Posted by Sam Shimomura, PharmD, FCSHP, FASHP, Professor Emeritus Pharmacy Practice and Administration
The WesternU College of Pharmacy interviewed about 120 applicants for admission to the Class of 2023 on Saturday, December 1, 2018. The prospective students were welcomed by staff and hosted by current students who tried to put them at ease. The interviews were conducted by faculty, preceptors and alumni as well as by current students. In addition to interviews, the applicants received an orientation to the college, writing exercise, critical thinking test, information on financial aid and a tour of the campus. I interviewed seven applicants with the help of Joseph Castro, PharmD Candidate 2022 (First year student pharmacist).
Posted by Sam Shimomura, PharmD, FCSHP, FASHP, Professor Emeritus Pharmacy Practice and Administration
On October 26, 2018, our friends Tanya and Korn from Thailand completed their rotations at WesternU. They were very involved in activities besides their busy rotation schedules. They participated in an APhA Health Fair at 986 Pharmacy where we provided health screening to the community. They also participated in CSHP Seminar in San Diego with us to learn more about our professions together. We had a lot of fun by meeting new people and being exposed to new fields. Their first 4 week rotation was at the Patient Care Pharmacy at WesternU and the last 2 weeks was at San Antonio Regional Hospital in Upland. Now they are doing another rotation in Thailand. It is always an honor to host international student pharmacists and learn about their education and profession. WesternU has great relationships with pharmacy schools around the globe which let us meet many international pharmacy students and which is one of my most favorite aspects of being a part of WesternU.
Also see 10/9/18 post about our Thai exchange students.
We participated in APhA health fair on September 29 2018. In the health fair, we provided blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol monitoring. It was a great experience to observe these activities performed by WesternU pharmacy students and learning some good technique from them.
We also got a chance to attended CSHP seminar in San Diego, October 5-6 2018. It was a wonderful opportunity to experienced different activities such as residency and fellowship showcase, attending interesting lecture sessions and watching the student quiz bowl competition! Beside all these activities that we have done, the best part is that we have got to meet a lot of wonderful people and get to know each other.
Time flies so fast. During my last 2 weeks in the U.S.I gained a lot of knowledge and experiences at San Antonio Regional Hospital in Upland. I had a chance to attend a safety monitoring board conference which was interesting for me. I also attended CCU, NICU, SICU rounds with a physician, nurse, pharmacist and dietitian and have seen the roles of a clinical pharmacist. Moreover, I have a chance to observed operational pharmacists who were working on patient prescriptions and IV preparation as well as the clinical pharmacist. Besides observing pharmacists, I also observed pharmacy technician jobs which are quite interesting for me because some jobs are different from my country. Lastly, I have learned about Omnicell system which is the new experience for me and I am really impressed. All of the great experience that I gained here in the U.S. would not have happened without Western University of Health Sciences, all of my preceptors, and others who involved in. Thank you 🙂
Posted by Mai Yokota, PharmD Candidate 2020
Last time I posted, I was looking for a job and now I have experience with two interviews! These were both for outpatient positions, one for SoCal and one for NorCal. The first interview was only two questions which were "Tell me about yourself" and "How do you see yourself fitting the company image". I told them my story of how I was interested in pharmacy in the first place and how I my work experience has lead me towards outpatient. Then I told them how I fit into the values that the company had (I looked up the values and mission statement on their website prior to the interview). Next, I had a phone interview with a recruiter for a pharmacy chain up north which consisted of questions from the application such as my work history and references. The recruiter then set up an interview for me with the district manager.
This interview was on FaceTime, so for this one I needed to dress up and have appropriate lighting in order for the district manager to see me clearly. I tested different locations throughout my house to make sure the wi-fi would work as well as my camera. During the interview, the pharmacist asked a really good question that I didn’t think she’d ask. It was, “Why are you switching from inpatient to outpatient so early in your career?”. I answered, “I have worked a majority of my pharmacy career in inpatient pharmacy, however I have also worked outpatient and even more so this summer. I feel that both have their advantages and disadvantages, but I do feel like the reason I have gotten into pharmacy in the first place was to better the community. Even though both do play a role in the community, I feel that outpatient gives me more satisfaction in helping the community in a more personal level.” Another question was “How would you help our business grow profit-wise?”. I responded, “The best way is to create a patient relationship that is friendly and helpful. During flu seasons, I would ask have you or your family received flu shots this season? I believe that the way to a successful business is through great customer service and if the customer service is great, the profits will follow.”
The following week I was told that the SoCal position has been taken, but that I have been chosen for the NorCal position. This position is full time and non-floating with benefits. I am extremely happy and took the position as soon as I could. They sent me an offer letter and I accepted immediately as they gave me a one day deadline to accept. For a new graduate, I feel that this choice was the best and even though I am going up north, this does not have to be for a long time. Also, I checked and there are per diem hospital positions around the area. Once I get settled in, I might apply for these so that I work both inpatient and outpatient. Thank you for reading!
Guest post by Leonel Garcia, PharmD 2018
The University of La Verne has started a Physician Assistant Master of Sciences program starting in the Fall of 2018. The 27 month program is lead by Dr. Michael Estrada. I was very impressed with the state of the art classrooms as well as practice and simulation laboratories. The program is located at 210 West Bonita Ave, Pomona, CA, 91767 off of Garey Blvd and near Casa Colina.
I just graduated from WesternU College of Pharmacy and returned from a vacation in Hawaii. For the first time in eight years, I have been unemployed and looking for a job. I’ve been working in an inpatient pharmacy for six years and started working outpatient earlier this year to be more marketable and gain more experience. I haven’t applied to any pharmacist jobs before this week because I needed to wait for my license to be cleared as most pharmacist require a physical license as opposed to a pending one. I’ve updated my LinkedIn account as well as my resume and CV earlier this month so I could apply faster. Most jobs use LinkedIn accounts to help autofill online applications, so updating my info has been extremely helpful. I use Indeed.com to find jobs both locally in SoCal and in NorCal. However, I have also used company websites for both outpatient and inpatient pharmacies. I’ve been talking to many pharmacist for advice on finding a job and received lots of tips. The tips that I’ve followed so far were to contact my school to see if they have a job board online, to reach out to my local pharmacy association and find out when they meet next, and to add recruiters on LinkedIn and introduce myself. Next week I have my first interview and I will write a post about how I prepared for it as well as what was asked. Thank you, have a great day!!
Posted by Leonel Garcia Jr., PharmD 2018
My name is Mai Yokota, and I am a third-year student pharmacists the at WesternU College of Pharmacy. I graduated from Kobe Gakuin University College of Pharmacy and entered the WesternU IPBP (International Post Baccalaureate PharmD) program in 2017.
As an international student at WesternU and a part of the APhA International Committee, I have had many opportunities to host students from outside of the US including Japan and Korea. Currently, we are hosting two lovely students from Thailand, Tanya and Korn since October 17th. They are here for a 6 weeks rotation. I would like to introduce them to you all!
Hello, my name is Tanyamai Kaewkomon (Tanya). I am pharmacy student from Khon Kaen University, Thailand. Now I am doing my rotation at WesternU. During the 6 weeks of my rotation, I will rotate 3 sites: WesternU Pharmacy, PCC Diabetes clinic and San Antonio Hospital. After completing only 2 weeks so, I have already gained a lot of knowledge and experiences. Moreover, I had a great opportunity to have lunch with Dr.Shimomura and learn about the OTC products in the U.S. which are quite different from Thailand. And I look forward to practice and gain more experiences during my rotation here.
My name is Pasakorn Boonlert, you can call me Korn. I am a 6th year pharmacy student (international program) from Khon Kaen University, Thailand. Me and my friend, Tanya, are having a chance to do a clinical pharmacy rotation at WesternU in California divided into 3 sections consisting of community pharmacy, ambulatory care and hospital.
It is a fantastic oppurtunity to do a rotation here. Currently, I am interested in clinical research and hospital pharmacy. I think that having a chance to do a rotation here in USA can help expanding my view on the pharmacy profession and deciding on my future career path.
Posted by Mai Yokota, Paskarn Boonlert and Tanya Kaewkomon
As I retire from WesternU College and transition to being Professor Emeritus, I want to thank my students and fellow faculty and staff for a very happy and satisfying career. I enjoyed precepting students on rotation as well as interacting with them in the classroom, at health fairs and at professional meetings. I will be eternally grateful for the support of the faculty, staff and administration at WesternU. The latest issue of RxBound summarizes many of my experiences at WesternU.
Welcome to the WesternU Class of 2022! They began their four year journey to a PharmD degree and the opportunity to practice as a pharmacist during Orientation Week August 6-11, 2018. The photos were taken on August 9, 2018 when the new students were introduced to the Western U College of Pharmacy faculty and staff, treated to a taco lunch by the APhA/CPhA Student Chapter followed by an Ice Cream Social hosted by the University. See the first photo for the full schedule of Orientation Week and the link below for more photos.
Medication adherence has long been an issue that is negatively impacting the health of our patients. With the evolution of technology, it is only appropriate that a "smart" product be at the frontlines helping improve medication non-adherence rates amongst our population. Under the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, a study was completed to show the impact medication non-adherence can have on the health of many patients and costs for the hospitals. A correlation was established to demonstrate that medication adherence helped improve patient outcomes, resulting in less frequent hospitalizations; thus leading to reduced health care spending. Non-adherence is not as simple as taking a pill, there are many factors that can contribute such as adverse effects, costs, lack of belief, forgetful, busy lifestyle, health literacy, language barriers, etc. At the same time, the development of the "Smart bottle" to help improve medication adherence rates has paved the way to potentially benefit all parties involved [Patient, Pharmacy, Manufacturer]. With the embedded technology, patients will be able to better manage their health and the pharmacy will have increased profits with consistent usage from the patients. To add, if it is a new drug with limited data on efficacy and use, the pharmacy dispensing the medication with the "smart bottle" will be able to provide the collected information per patient usage. Moving forward, the Smart bottle feature is a product that is looking to make its way into all patients' homes and help improve medication use across the boards.
Proton pump inhibitors (PPI) are among some of the most commonly prescribed medications. Additionally, they are also available for purchase over the counter (Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid), which makes them easily accessible to the public. Many also assume that this medication is seemingly harmless, but like all medications, PPIs have some major adverse effects and interactions that everyone should be aware of.
One of the main adverse effects of PPI is the decreased absorption of vitamins and minerals. PPIs can prevent absorption of vitamin B12 and vitamin C leading to deficiencies. More importantly, long-term use can also decrease absorption of calcium and magnesium leading to increase fracture risk and hypomagnesaemia. Additionally, different drugs can also have an interaction and not be absorbed, which can lead to treatment failure. It is important for pharmacists to inform the patient about the drugs, vitamins, and minerals that can interact with PPIs.
PPIs can also affect metabolism of medications, therefore pharmacists should be observant if the patient is on any drugs with a narrow therapeutic window. Medications such as warfarin, diazepam, phenytoin, and clopidogrel are all medications that can be affected by PPIs. Ultimately, it is the pharmacists’ role to educate patients’ about these potential interactions so that they can be avoided.