As part of our second year as PharmD students, we complete a 40-hour week-long hospital rotation at the OSUWMC. This was my first exposure to hospital pharmacy, and I had an eye-opening experience with many thanks to my preceptor, Dr. Aaron Pavlik, and his preceptor, Dr. Erica Reed. Dr. Pavlik is a PGY1 ambulatory care resident going into informatics next year, and he was doing his own rotation in Infectious Diseases (ID) during the week I was with him this May. I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to see so many aspects of hospital pharmacy including participating in a journal club, attending a P&T committee meeting, learning more about ID and how to work up a patient, going on rounds, and talking with my preceptor and other residents about their pharmacy goals and plans for the future and seeing what the life of a pharmacy resident is like. Moreover, I have gained confidence on how to present a patient just by listening to Dr. Pavlik present to Dr. Reed about the patients they were rounding on that day.
One of the interesting things I learned about was OSU’s Antimicrobial Stewardship Program (ASP), a multidisciplinary team consisting of Infectious Diseases physicians, pharmacists, microbiologists, epidemiologists, and a data manager. ASP’s mission is to make sure that the correct antibiotics are selected at the correct dose and duration to cure infections, while minimizing toxicity and microbial resistance. It was tremendously inspiring to meet two visiting South African pharmacists who were learning about pharmacy in the U.S. so that they could bring ideas back to their own hospitals, along with Dr. Lauren McKinley, one of our PYG2 Infectious Diseases residents who will be traveling to South Africa to initiate and implement an ASP program at a hospital there. Antibiotic resistance is an important topic of discussion worldwide, and I learned the different things that need to be considered when starting an antimicrobial stewardship program from scratch in a hospital. I also got to hear about how pharmacy is so different in other countries, which makes me appreciate that I’m getting my PharmD in a country where the role of the pharmacist is very advanced.
Dr. Pavlik was very responsive to my desire to see many different things at the hospital, and so I was also able to attend topic discussions, take tours of the Ross Heart and James Cancer Hospital, and shadow in the Emergency Department for an afternoon. In the ED, I was present for a Level 1 Trauma, so I got to see the pharmacist decide which vaccines, antibiotics, and pain medications a patient gets. A typical day during my week on rotation would be as follows: learning how to work up a patient on the hospital’s electronic medical record system and reviewing the patients on ID consult for the day with Dr. Pavlik and Dr. Reed, attending a P&T committee meeting, journal club, or topic discussion, taking lunch, rounding with the ID consult physicians, attending another workshop or stewardship meeting, and then wrapping up for the day. Overall, my week at the hospital was incredibly exciting and a great learning experience!