The Midterm Struggle

Hello everyone!


It’s hard to believe that we’ve reached the end of February. It seems like last week the semester was just starting. But, with the end of February brings the beginning of March which means one thing—midterms.


Now I don’t know about you, but midterms are probably one of my least favorite times of the year. We’re stuck somewhere between winter and spring and the joy of Spring Break is looming around the corner. When you add in the stress of exams, project deadlines, and due dates to the weather it’s just an odd time of the year. But, fret not, we can and we will get through it! Here are a few of my tips for getting through midterms.


  1. Make a study plan
    • Your planner is your best friend. If you don’t have one, find one or utilize calendar apps. The most important thing you can do is to plan out a method of attack to help you tackle your to-do list. While the bulk of your plan may include study, project, or writing time don’t forget to give yourself some time off to recover. Which takes me to my second tip. . .


  1. Make time for yourself
    • After a long day of studying nothing feels better than finally being able to take a break. Go out to dinner with your friends, play trivia, catch a movie with your bestie, or play with a dog. Whatever lets you hit the reset button in your brain make time for it. While it may be a little rough getting through it, your mental health is more important than any due date.


  1. Hit the gym
    • Last week I went to one of my friend’s Circuit Cycle classes for the first time with a few of my friends. We spent a whole hour cross training spinning bikes and free weights and the only thing I could think about was what move I had to do next. I had absolutely no time to think about the things I had to complete on the weekend or the upcoming week and it was magical. I may not have been able to walk for the rest of the week but I felt so refreshed and powerful after. If the gym and group fitness isn’t your thing no problem. Take an hour to go outside for a run or stroll around your neighborhood. The main thing is that you’re taking time for yourself and moving.
      1. P.S. If you’re wondering who my instructor friend is it is no other than Victoria one of the other Ambassador Coordinators. Also, if you’re ever short on inspiration check out her fitness Instagram page @thefitpharmd


  1. Eat well
    • I’m not going to lie—I have a tendency to go straight to Chipotle or Chick-fil-a when I’m stressed. But, try and limit your comfort food as much as you can. One of my favorite healthy and quick meals is a salad. If you’re in a bind on what to make here’s my favorite Balsamic Strawberry Chicken Salad. Marinate your chicken breast in balsamic vinegar for a few hours in the refrigerator (tastes better if you let is marinate overnight but any time is better than no time) and then grill and cut in small pieces. Place chicken over a bed of spring mix, goat cheese, quartered strawberries, and poppy seed dressing. Not only is it delicious but it’s a nice peppy reminder that we’re almost to spring!


  1. Catch some zzzzzz
    • I can’t stress this one enough. Being able to sleep is imperative to being able to succeed. It’s actually been shown that those driving after not getting adequate sleep is equivalent to driving impaired. I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t want to go in to an exam when I’m not my best because I know that’s when I’m prone to making silly mistakes. It might be hard but try to bank at least 8 hours every night.


I hope my tips help get you to your final destination of Spring Break! I’m anxiously awaiting the end of all of my deadlines and exams so I can relax on my Bahamian cruise. You’ve got this and best of luck through midterms!!





IPPE (Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience) and APPE (Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience) are a huge part of pharmacy school.  They provide real world opportunities to learn, grow, and complement the academic material we learn in the classroom.

IPPE includes all curriculum pharmacy experiences from the first to third year of pharmacy school. These experiences can vary between students based on site, preceptor, and activity but I will share a little about my experiences.  During my first year I completed 50 hours at Target community pharmacy (right before they became CVS pharmacy).  At the time, I interned at Kroger pharmacy, so this was a chance to learn about a different community site, system, and workflow. My preceptor reviewed and categorized the entire OTC section, which I really appreciated because a lot of questions from customers or patients are about OTC medications.  I also completed a geriatric IPPE rotation which was very unique and memorable.  For this experience, four of my classmates and I visited an independent senior living community once per week throughout a semester.  We played card games, attended facility sponsored events, and completed medication reviews. The goal of this rotation was to improve our skills and comfortability interacting with the geriatric population.  As a second-year pharmacy student, I completed 40 hours of hospital pharmacy experience at OSU Ross Heart Hospital.  Paired with another student, I participated in multidisciplinary rounds, drug information questions, and clinical trial data reviews.  By the end, I had a better understanding of hospital pharmacy and how to communicate within a healthcare team.  I also completed 20 hours of medication reconciliation at OSU Ross Heart Hospital during the summer. I learned the importance of interviewing patients, calling pharmacies to obtain an accurate list of medication, and being detailed.  This process can be challenging when the patient is unable to confirm their medications, they use multiple pharmacies to fill their prescriptions, or they have complicated medication regimens.  At the beginning of my third year, I completed 20 hours of ambulatory care experience at OSU Total Health and Wellness Clinic.  I spent time shadowing my preceptor during patient appointments as well as counseling patients on topics such as diabetes, hypertension, and tobacco cessation.  Later in the semester I completed 40 hours with pharmacists at Riverside Methodist Hospital in various areas: cardiology, emergency medicine, hospice, palliative care, intensive care, and neurological critical care.   Collectively, these experiences have given me an idea of what to expect for APPE.

APPE makes up the fourth year of pharmacy school with 9 monthly rotations.  Those 9 rotations include: 2 hospital, 2 community, 1 ambulatory care, 2 patient care, and 2 elective.  Faculty, preceptors, and previous students are available to help guide students through this process as it can be overwhelming given the many types of rotations available.  The scheduling of these monthly rotations is mostly done via a computer-generated match system based on individual student rank lists.  Rotations that do not use the match system require a separate application.  When ranking rotations, there are many things to consider such as: location, career goals, finances, etc.  I am currently anxiously awaiting my APPE schedule, however, based on the rotation sites that OSU has to offer, I know I will learn wherever I go. 

 – TaLeitha

Find Your Balance

Hey everyone!

This week, I would like to discuss school-life balance. It’s super important and crucial for success in pharmacy school!

Let me tell you all a bit about my experience with this:

I walked into Parks Hall on August 1, 2016, ready to tackle my first day of pharmacy school. I could not have been more excited to begin my pharmacy career as a Buckeye. The first two weeks of school kept me busy with our Transitions module where we completed an array of activities designed to help us begin our P1 year with a sturdy professional foundation. The semester then began to build upon itself, with the courses becoming progressively more integrative and challenging as the weeks went on.

When summer came, I remained pretty busy, working full time at Mount Carmel West Hospital as an inpatient intern, and traveling to Honduras on a medical brigade with PODEMOS. Even though I was busy, I was doing things that I truly enjoyed.

This year, we are learning about the pharmacology, medicinal chemistry, therapeutics and pathophysiology associated with different disease states and a pharmacist’s role in managing them. The material is manageable but challenging at times.

I am now in my fourth semester of pharmacy school, and there have been moments where I’ve felt I don’t have enough time in the day to accomplish all of the things I need to do. At times I have felt overwhelmed and frayed. I knew I needed to incorporate more balance into my daily/weekly schedule, to help keep me energized and centered. I like to play tennis, use the facilities at the RPAC and read. I really enjoy exploring and experiencing the many delicious restaurants and coffee shops that Columbus has to offer with my friends. I have noticed such a difference in my overall happiness since I started doing more things that I enjoy. It’s nice to have something fun to work towards and look forward to at the end of a busy week.

My advice to you, Buckeyes and future Buckeyes, is this:

Amidst the hustle and bustle of Parks Hall, find your balance. Find your passion and go explore it. I strongly believe it is important to create balance in your lives, which will provide you with a more well-rounded and enjoyable pharmacy experience. Go Bucks!




Elective Coursework within the PharmD Program

Hi Everyone!


Did you know that PharmD students take elective courses? Usually, these are within the field of pharmacy (The College here offers a TON! Check out our course catalogue at, but they don’t have to be! Electives can be taken within a specific focus area and can count towards programs called “Graduate Minors” or “Graduate Interdisciplinary Specializations.”


You can check out the full list here (, but a few popular ones among College of Pharmacy students are Global Health, Obesity Sciences, and Aging Populations.


I’m personally interested in a future career in academia, so I’m pursuing the “College Teaching and Learning” Specialization. I have absolutely loved getting to take courses from several different colleges within our University and to diversify my PharmD education by completing a unique set of electives.


One of these courses was “Problem Solving in STEM Education” – a class offered by College of Education and Human Ecology. During this class, I learned a great deal about how to effectively teach problem solving skills in math and science. I was also provided the opportunity to collaborate with other graduate students from outside of the healthcare field. The perspectives of students from outside of my own program really encouraged me to consider pharmacy education in a different way. I know that down the road I will be a better educator within pharmacy academia as a result of branching out across campus and learning from those of different professional backgrounds from mine.


I would encourage every student to consider a Graduate Minor or a Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization! The opportunity to meet other graduate and professional students and learn from their unique backgrounds and perspectives is invaluable. With such a wide range of options available, I am sure there is a program that can meet your needs!


If you have any additional questions about these programs, or want to hear more about my experiences in teaching & academia, send me an email at


Happy Studying!