Posted by Sam Shimomra, PharmD, FASHP, Associate Dean
The WesternU College of Pharmacy interviewed approximately 120 prospective students for the Class of 2020 and the International Post Baccalureate PharmD program Class of 2019 on Saturday, February 27, 2016. I interviewed applicants from the Philippines, Ghana, England, Iran and India. It was fascinating to learn how much money pharmacists make in various countries around the world (ranging from $200/months in the Philippines, $400/months in Ghana, $2,700/month in England, $5,000/month in Iran compared to $10,000/month in the US.
Posted by Sam Shimomra, PharmD, FASHP, Associate Dean
Dr. Nasiba Makarem is an Instructor of Pharmacy Technology and Health Occupations at Cerritos College in Norwalk, CA. She gave a presentation on "Pharmacy Technician Education and Practice". She also spoke on opportunities for pharmacists to teach in a junior college. Her lecture was sponsored by the NCPA Student Chapter and is part of the Seminar in Professional Development Elective. A couple of student reflections are posted below.
Reflection #1: Patrick Potive, PhamD Candidate 2019
Dr. Nasiba Makarem’s seminar was really interesting to me because I use to be a technician. The quality of technicians that I work with have been on the lower side as opposed to the higher side. I feel as if new technicians do not have the training necessary to thrive in the industry. I have experience from my undergraduate school because I was a pharmaceutical science major. Due to this I was able to pick up on the speed and what is required of me for the pharmacy. Dr. Makrem’s program looks very comprehensive and I wish that more technicians take her class. The hand’s on experience is very beneficial as well as the clinical experience exposes them to what is actually expected of technicians. The “real” pharmacy classroom is amazing; I have never seen anything like it and I never knew these types of classrooms existed. This is also an interesting career choice for me because I do one day plan to teach once I have established my career.
Reflection #2: Jane Kim, PharmD Candidate 2019
Dr. Nasiba Makarem spoke to the class on the topic of Pharmacy Technician Education and Practice. She shared her experiences on her journey to her current teaching position at Cerritos Community College’s pharmacy technician program. Dr. Makarem began by describing the education offered in her program. It was interesting to learn that they have a clean room, where CE courses for pharmacist are often held. I also learned that pharmacy technicians can work at PBMs and ERs. Medication reconciliation, for example, can be conducted by pharmacy technicians. Previously, nurses have traditionally done medication reconciliation but one study found that a hospital can save approximately 1 million dollars by having a technician run the medication reconciliation. Next, Dr. Makarem her experience working in a California community college. California has certain requirements such as having at least one year teaching experience. In terms of income, teaching may offer less in terms of an hourly wage in comparison to a retail setting. However, working as a pharmacist as State of California can have benefits such as tenure, pensions, as well as being a rewarding experience. My one keeper was: If I want to teach at a community college, I have to take measures to make sure I meet the requirements.
Happy New Year! The Vietnamese Pharmacist Association of the USA held it New Year's celebration on Sunday, February 21, 2016 at the The Villa Banquet in Westminster, CA. WesternU was represented by Associate Dean Sam Shimomura, Assistant Professor Micah Hata, Director of Development Bill Burrows and student pharmacists, Elaine Nguyen, Lauren Okine and Linh Luong. Linh receive a scholarship from the VPhA during the event. A number of the Vietnamese pharmacists were parents of WesternU prospective students, current students and alumni. Despite buying lots of raffle tickets, we didn't win anything this year. Also see the pictures sent to me by Kevin Dinh, son of Man Nguyen and a prospective student.
Jesse Martinez, PharmD, Vice Dean for Academic Diversity, will retire from the WesternU College of Pharmacy to spend time fishing in Idaho. Jesse and I have been friends and professional colleagues most of our pharmacy careers. He has made significant contributions to WesternU in the areas of fund raising, diversity and teaching (Spanish counseling course, Advanced Elective in Entrepreneurship and Pharmacy Ownership as well as coordinating our PIC week). He has brought his expertise in business and common sense to improve nearly all committees, projects and courses in has been involved with. He has also been the faculty advisor for the NCPA student chapter and helped them be very competitive in the national business plan competition. We will miss you Jesse. Its been an honor and a pleasure to be your friend.
The WesternU College of Pharmacy Office of Experiential Education and the Office of Continuing Pharmacy Education held a CE program "Clinical Teaching Styles for Pharmacy Experiential Programs" at the Sheraton, Universal City on February 17, 2016. The speakers for the program were Lindsay Davis, PharmD, BCPS, FAzPa, Associate Professor, Midwestern University College of Pharmacy, Jason Wong, PharmD, CTH, FCPhA, Assistant Professor, West Coast University College of Pharmacy and Karl Hess, PharmD, CTH, FCPhA, Associate Professor, WesternU College of Pharmacy. Approximately 60 preceptors and potential preceptors attended the program. There are even more photos posted on the WesternU College of Pharmacy Facebook page.
Pamela Schweitzer, PharmD, BCACP is the highest ranking pharmacist in the federal government. She is a Rear Admiral in the Public Health Service and Assistant Surgeon General. Dr. Schweitzer's presentation is part of the Elective Professional Development Seminar series. A couple of blog post by student pharmacist are published below:
Reflection #1: Thuy Kwong, PharmD Candidate 2019
This seminar was presented by Dr. Pamela Schweitzer. Her career path really appealed to me because it allowed her to be very involved in the healthcare system in our country. She started with the IHS, which allowed her to travel throughout the country and helped improve multiple services. Now, she is the Assistant to the General Surgeon and is working with the CMS. She gets to work with initiatives to help improve people’s health culture, such as walking, healthy eating, and opioid use. It is very intriguing to listen to a pharmacist who is holding such a high position.
This appealed to me because there is a lot going on throughout the world and I want to explore different areas. There is internship with the IHS, which sounds very interesting to me. I will make sure to apply whenever the application is available. This is a great opportunity that I do not want to miss out on.
Reflection#2: Yoonsun Nam, PharmD Candidate 2019
The seminar about the advanced pharmacy practice in the federal government was held in P1 class on February, 17th. DR Schweitzer started her presentation showing us the video which explaining about the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). She explained that public health has very important roles in the society which including building a culture of health, prevention of illness, and determination of causes of disease using epidemiology and Biostatistics She also emphasized the importance of teamwork in the public health and the various fields of the public health where pharmacists can work which are smoking cessation, immunization, medication optimization and oral health. Moreover, she also mentioned about students’ opportunities which are residency and student program. Through the seminar, I was able to learn about the public health and various fields in the public health that requires pharmacists. Prior to this seminar, I only thought the retail pharmacy as my career goal, but I become to realize that the working in public health is also very interesting to me even it is challenging. I will try to get more information in order to broaden my knowledge about the public health and keep in mind the importance of promoting and maintaining the public health.
The 6th Annual Southern California Pre-Pharmacy Symposium (SCPPS) was held on Februry 13, 2016 on the Cal Poly Pomona campus. SCPPS is hosted by UCLA, UCSD, USC, CPP, UCR, UCI, CSULB, and SDSU Pre-Pharmacy Societies. Eleven schools of pharmacy sent representatives to the symposium: WesternU, KGI, USC, UCSD, UOP, CNSU, UCSF, UM (University of Michigan), CHSU, Chapman and Roseman. Dr Kenneth Schell , Director of Pharmacy at Sharp Grossmont Hospital and UCSD Skaggs SChool of Pharmacy faculty member was the Keynote Speaker. Representing WesternU were Associate Dean Sam Shimomura, Assistant Professor Micah Hata, University Recruiter, Susie Fang and student pharmacist Jennifer Vu. After the keynote address there were admissions workshops as well as workshops on community pharmacy, managed care, clinical pharmacy, psychiatric pharmacy, industry, nutrition, ambulatory care and a networking lunch with exhibit tables.
On Friday February 12, Associate Dean Sam Shimomura met with Nghia Pham, PharmD for lunch and a visit to ComfortRx in Costa Mesa, California. Dr Pham precepts WesternU students in her hospice pharmacy and is scheduled to speak to the first year students taking the Noon Professional Development Elective Seminar on Hospice Pharmacy. Dr Pham is a UCSF graduate who formerly worked in various clinical areas at Fountain Valley Regional Medical Center. ComfortRx specializes in providing medications and clinical services to hospice patients but is a full service pharmacy that also provides sterile and nonsterile compounding and infusion services. The pharmacy offers 24 hour clinical consultation for their patients in the Orange County and Los County areas. The pharmacy precepts pharmacy and pharmacy technicians students as well as pre-pharmacy students from UCI.
The original classrooms at the WesternU College of Pharmacy were innovative in its time with a theater-in-the round layout. The professors taught from a central podium surrounded by students. Each student was no more than a few steps away. Each seat was connected to the internet first by hard wire and then by Wi-Fi. Six screens projected PowerPoint slides, content from the internet, videos or any other media. Their was also a document camera that projected anything placed on it: photographs, drawings or any object. Around the outside of the classroom were small break out room for small group discussions. Video cameras in the room could also record lectures for later viewing. Deconstruction of Classroom 3 stared February 1, 2016 and the completion of Classroom 3 is slated for April 15, 2016. For pictures of Classroom 3 before deconstruction, click on the link below of the Spanish Consultation Class being held in Classroom 3.
Mark Chew, PharmD, Chief Pharmacist, County of Orange Health Care Agency, Health Disaster Management Division presented a lecture on "Pharmacist in Health Disaster Management"
Dr Chew presentation is part of the Noon Elective Seminar. A couple of student reflections are posted below:
Reflection #1: Nancy Nguyen, PharmD Candidate 2019
In this week’s seminar lecture, Dr. Mark Chew informed us about public health and health disaster management. Some of the goals of public health are to: prevent disease and disability, promote healthy lifestyles, and to make sure the public has access to quality healthcare services. As a public health pharmacist, he/she is responsible for patient drug information, formulary monitoring and maintenance, clinical quality improvement, etc. When a public health emergency occurs, whether a natural disaster or man-made disaster, a pharmacist’s role as a responder will depend on the type of event it is and his/her abilities, knowledge, and specific skill set. Although it was not directly related to health disaster management, Dr. Chew advised us to get involved in health fairs. By volunteering at various health fairs, it allows you to experience what it is like to be working in an open area for patient care. In addition, it exposes you to the outside the box environments student pharmacists are usually not accustomed to. I agree with Dr. Chew’s advice and his reasoning behind it. I recently attended my first health fair and it was a very eventful experience. Not only did we encounter patients with normal values for blood pressure, blood glucose, and BMI, but there were a few exceptions where we came across some that had extremely high values. Similar to what Dr. Chew said, health fairs expose us to outside the box environments and encountering the patients with very high values was an example of it. I plan to take Dr. Chew’s advice of getting involved in health fairs and attending more throughout the year.
Reflection #2: Jonathan Go, PharmD Candidate 2019
Dr. Mark Chew discussed the role of the pharmacist during a health disaster and talked about public health services. He discussed public health goals and how they provide services for children, dental, STD, HIV/AIDS, travel immunizations and tuberculosis. He talked about how pharmacists assisted with vaccinations during the H1N1 virus outbreak and helped out at evacuation centers. Dr. Chew also talked about how we should be always prepared because you never know when a natural disaster might occur (floods, tornados, wildfires, earthquakes, etc.). After the September 11 bombing and the anthrax scare, people realize that public health had to be changed. These events taught us that we should always have a plan of action in case of emergencies. Dr. Chew also discussed the key projects he was working on: the strategic national stockpile, pandemic flu planning, and preparedness exercises. He also spends a lot of time with key plans, public health emergency operations plan and strategic national stockpile plan. Additionally, pharmacists can be called upon to provide services in austere medical conditions and may ask to take on different roles in emergencies. The keeper that I will take from this is to always be prepared, build a first aid kit at home, and have a plan of action in case of emergencies.