NCPA Conference

Hey Buckeyes!

This past October I had the opportunity to travel to National Harbor, Maryland with 15+ classmates to attend the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) Annual Convention. I had never been to a conference for both pharmacists and students so I had no idea what to expect. The conference lasted for 5 days and yes; I was lucky enough to attend all of those days!

The majority of each day, we spent at the Gaylord National Convention center attending meetings, educational programming (which we got school credit for), general sessions, and lunches which were sponsored by various drug companies. Not only did I gain a ton of pharmaceutical knowledge, but also I was able to interact with both pharmacists and pharmacy students from other states. This provided me the opportunity to work on my networking skills and gain new friends. It was great to bounce ideas off of each other and compare the differences in pharmacy from state to state.

ncpa conference 2            The other half of the conference included the trade exposition, which was about 2 days long. Over 100 companies were represented at the exposition and had booths set up. This was a great experience because I was able to interact with drug reps, banks, pharmacists, and other professionals. They also provided free merchandise 🙂 Each night the conference held various networking events and dinner with entertainment. On the last night we had Jason Alexander from Seinfeld pay us a visit and perform some of his famous acts. Needless to say we had a blast! On the nights that entertainment wasn’t provided, I was able to explore Washington DC with my classmates. It was great to interact with everyone outside of the classroom and get to know them on a more personal level.

ncpa conference

Overall, I would highly recommend attending a national conference to any pharmacy student. I was able to gain networking skills, new friends, pharmacy knowledge, and have a fun! It was definitely the “middle of the semester pick me up” that I needed as I came back home more motivated than ever. Not only do I encourage you to join student organizations, but get involved and attend these events! They will provide you with lifelong memories and a newfound passion for the profession 🙂

Please feel free to email me with any questions at

As Always, Go Bucks!


Interview with Mindy Lam – Pharmacist at the VA

Over winter break, I had the opportunity to interview my fellow Kappa Psi brother, Mindy Lam!  Mindy is an OSU College of Pharmacy Class of 2015 graduate, and she is currently a pharmacy resident at the Columbus VA.

Mindy Lam, PharmD

Mindy Lam, PharmD

Tell us a little about yourself!

Hi! My name is Mindy Lam. I am originally from sunny Irvine, California. I did my undergrad at University of California – Irvine and moved to Columbus, Ohio, where I completed my PharmD at OSU. I’m currently doing a PGY-1 residency at the Chalmers P Wylie VA Ambulatory Care Center in Columbus, Ohio. After completing my residency, I hope to work as an ambulatory care pharmacist.

What organizations were you involved with during your time at OSU?

I was involved in Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity and SNPhA.

Dr. Mindy Lam (top right) with her Kappa Psi lineage

Dr. Mindy Lam (top right) with her Kappa Psi lineage

What exactly is the VA?

The Veterans Affairs is a government department that is dedicated to providing medical care and services to the veterans.

Can you describe the residency program and current job responsibilities?

The PGY-1 pharmacy residency program at Chalmers P Wylie VA is focused in ambulatory care, as the facility only offers outpatient services. We manage chronic disease states in pharmacist-run clinics, such as diabetes, anticoagulation, and hepatitis C. At the VA, pharmacists are able to initiate medications, adjust doses, and order lab work, giving us the autonomy and ability to make immediate and beneficial interventions to improve patient care. We also coordinate with the medical team when additional care is needed.

What was the application process that you went through to apply like?

As with most residency programs, the application process is handled through PhORCAS, which requires a letter of intent, letters of recommendation, pharmacy transcript, and CV to be submitted. Additional requirements are specific to the residency site, such as an on-site presentation, working through a patient case, or conducting a mock patient interview.

What are the most rewarding things about working at the VA?

The most rewarding thing is being able to use my clinical knowledge to help improve the healthcare veterans are receiving, especially after everything they have done for our nation. I follow patients longitudinally throughout my residency, which allows me to build good relationships with veterans and tailor their therapy according to their needs.

What are the most challenging?

The most challenging aspect of the residency is managing many different responsibilities in a work day, especially when unexpected things pop up.

How do you think OSU prepared you for the challenges you’re currently facing?

OSU definitely taught me how to manage my time and prioritize what needed to be done. From studying, completing projects, working a job or two, on top of attending class, doing IPPE rotations, it was a constant juggle between getting things done and making sure I had time for myself.

Any last thoughts or advice?

As I’m sure you have heard before, get involved in an organization that you feel passionate about, don’t be afraid to take on new roles and responsibilities – this is your time to do it! Be flexible, as there are many ways to get to your intended goal. And lastly, have fun and explore the different opportunities.

Thanks for sharing about your experiences, Mindy!

Questions for Mindy or myself?  Email


APhA-ASP Patient Counseling Competition

Tomorrow begins another semester at The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy. For me, the semester begins with the APhA-ASP (American Pharmacists Association – Academy of Student Pharmacists) Patient Counseling Competition. I’ve seriously been looking forward to this for months now, and I can’t believe that it’s here already!

The Patient Counseling Competition is actually a national competition for student pharmacists across the country. This week begins the first round of our local competition here at the college. My co-chairs and I have been planning this for months, and we’re so excited that it’s finally coming together!

Image from 2016 booklet

Image from 2016 booklet
APhA-ASP National Patient Counseling Competition

Here’s how it works:
Last month, student pharmacists who signed up for the competition got a list of ten medications. When they come in to compete, they’ll be given a case for a patient who is picking up one of those ten medications from the pharmacy. The student gets a few minutes to look this over, and then they’ll counsel a “patient” (a volunteer from the faculty and staff at the college) about their new medication.

The top ten participants will move on to the final round at the end of this month where they will get another case with a different medication. We’ll determine a champion from our college who will then go to the national conference in March to compete against the champions from other pharmacy schools. When I went to the national conference my first year of pharmacy school, our Ohio State winner got second runner-up, which was so exciting for our chapter. The year before, our winner actually won the national competition!

Prescribed by

Prescribed by “Dr. Scarlett N. Gray” for our Ohio State competition

It’s a super cool experience—for any year of pharmacy school. For our first-year student pharmacists, it’s a chance to practice patient counseling in a low-risk setting and an opportunity to expose themselves to this aspect of patient care that they will continue to develop throughout pharmacy school. For second-, third-, and fourth-years, it’s an opportunity to really hone and perfect their counseling skills. There are also prizes for the finalists from our Ohio State Chapter as well as cash prizes at the national level.

This is a fun way to get involved at the College of Pharmacy and with APhA-ASP, and really it’s just one of the many things going on at the college this semester. I hope that this year’s participants will have as much fun competing as I have had in creating our OSU competition this year!

Take care!