Spending Spring Break as a PharmD Student

Hi Everyone!


For us at the College, Spring Break has just begun, so I thought it would be appropriate to touch on some of the ways students spend their Spring Breaks!


Buck-I-Serv: Ohio State offers service trips through Buck-I-Serv each break. These trips focus on a range of things like children, education and poverty, to housing to disaster relief and more; and they take place in a range of places from Florida to Illinois to New York and even some that are out of the country. Additionally, you are able to apply to be a trip leader which is a fantastic leadership development opportunity. I personally have gone on a Habitat for Humanity trip to North Carolina and had an amazing time—I made new friends, was able to give back in a meaningful way and had a lot of fun in the process.


Buckeyes Without Borders: An interprofessional medical mission team that takes a Spring Break trip to Honduras every year. Their purpose is to foster global health awareness and teach OSU healthcare students the benefits of an interdisciplinary

healthcare team on a positive patient outcome through outreach and education in underserved communities abroad, where they identify and treat the medical needs of their populations. Students that go always report having a great time, making friends and developing clinical skills.

Rotations: Some students utilize their free week to complete IPPE rotations, do project work or even shadow! This can be a great time for future professional development.


Vacationing with classmates: Many students opt for a more traditional vacation on Spring Break—relaxing on a beach, hiking in Arizona, ski trips and more! This is a great time to take a break from classes, relax your mind and body and spend quality time with family and friends.


Work/Staycation: Finally, many students will choose to stay home for spring break and unwind with a stay-cation of sorts—maybe even pick up a few shifts at work over the break.


I hope this gives you a little insight into what Spring Break at the College looks like. In whatever way you choose to spend your break, make sure to enjoy yourself and relax!



Winter Fun in Columbus

Hi Everyone,

The heart of winter is upon us, and if you are anything like me, you may find yourself lacking the motivation to get out and explore Columbus when it is so cold out. However, the winter months don’t have to mean sitting at home watching Netflix—Columbus still has plenty of fun things to do! I have compiled a short list of activities to inspire you this winter!

  1. Visit The Book Loft. Located in German Village, this cozy book store has 32 different rooms of books at bargain prices. Pick up a new book (or five) with a few friends, grab a coffee or hot chocolate and enjoy a relaxing weekend morning!
  2. Speaking of coffee, the Columbus Coffee Trail is a great option to get out and explore! Columbus has one of the best coffee scenes in the Midwest and the Coffee Trail offers tons of great ideas for new places to try. Find it here http://www.cbuscoffee.com.
  3. During December, there are all sorts of fun lights and holiday festivals. Wildlights takes place at the Columbus Zoo, Franklin Park Conservatory is decked out in seasonal foliage and twinkling lights, and the Short North and German Village are decorated for the Holidays and often have holiday treats and specials.
  4. Attend a Blue Jackets game. The Columbus Blue Jackets are our professional hockey team in town, and attending games is always a great time (even if you aren’t a hockey fanatic)! Located in the Arena District there are also fun restaurants to check out before and after the game.
  5. While better known for our football team, Ohio State Men’s Basketball team is also premiere and attending games is a great way to spend an evening (or afternoon). The Nut House is the student section for basketball and does a great job of getting students excited for the game. You can also get discounted student tickets and great seats with friends!
  6. If sports aren’t your thing, check out a show in the Theater District—The Palace, The Southern, The Lincoln and The Ohio offer everything from ballet to plays to music and theater performances. If that’s not enough, the Wexner Center for the Arts also puts on frequent shows to enjoy.
  7. Get creative at the Candle Lab, Clay Cafe or Studio 614. There are plenty of paint classes, make your own candle studios and many more creative endeavors all around Columbus.

I hope this has given you some inspiration this winter! Get out an enjoy Columbus and all it has to offer with friends.


CHS Hours and Giving Back to the Community

Hi Everyone!


I hope you are all excited for Thanksgiving Break! In the spirit of thankfulness, I wanted to talk about some of the many opportunities that College of Pharmacy members give back to the Columbus community.


As students at the College we are required to do a minimum number of community health service hours every year (but are encouraged to go above and beyond that minimum number). P1s are expected to do 10 hours, P2s 20 hours, P3s 30 hours, and P4s 10 hours. So, what constitutes a community health service event? Any event that provides education or health benefit to a community member (think dispensing at a free clinic or a blood pressure screening) AND is supervised by a licensed pharmacist. These are also wonderful learning opportunities you are able to apply knowledge from the classroom to patient care and counseling.


Spotlighting Some CHS Opportunities:


  • Physicians Care Connection: This is an interprofessional free clinic run on Monday nights out of the Columbus Public Health Department. Students help dispense medications off a small formulary and then counsel every single patient that gets a medication at the clinic.
  • New Life: This is an interprofessional free clinic run on Sunday mornings out of a nearby Methodist church that includes physicians, medical students and nurses. Students help dispense small supplies of medications, primarily for blood pressure and pain. They provide drug information, help write prescriptions and provide information on other places patients can get access to free medications around Columbus.
  • Katy’s Kids: Work with local elementary schools and College Mentor for Kids to teach kids about medication safety. There are 10 stations that kids can go through including Candy vs. Medicine, Poison Control, Counting Pills, Amoxicillin Reconstitution, and Medication Cabinet, and pharmacy students volunteer at one station to run.
  • Columbus Free Clinic: This is an interprofessional free clinic run out of a Family Medicine Clinic on High Street. It is a collaboration with the College of Medicine, Social work and Nursing, and all Pharmacist volunteers are Ohio State Wexner Medical Center Residents. Students can either participate as a dispensing or ambulatory volunteer. Dispensing volunteers help with data entry, dispensing and patient counseling. Ambulatory volunteers participate in patient interviews, chronic care monitoring and evaluation, and medication adjustment and prescription writing.
  • Faith Mission: This is an interprofessional free clinic on Thursday nights where pharmacy volunteers help gather information from patients including a list of medications (RX, OTC, supplements), and any other pertinent information. Volunteers also fill prescriptions and counsel patients on their medications.
  • Charitable Pharmacy: Charitable Pharmacy is run Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays whose mission is to provide affordable and appropriate pharmacy services and coordinate access to health care for patients living at or below 200% of the federal poverty level, are uninsured or underinsured. Volunteers help with filling and inventory and can shadow APPE students during patient encounters.


Though this is just a list of some of the opportunities, I hope it provides you with a little more insight into some of the ways our students give back at the College!

Cassie Rush

Student Org Spotlight: SSHP

Hi again!

This week’s blog post will be a student organization spotlight on the Student Society of Health-System Pharmacists, better known as SSHP. SSHP is one of over 15 student organizations at the College but is unique in the fact that it primarily focuses on health system (hospital and ambulatory care) pharmacy.

Who is SSHP?

SSHP strives to educate members about and provide opportunities related to hospital and health-system pharmacy. They want to help current pharmacy students be the most competitive candidate for residency and beyond!

What is a residency?A residency is additional post-graduation training meant to better prepare pharmacists for practice by providing them with a wide range of patient experiences. It provides the knowledge and experience that pharmacists need to meet the complex demands of today’s health care environment.

The Local, State and National Level:

While SSHP at Ohio State is the College level, there is a local, state and national level of the organization as well—this is true all over the country! For Ohio State, the local chapter is the Central Ohio Society of Health-System Pharmacists (COSH), the state level is the Ohio Society of Health-System Pharmacists (OSHP), and the national chapter is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Each level holds different events and programs, for example, COSHP hosts monthly dinners which double as a networking opportunity and contain an educational lecture (and delicious dinner); while ASHP hosts Midyear every December, which highlights residency programs across the country, provides continuing education for pharmacists and students.

What does SSHP offer for students?

  • General Body Meetings—like most general body meetings at the college, lunch is provided while you hear from clinical specialists who can practice in a variety of settings—from ambulatory care, to pediatrics, oncology and hematology, emergency medicine and much more!
  • Socials! There is at least 1 social per semester that allows students of all classes to network and get to know one another better
  • Mentorship programs! There are mentorship opportunities available through the Wexner Medical Center and Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
  • CV Review
  • Leadership Opportunities and Positions
  • Clinical Skills Competition—this starts at the school level and can go all the way to the National level depending on student success. Students are paired with a classmate and given a complex patient case to manage and present.
  • Professional Development
  • Community Health Service hours through the Columbus Free Clinic and Generation Rx Collaborative

SSHP is truly a wonderful organization for any student that is interested or may be interested in residency or hospital-based pharmacy!

As always, feel free to reach out to me with any questions!

Cassie Rush

Summer in Pharmacy School

Hi Everyone!


With classes just beginning for the school year, I thought it would be a good idea to give you a glimpse into what summer as a PharmD student maylook like!


As a rising (now current) P3 my summer started at the beginning of May and ran through mid-August, which allowed for a pretty full schedule, including school rotations, community health service hours, internship hours at Nationwide Children’s, vacations, and of course time spent with family and friends!


Though it is not at all required to do, I enjoy doing some school rotations during the summer. I find that it allows me to keep my clinical knowledge fresh and allows me to have more free time during the school year to take a break or focus on other things. This summer I did my community rotation at Meijer, my patient care rotation with a hematology/oncology pharmacist at Nationwide Children’s, and my medication reconciliation rotation at The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center.


Additionally, I was able to complete my community health service hours (CHS) by volunteering at free clinics around Columbus and with events at local elementary schools to help teach kids about the importance of medication safety. CHS hours are a wonderful way to give back to the community and many of the clinics rely solely on College of Pharmacy volunteers in order to run the pharmacy portion of the clinic.


A large part of my summer was also dedicated to my internship at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. As an inpatient pharmacy intern, I help staff our main pharmacy and intensive care satellite pharmacy and perform medication reconciliations with patients in the emergency department. Additionally, interns participate in weekly intern meetings which further professional development through journal clubs, presentations and CV review. I also had my own research project to work on throughout the summer, that I later presented on at the end of summer, and 2 mini-clinical weeks in general pediatrics and with the cardiothoracic intensive care team from which we gave a case presentation. Fortunately, I absolutely love my job and workplace and thoroughly enjoy the professional development that it continually provides.


Of course, summer would not be complete without vacation/relaxation and time with family and friends! For me this meant starting the summer off with a weekend trip to Hocking Hills with a group of classmates, where we were able to hike/enjoy the outdoors and time with one another. I also had a long weekend trip to Nashville—my first time truly taking in the city, which was an absolute blast, especially as I am a huge food fan and love country music! You know it is a great trip when you manage to hit a popular restaurant spot for every meal—I highly recommend Biscuit Love, Five Daughters Bakery and Hattie B’s, though there are so many other spots to check out too! The summer ended with a very relaxing trip to Florida with close friends from class—with lots of time spent on the beach enjoying some sunshine! Throughout the summer, I had countless nights, days and weekends spent with family and friends, enjoying all that Columbus has to offer and the pool at my apartment.


Hopefully this glimpse at summer in pharmacy school can give you a look at what your future summers may also look like! However you choose to spend it, I highly recommend relaxing and enjoying yourself!


A Week in the Life

Hi all!

For this post, I thought it would be fun to give you an inside look into what life as a pharmacy student is like. Obviously, it varies for everyone, and it even varies weekly for me, but I wanted to give you at least some insight! Since next week is Spring Break for us, this is actually what my week looked like 2 weeks ago!

Some things to know: I work every other weekend at Nationwide Children’s Hospital (so one of the major differences for my classmates is that some work during the week and hardly at all on weekends), and I am a P2 (different years will have varying class schedules).

The biggest thing I hope you take away—work-life balance is not only attainable but is very important!

Sunday: I had a fairly lazy morning consisting of a short run, long breakfast, light studying and church until I went to work from 2-10:30 pm at Children’s!


Workout 7-7:40

Class: The focus this module is on infectious diseases!

8:30-9:30: we had a lecture on Community Acquired Pneumonia from a specialist at the Wexner Medical Center

10-11:20: We had a lecture on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of antibiotics

11:30-12:30: This is our professional hour! You can get lunch or engage in a student organization meeting—for me, I had a meeting.

12:30-1:30: Small Group Session where we applied what we had learned in our PK and PD sessions

1:30-2:30: We had a free hour to study/grab a snack/etc while the rest of our class did their own small group session

2:30-3:30: We had a lecture on Urinary Tract Infections

Home: My family got a new puppy on Sunday so I got to head home to Westerville to meet her and have dinner with my family! After, I went back to my Grandview apartment to do a little studying and watch the Bachelor with my roommates!

Tuesday: I have lab on Tuesdays, which means half a day of class!

Lab: 8:30-10:45 (usually it goes until 11:20 but I got out early)! We worked on a patient disease management encounter and SOAP note (Subjective, Objective, Assessment and Plan–it’s progress note detailing a patient encounter) for it as well as a review activity from one of our previous lab courses.

Home: I got home and went for a run outside (yay for sunshine and warm weather!) ate lunch and relaxed for a bit.

1-5:30pm: I worked updating my notes and started to study for our upcoming exam and workshops!

After studying I watched Netflix, ate dinner and then went to bible study to end the night!

Wednesday: This was definitely one of my busiest days! We have class and I take an elective!

5:40-6:40 am: Workout! A good workout is one of the best ways to start a long day!

6:45-8am: I got ready for class, ate breakfast and relaxed before heading to class!


8:30-10am: Our instructor had prepared a lecture to watch ahead of time so class was spent reviewing the high points and doing several patient cases on community acquire pneumonia and hospital acquired pneumonia.

10-11:20am: We had a small group session on Acute Otitis Media (ear infections) and Urinary Tract Infections where we went over patient cases and specific questions we may encounter both in practice and in the exam.

11:30-12:30pm: Professional hour again! I had an e-board meeting for Pharmacy Council today during this time.

12:30-3:45pm: We had the afternoon off due to small group sessions so I met up with a few of my good friends from class, chatted and did a little studying.

3:45pm-5pm: This is the timeslot for my leadership elective (it’s wonderful and I would highly recommend it to anyone interested).

6-7:45pm: I normally would have headed home but one of the organizations I am a part of, Student Society of Health Systems Pharmacists, had an event with dinner and networking with residents and pharmacists to gain insights into credentialing and privileging as well as the residency process.

Home: I finally headed home for the night where I polished off a pint of ice cream, did a little studying and watched a TV show with my roommates before heading to bed!


7-8am: I got up and got ready for class, had breakfast and did a little last-minute studying before my quiz in workshop.

Class: Today is my workshop today—this is essentially small group session for 3 hours in the morning for me!

8:30-9: This part of workshop is dedicated to iRAT/tRAT (individual and team quizzes) over content covered in class.

9-11:20: We worked on patient cases in our assigned teams and went through the answers we chose as a class—this was over the same material our iRAT/tRAT was on (Pneumonia—community, hospital and ventilator acquired).

11:30-12:30: Professional hour again! I had a student organization meeting today where we got lunch and had a panel of pharmacy technicians come in and talk about what makes a good pharmacist from their point of view, as well as the new technician licensure laws.


1-2pm: I got in my daily workout!

2-7:30pm: I did some studying—primarily organizing my notes for our upcoming exam on Monday, made a Target run and had dinner.

7:30-10pm: Time to relax! I watched TV and had a glass of wine with my roommate before calling it a night.



8:30-10: We had a review session for our exam on Monday with several of our professors and practice questions

10-11:30: I went to the RPAC (one of OSU’s fantastic fitness facilities) for a long and relaxing workout

11:30-12:30: Professional Hour! But I don’t actually have a meeting today, so I got to get lunch with friends!

12:30-2:30: This is our lab lecture timeslot. This week we had a quiz and did an activity to prepare for our lab practical next week.


3-5:15: I baked banana bread, and got ready to go out with friends for the night

5:30-to the end of the night: One of my student organizations, SSHP, had an inter-professional social at Pint House with free appetizers, and after we headed to the IPC social itself (IPC hosts social events throughout the year for all the inter-professional schools)!

Saturday: Today was a pretty relaxed day. I woke up later, worked out, had a big breakfast and watched Netflix most of the morning and early afternoon. Later in the afternoon I started to study for our exam on Monday with my roommates, and a couple of classmates came over to join us! Overall it was a productive but relaxing day.

I hope this gives you a better look into what life is like as a P2! If you have any questions feel free to reach out!


Module Based Curriculum

Hi Everyone!

This week I wanted to talk module based curriculum! Why? Well, it’s slightly different than the traditional course work that most of us (if not all) experienced in undergrad, and it is how the PharmD program is taught at Ohio State!

When I say the traditional curriculum, I am referring to taking multiple classes and subjects at once, for the entirety of a semester. For example, you may take a medicinal chemistry class, a pharmaceutical calculations class, a pathophysiology class, a lab and have your introductory pharmacy practice experience (IPPE) all at the same time (courses varying by semester and year). And often, the subject matters in each class will vary widely from each other. This may mean multiple exams in multiples classes in a week, and a lot of balancing in regards to different course material and studying time. This is widely done, and was used by Ohio State for many years, as well as many other Colleges of Pharmacy.

However, in 2016 (for the class of 2020—that’s me!), the College began teaching a module based curriculum—something that I feel has been beneficial to my learning and pharmacy practice experience, despite having previously done my undergraduate studies on the traditional style.

In module based learning, you focus on one class at a time, and the lab and IPPE compliment what you are learning in class. For example, as a P1, one of the major themes of the year was community based pharmacy. This meant that at the beginning of the year in class we learned about patient counseling, pharmacy law and more, in lab we learned how to take prescriptions over the phone, check prescriptions that would be filled in a community pharmacy, and that our IPPEs were focused on the community setting. P2 and P3 years are where you learn about the majority of your therapeutics. In module based, you walk through one disease state at a time. At the beginning of this year (I am a P2), we started with Cardiology, and learned the medicinal chemistry, therapeutics, pharmacology, and more regarding disease states involving the heart. Having such an all-encompassing view of the disease state made all of the content relevant and easier to tie together and understand.

Hopefully this gives you a little more insight into what exactly module based learning is and how beneficial it can be to your learning and understanding of content! I have personally found it to be incredibly helpful and find that it relieves a lot of stress as you are only studying for one or two classes at a time and can truly devote your understanding to it, rather than trying to juggle multiple different classes at once and getting less out of each.

Please feel free to reach out to me if you have further questions about the curriculum or anything related to the College of Pharmacy!


Top 5 Under-rated Resources at Ohio State

Hi everyone!

This week I wanted to take the opportunity to go over resources that are available to you as an Ohio State student! Being a pharmacy student at Ohio State means that you get the small close-knit community of the College but also all of the resources of large institution! Here are my top five underrated resources offered by Ohio State!

5. Dtix: Dtix provides students with discounted (and sometimes free!) tickets and restaurant gift cards to places around Columbus. Some examples include gift cards to Cameron Mitchell Restaurants and Jenis, Blue Jackets and Columbus Crew tickets, BalletMet tickets, concert tickets, passes to Cedar Point and more! It’s a great way to get out, have fun and explore Columbus, while still being budget friendly.

4. Inter-professional Networking: Ohio State has just about every professional school you can imagine; from Pharmacy, to Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, a graduate program in Social Work, and many more. These are your future colleagues, and learning with and from them during school, and the unique role each plays in patient care is a wonderful benefit. In addition to our curriculum which incorporates several inter-professional experiences and collaborative events each semester, Interprofessional Council (IPC) hosts events and socials for students to get to know one another and have fun outside of the classroom.

3. The Wexner Medical Center and Nationwide Children’s Hospital (and more): Ohio State is attached to a large, comprehensive research medical center and has close ties to one of the top 10 Children’s Hospitals in the country. As a student, you’ll have access to these medical centers, and the opportunity to hear from experts at them, and learn from them hands-on in the classroom and on rotations (that are quite literally right across the street). This is a resource that very few other schools have the privilege of, it provides you with exposure to a variety of areas of pharmacy and unique learning opportunities to help you succeed in the future.  Additionally, Columbus has the OhioHealth and Mount Carmel networks of hospitals, which also provide unique rotational experiences, content experts and a plethora of internships.

2. RPAC/Rec Sports:  The RPAC is a state of the art facility that includes a large weight area, several cardio areas, a track, basketball and racquetball courts, and provides a full schedule of free group fitness classes. There are several other gyms on campus (the ARC for example has rock climbing), as well as soccer fields and tennis courts, that are also great resources for students. In addition, Ohio State offers many intramural sports for students looking to get involved that way. One of my favorite ways to meet classmates and other professional students has been through intramurals—even if sports aren’t your thing, it is always fun to have classmates come to the games and cheer us on (my roommate has been known to bring Capri-Suns as post game snacks for our soccer team).

 1. Buckeye Football Tickets:  As a student you get discounted football tickets! While football may not be everyone’s favorite past time, at Ohio State it is so much more than just a sport. Buckeye football brings together people of all ages and provides a sense of community and pride unlike anything you will ever experience. Everyone should have the privilege of experiencing the comradery, excitement, and school spirit that is a football Saturday in Columbus; from Tailgates to the Skull session (the band performs and team walks through) to the game itself, and Ohio State affords students that opportunity.

All the best,

Cassie Rush