I’m here today to talk about my internship experience. I feel very fortunate to intern at The James Cancer Hospital which is a part of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center. I started my internship after my P1 year. I absolutely love my internship. I get to speak with both inpatient and outpatient pharmacists. I have been able to ask them about their positions, what they like, what they don’t like, if they did a residency, etc. I think this exposure is something to value especially because hospital pharmacy is an area of pharmacy where I can see myself practicing. But, my internship is so much more than a networking experience.
As an inpatient/outpatient intern, I have different responsibilities, with some overlap, that is dependent on which setting I am in. When I am working inpatient, I get to deliver, prepare, and compound medications. I love delivering medications because it allows me to get out of Central Pharmacy and go out to the floors. I have the opportunity to interact with nurses and I love being able to bring a STAT medication directly to the nurse in the patients room. When I am working outpatient, I primarily compound chemotherapy medications. The James has several outpatient sites, and each site has something special to offer. One site is the Comprehensive Breast Center. A unique aspect about this site is that I get to know when I am compounding a patient’s last chemotherapy. This means that the patient is essentially in remission! Several times, when I go to take my break, I walk through the infusion center and I see a family celebrating with a patient. This makes my job so rewarding, and continues to bring me so much joy.
Beyond networking and my typical duties, below are some additional events and opportunities that my internship offers! I believe these help to contribute to make my internship very unique and continue to grow my passion for hospital pharmacy.
Technology – My hospital is very technologically advanced (in my opinion). I believe that we are the only cancer hospital in the US to have two chemotherapy compounding robots. These robots are amazing, because they not only decrease exposure to the technicians, but they increase accuracy of each medication compounded. We also have several other technologies that help increase accuracy of compounding, increase speed, and so much more.
Intern seminars – Throughout the year we have intern seminars set up. Each seminar is different! We have had seminars from Hematology/Oncology Pharmacists, technology in the hospital, the Medication Assistance Program, and so much more. The next intern seminar is a “Meet, Greet, & Repeat Networking Event” which is basically speed dating but with different pharmacists. We get to learn about what they do and see if that would interest us!
Rotations – During my P3 year, we are required to complete 40 IPPE hours in Hospital Pharmacy. OSU allowed us to complete these rotations through the hospital! I had three months throughout the summer where I would spend approximately 8 hours each week with a pharmacist. My first month was with Investigational Drug Supply (IDS), my second month was with Cardiology, and my last month was with Hematology/Oncology. I was able to learn so much from these rotations. It truly helped me narrow down what area of pharmacy I want to practice in.
Shadow – We are always encouraged to shadow pharmacists. If we have an interest in a specific area, we can certainly find a time to shadow a pharmacist in that area! It’s great if you have all of your rotation hours completed, but you are still interested in certain areas.
Special Assignments – One of my co-interns had an interest in IDS, and was able to train in that area. It’s great that we are able to have some flexibility in our positions and learn more about areas that we would not normally get experience in.
Research – Research is super important for applying to residencies. It not only is a serious boost to your CV, but you get to learn so much! I simply asked my supervisor for a research project, and later that day, I was given a project!
Flexibility – I love the flexibility of my job. I believe that most internships you are given a shift to work each week, and that’s what you work. The James works with the interns and you are able to request days off depending on what your week looks like. So for example, if I have two exams in one week, I can request the days leading up to it off! The James wants you to get the internship experience (as well as cover any holes in the schedule), but my supervisors do not want that experience to interfere with your education.
Intern Lecture Series – These are exactly how they sound. Over the summer there were several lectures that pharmacists felt that the interns would benefit from learning. It was a great review for some things, and reinforced other things in our minds. It was a great learning experience!
Sorry for the long post… My internship offers so much to us interns, and I absolutely love it. If you have any other questions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be more than happy to answer them!