How well do you know your pharmacist? The American Pharmacists Association is encouraging you to get to know the folks behind the counter a little bit better, and The University of Toledo College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is helping to drive that message.
During October, the organization is advocating that everyone “know your pharmacist, know your medicine” as part of American Pharmacists Month.
“The most satisfying part of becoming a pharmacist is knowing how much you will help the patient,” said Sarah Milkovich, a fifth-year pharmacy student at the University. There couldn’t be anything more rewarding in the world than putting all that difficult schooling you went through to use.”
According to Dr. Christine Hinko, professor and associate dean for student affairs for the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, UT is taking the lead on making sure its pharmacy students are well-prepared for the ever-changing field.
“Nationally, pharmacists are becoming more involved in comprehensive patient care with a new focus on medication therapy management or MTM,” Hinko said. “That means that the pharmacist has the ability to assess the patient’s drug therapy and develop a medication action plan to assure compliance, safety and efficacy. Educating the patient is a key component. Our curriculum is designed to develop these MTM skills in our student pharmacists.”
UT offers a residency program that allows pharmacy students real-world experience, giving them the patient-centered experience before they land a job. Opportunities like the Community Pharmacy Residency Program equip residents to provide services to diverse patient populations, collaborate with other health-care providers as part of an integrated team, and develop and provide high-quality, patient-focused care.
For four consecutive years, the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has offered a Student Leadership Retreat. This year 40 students participated in an all-day program that included an analysis of their interpersonal communication style and a team-building exercise on an outdoor challenge course.
“We’re very proud to offer these kinds of unique opportunities to our students who are aspiring to be effective leaders in their profession,” Hinko said. “We are helping to build on their individual strengths and skills, which is vital to their professional development.”
The American Council for Pharmacy Education accreditation report noted that the model UT is using by having third-year and fourth-year PharmD students serve as teaching assistants for first- and second-year pharmacy students is one that should be commended and emulated by others.
Watch a UT video about American Pharmacists Month, and visit pharmacist.com for more information.