Reflection #1: Eunice Kim, PharmD Candidate 2021
I attended the seminar “Mail Order Pharmacy” by Dr. Dee Zuniga on September 6, 2017. Dr. Zuniga works for OptumRX mail order pharmacy as a bilingual pharmacist. She used to work for CVS Pharmacy, but chose mail order pharmacy due to several reasons such as split shifts, flexibility, and autonomy. Dr. Zuniga works from home and enjoys the long vacation days OptumRX offers. There are several different pharmacist positions that are offered by the mail order pharmacy: phone pharmacist, consulting pharmacist, specialty pharmacist etc. When Iworked as a pharmacy technician, I did not have a clear idea about how mail order pharmacies work. The fact that you can work as a pharmacist from home is intriguing. I also enjoy traveling as much as Dr. Zuniga does, so getting longer vacation days might be a huge plus for me when looking for a job. My current interest in pharmacy is in managed care, so mail order pharmacy is not something I am interested in. But from Dr. Zuniga’s seminar, I now believe that mail order pharmacy can be a good option when I get much older. One of the reasons why community pharmacy was difficult to work for was that there are no chairs for the pharmacy staff. As a mail order pharmacy staff, it’ll be physically more comfortable to work. Dr. Zuniga mentioned, however, that the workload is the same as working in community pharmacies.
Reflection #2: Ryan Lam, PharmD Candidate 2021
We had Dr. Zuniga do a presentation on mail order pharmacy today and she explained the different roles of a pharmacist at OptumRx. The registered pharmacist responsibilities at OptumRx are divided into queues which included DUR-M, consultations, prescription verification, C2, Narrow Therapeutic Index and Spanish/bilingual pharmacists. Pharmacists can also work in the prior authorization, specialty, fulfillment and medication error department as well. Dr. Zuniga spoke about the benefits of OptumRx and how she was able to split her work shift hours, the amount of vacation hours given to her, and the flexibility with her work/life balance. I enjoyed her presentation because I recently worked for OptumRx as a technician before starting pharmacy school and it really gave me insight on the typical work day of a pharmacist there. As a technician, I did a lot of data entry, patient follow ups and troubleshooting with insurances. Technicians didn’t get a lot of interactions with the pharmacists except through occasional phone calls so it very interesting to see the work flow from a different perspective and I will take all of Dr. Zuniga’s advice into consideration if I ever come back to OptumRx or work for another mail order pharmacy. I enjoyed my experience working at OptumRx and after finishing school, I would love the opportunity be in the same position that Dr. Zuniga is in.