December's Guide to the Galaxy
ASHP Midyear 2017
Chuck Hennes, Laura Jane Baker-Straw, Taylor Barnes, Meghan Frieter, Kendall Tucker
Taylor & Laura Jane
This month, Laura Jane and I took our first steps toward achieving one of the goals we set at the beginning of our time in this program: attaining a PGY1 pharmacy residency. We always felt that we worked well as a team due to the fact that we had similar long term goals, and we grew closer as we worked together in this program due to our interests. I have always been passionate about patient care, and through my clinical rotations this year, that passion has been reaffirmed, and I have discovered a love of pediatrics. While Laura Jane has always been interested in inpatient acute care residencies, she realized over the course of this year that she enjoys a more longstanding relationship with the patient. Through the mentorship of Ms. Walker and other individuals she met throughout the course of the program, she was able to reflect on her pharmacy experiences and determine her true passion: ambulatory care.
We began the month of December with a trip to ASHP's Clinical Midyear Meeting, where we both presented the results of our research. My research revealed the results of a project I have worked on throughout pharmacy school about the patient perception of community pharmacy and the job responsibilities of the employees who work to fill their prescriptions. Laura Jane's research focuses on a more clinical aspect of pharmacy and looks at the effects of capped heparin dosing on time to therapeutic aPTTs in the treatment of VTEs.
While there, we also had the opportunity to attend the residency showcase and ask questions of residents and program directors. Our time in the Walker Leadership Scholars program prepared us well for this environment, and we felt well prepared to start a conversation with everyone at the residency booths. We were able to ask questions and make judgments about which residency programs would be the best fit for us based on these conversations. I had my first off month during the month of December, and I spent the remainder of the month preparing my applications. I applied to nine residency programs, six of which have a pediatric focus and three of which offer a general background in both adult and pediatric medicine. Laura Jane applied to eight programs, all of which were ambulatory care focused. We both also focused on programs that offer a strong teaching certificate program, as our time in the Walker Leadership Scholars Program taught us both the importance of mentorship. We both hope that in the future we will be able to contribute not only to this program as alumni, but also to other schools of pharmacy to help encourage young pharmacy leaders to pursue leadership training. We are now working on developing patience, and we are excited to see where we will embark on our first year of post graduate pharmacy training!
This was a very eventful month for myself and the rest of the Walker scholars. I had the opportunity to present a research poster entitled “How does inhibition of CDK7 affect the growth of Breast Cancer cells?” at the 2017 ASHP Midyear meeting in Orlando, Florida. This was my second time presenting a poster ASHP’s national meeting and was my best time yet! Even though I am just a second year pharmacy student, I still had the opportunity to go and introduce myself to various residency program directors and network with them for when I eventually apply to their programs during my fourth year. I also had the opportunity to network with various pharmaceutical companies speaking with many of their representatives. While talking to these programs and companies, I expressed that I was very interested in informatics and analytics. After hearing from these various groups that there is in an increasing need for this relatively newer field of pharmacy, it has only increased my interest and makes me want to get more involved in this subject area.
Another great aspect of attending this event was that I was able to see two of our Walker Leadership Scholar alumni Kendall Tucker and Parth Parikh. Both Kendall and Parth are currently doing PGY-1 residencies and had their own booths talking to various students about their respective programs. This was very helpful for me personally because Kendall and I both share the same interest in informatics and he gave me lots of very helpful advice about pursuing a career in this field.
This month, my classmate and I had an incredible opportunity to bring a project of ours to two residence halls and one U101 class. Our project, called Treat Yo'self Care, is an interactive presentation series about how college students can take care of themselves using OTC products and healthy sleep habits. We provide a pharmacy standpoint for how to keep your mind and body healthy during finals week. Students are divided into teams and given a scenario in which they're supposed to identify their symptoms and choose between different OTC products in order to effectively "treat" themselves. The series is designed to be an entertaining way to empower first-year students to take responsibility for their health and understand the differences between basic medications. It's also a great way for our college of pharmacy to give back to the greater USC student body. So far we've done our presentation 6 times and have reached roughly 100 first-year students, and we're really looking forward to presenting to even more groups this semester!