; appropriate attire, etiquette and attitude to be a competitive applicant; and different types of interview styles and formats. Visit the MPA Web site to view this presentation online and to access the handout that provides a complete outline of the program. This serves as a great resource for student pharmacists to print off and refer to as they start off or prepare for their pharmacy careers.

Just Breathe

by Matthew S. Duprey, P3 student pharmacist, Wayne State University Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences; president, WSU-SSHP

This past year, the Wayne State University-Student Society of Health-System Pharmacy implemented a new asthma education project in the metro Detroit area. The idea of a previously informational organization moving into patient care seemed to be a challenge for our group, but we knew that it was time to show community members how pharmacists in health-systems can be valuable in their health management. We developed a training program with Dr. Sheila Wilhelm, associate professor of pharmacy practice. Then, we were able to teach patients in the community the importance of using their inhalers, as well as inform them of the difference between controllers and rescue inhalers. Through a series of health fairs, we were also able to teach hundreds of patients with the assistance of demo inhalers and a vitalograph. Not only did this allow students to expand on their consultation skills and therapeutic knowledge, it engaged the community to consider health-system pharmacists as valuable resources in health care. That can help us all breathe a little easier.

This piece will also be published in the July 2012 edition of the Michigan Society of Health-System Pharmacists newsletter, the MSHP Monitor.

Looking for a Pharmacy Job?

MPA partners with an organization called JobTarget to bring members job postings online. In addition, those looking for a job can post their resume for potential employers to review. Visit our JobTarget board at www.JobTarget.com/home/index.cfm?site_id=530 for additional information or to start browsing jobs today!

Immunization Update 2012 Now Available Online

The recent Immunization Update 2012 webinar provided by MPA is now available as a continuing education (CE) home study on the Association Web site. Student pharmacists who were unable to participate in the webinar are encouraged to watch it online. The program covered concerns and contemporary controversies associated with vaccine-preventable diseases, case studies for attendees to assess a patient’s need for vaccinations and recent updates to vaccines. In addition, the program instructor provided an overview of the Michigan Care Improvement Registry and the latest on vaccine reimbursement. Visit MichiganPharmacists.org/education/online to access this program, as well as a copy of the program slides.

MPA is hosting a live immunization training program at Wayne State University Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences on Sept. 8. Students can register on the event page on the MPA Web site to participate in this program!

Last Chance to Register for the Golf Classic

Support Michigan Pharmacy Foundation (MPF) and Pharmacy PAC by playing in the annual Golf Classic on June 27! You can register as an individual player or as a foursome. Gather up a group of student pharmacists from you college and join us at Hawk Hollow Golf Course in Bath, Mich. Visit the event page to register online and for more details. Registration is available through June 10, so hurry and reserve your spot. We look forward to seeing you on the course later this month!

Follow MPA on Your Favorite Social Media Sites!

If you haven’t joined the conversation yet, visit our Twitter page at www.Twitter.com/MIPharmacists and follow the Association today. MPA has a number of Facebook pages as well that have recently received a new look, as the social media tool moves to a timeline format. ‘Like’ MPAStudent MPA, the Michigan Society of Pharmacy Technicians, or the Association’s Cooperative Buying Group, Pharmacy Services Inc. Staying connected to the Association via social media ensures that you’re up-to-date on the latest in pharmacy, exposing you to information that may not be included in MPA publications and allows you to make connections with other pharmacy professionals, legislators, or members of the media and public. Join the conversation by liking our pages or following us on Twitter!