Spring in Columbus


The weather is finally starting to get warm. So many beautiful flowers and trees are starting to bloom. It is absolutely amazing! I spent Easter weekend playing with my puppy outside and soaking up the sun. Columbus has so many activities and things to do. I take for my dog for a walk each day, and this time of year is the best for walks. If you enjoy being outdoors, I would suggest going to the many Metro Parks around the Columbus area. But, if you aren’t someone who enjoys hiking and exploring, I’ve included some suggestions for you below!

Camelot Cellars

  • I’ve gone for a wine tasting, and it was an absolute blast 🙂 I would highly recommend trying it out! Try to look for a wine tasting Groupon to get the best experience for the cheapest price!

Arnold Sports Festival March 2-5

  • For those who don’t know, this festival is a huge competition for over 70 sports from bodybuilding to  equestrian!

Franklin Park Conservatory

  • Orchids Exhibition January 7 – March 5
  • Blooms and Butterflies March 11 – September 17

Columbus Asian Festival May 27-28

  • Enjoy food, dance, arts and more celebrating Asian heritage and culture
  • I’ll be there! Nothing I love more than a good festival with  yummy food and awesome culture.

Columbus Zoo

  • As the weather is getting warm, the zoo is the perfect place to go! Columbus has one of the best zoos in the country, and is definitely something you can’t miss.

Of course, this is just a short list of all the activities that Columbus has to offer in the spring! Keep your mind open to new adventures, and enjoy the beautiful weather!

If you have any questions, please feel free to send me an email at sakai.22@osu.edu!

I, Intern: The James Cancer Hospital

Hello everyone!

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 sakai.22@osu.edu. I would be more than happy to answer them!


Columbus in the Winter


If you are coming to Ohio from another city or state, you might be wondering what you may be able to do in Columbus during the Winter! As much as I would love to cuddle up with my puppy, I love getting out of my apartment and taking a break from studying. Columbus does offer so many different activities, but let me highlight some that I have done!

Columbus Winter Hike

One thing I love to do is hike! Being from Arizona, hiking was a mainstay activity in the winter. You can hike basically any time in the winter, and you will never worry about being too cold.

Ohio does a (long) series of winter hikes. I was very hesitant about hiking in Columbus in the winter. I love hiking during the summer, fall, and spring here, but really? The winter? Well, my boyfriend and I packed up our puppy, and went on a winter adventure. First of all, it was freezing cold (not surprising). Don’t make the same mistake that I did and wear tennis shoes — please be sure to wear warm boots with warm socks! To my surprise, there were so many people participating! It was great bringing my puppy, Cooper, because it allowed us to get to talk to so many people. At the end of the hike, we joined the celebration and drank some delicious hot cocoa. 🙂 It was definitely such a fun experience, but I will be definitely waiting for the hikes on warmer days! I would highly recommend to get your body moving after a long studying session, and a winter hike may be the perfect remedy. The cold definitely encouraged me to move faster 🙂

COSHP Wine Tasting

Each year, COSHP (Central Ohio Society of Health-System Pharmacists) puts together a wine tasting/networking event. Why is this event my favorite winter activity? You learn so much about different wines – this year the focus was on South American wines. You get to network and speak with many different health-system pharmacists around the Columbus area. You get to eat some delicious food where each course is paired with wine.

The main purpose of the wine tasting is to raise funds for PharmD scholarships! There are always a variety of baskets to bid on (and I always get outbid).

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture at the wine tasting this year, so I used the picture from last year!

COSHP Wine Tasting 2016

Yoga and Hockey

I recently attended a yoga class held at Nationwide Arena, and then the Columbus Blue Jackets game right after! Modo Yoga is a studio in Grandview area, and it is one of my favorite studios. It’s heated yoga, so going to a class in a cold environment was definitely something knew. So many people came out, and it was an amazing class. Unfortunately, the Blue Jackets lost that night, but the experience was awesome! I would highly recommend attending this event if happens again, and checking out Modo Yoga! Say hi to Chad and Elizabeth (owners of Modo Yoga) for me if you go. 🙂

By the cannon after yoga with Chad and Elizabeth


I hope you find some fun things to do in Columbus in the winter!

Why I chose OSU: Sarah Sakai


One question I get frequently from applicants is Why OSU? What made me pack up and move across the country to come to this College of Pharmacy? Well, if you have wondered why students have chosen to go to OSU, please continue to read! This weeks blog, along with the next three weeks, will have your Ambassador Coordinators’ reasons on why they chose OSU!

So bear with me as I take a trip down memory lane.

For me, I finished 8 applications to different pharmacy schools across the country. I applied to many schools of high, medium, and low ranks according to US News. I wanted schools in a variety of locations, but mostly I wanted schools that had certain things that I thought were important to me. I highly encourage you determine what is important to you! For me, I wanted a school that was associated with an academic medical center, was in an area with plenty of hospitals, offered the option for a dual degree, was in an area that was affordable, and was close to an airport. Now that isn’t my entire list (I had a spreadsheet dedicated to my applications), but that is a good idea of where I started. Basically,  OSU had everything I wanted on paper, and so I applied. I ended up getting interviews to all 8 schools that I applied to, and so I had to cut down on which schools to interview. Honestly, that was just thinking about which schools I had the best feeling about and the location of the school. OSU fell on that interview list (being highly ranked sure didn’t hurt)!

One thing that immediately made OSU twinkle in my eyes is that a few days before my interview, I received an email from a Student Ambassador. My ambassador was amazing and answered all of my questions. She even told me about the Annual Chili Cook-Off, and I was able to attend during the time I was here for my interview. I truly think that the Ambassador Program at OSU is phenomenal and unlike any other Ambassador Program. Now I only accepted 4 of my 8 interviews, so I can’t speak to many Colleges of Pharmacy out there!

Once I was here in my interview, I knew OSU was the school for me. I loved the people. I loved the community and the sense of caring that the students, faculty, and staff had for the students. I loved hearing about how the College works with the students and how integrated the students are within the college. I loved being able to talk to my ambassador that had contacted me previously and learn more about the student’s perspective. I loved that the ambassador saw my nervousness, and calmed me down. I loved the passion I saw in each student, not just for pharmacy, but for OSU. At the end of my interview day, it was clear that The Ohio State University had my heart and I knew that I would never regret choosing it!

Flash forward to now. I am currently in my P3 year. I can honestly say that picking OSU has been 100% the right decision. There is ample opportunity for internships, and luckily I have an internship at The James Cancer Hospital. I love my internship, and the unique opportunities it has provided me. Beyond internships, there are so many student organizations to get involved in and continue to grow your passion in pharmacy.

I have met some of the most amazing people because I chose OSU. I get to work with some of them throughout the entire year (looking at you Student Affairs staff!). I have found people who make me belly laugh and who continue to fuel my passion for pharmacy. I know I was meant to come to OSU to meet certain people because they have been such positive influences in my life. There is so much support here, whether it is in class, in an internship, or in life. There is always someone to talk to you and to help you. I am constantly reaffirmed with my decision to come here.

To me, OSU is amazing beyond just being ranked #6. It is amazing because of the curriculum, the opportunities, the internships, the rotations, and (most importantly) the people. This made it the perfect decision for me.

I hope you become a Buckeye and see how amazing OSU truly is!

As always, please send any questions my way! sakai.22@osu.edu 🙂

PharmCAS + Applications

Hello everyone!

Many of you are getting ready to apply or are in the process of applying! PharmCAS is the application website you use to apply to pharmacy schools. I went through this process three years ago, and I remember how stressful it was. Please bear with me as I try to remember my experience with the entire process.

I was unsure of where I wanted to go. I knew I wanted to go to a top program, but I didn’t have a specific area that I was dying to go. I fully utilized the Top Pharmacy Schools by US News website in conjunction with the School Directory on the PharmCAS website.

I started by narrowing down schools by looking at the pre-requisite criteria for each school. I looked at schools that were ranked 1-80 and were in areas that I would be okay living in for 4+ years. I knew I would end up out-of-state, so location was a big deal for me. When you are looking at schools to apply, you have to think about what type of area you want to be in. Do you want a city? A small town? What size city? Do you want to be near an airport? What is the cost of living there? What opportunities are there for you to get an internship or  complete rotations?

After I determined which schools were in areas I would live in, I narrowed down the schools by cost of living, housing options, cost of tuition, and dual degrees (MPH, MBA, etc). At this point, I had narrowed down my list to twelve schools. Eleven of the schools I would apply through PharmCAS, and only one did not utilize PharmCAS. I prepared all of this before I even started my PharmCAS application, and collected all the information within an excel sheet. Honestly, I wish I could find my excel spreadsheet because I put so much time and effort into it! I am actually quite proud of myself for that spreadsheet. It helped guide me through the entire application process.

Ultimately, I decided to only apply to eight schools. I think most students don’t apply to as many schools, but since I knew nobody else who was applying or had applied to pharmacy school, I did not know the norm. I wasn’t fortunate enough to stumble across a blog post like this or have a mentor to talk to when it comes to pharmacy school and applications.

So at this point in my application process, I was ready to start the PharmCAS Application. I thought I could quickly do this part, but I quickly found that I was wrong! I am a bit of a perfectionist, and so it took me MUCH longer than I expected. The part that took me the longest was the essay writing. I knew that there would be essays, but I didn’t realize how much time I would spend on these to make them perfect. If I could make one suggestion, it would be to ask multiple people to review your essays. Ask a friend, ask a parent, ask a mentor! Have your reviewers review your drafts several times. For me, I wanted my writing to show that I could communicate effectively to people of various educations. Communication is a huge part of pharmacy!

As for the content of your essays, just stay true to yourself. Don’t get caught up in what you think the school wants to hear. Answer each question honestly and in a manner that is a great representation of you. Show your passion for pharmacy!

I wish you all the best of luck with applications, PharmCAS, and interviews!

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at sakai.22@osu.edu and I will answer them to the best of my ability! If I can’t answer them, I will be able to find someone who can help you.

Sarah Pic

Get to Know Your Ambassadors: Sarah

Hello everyone!

I’m so excited to introduce myself as one of your four Student Ambassador Coordinators! This is my second year being a Coordinator, and I look forward to everything that will come this year.

My name is Sarah and I am a P3. I am originally from the wonderful state of Arizona. Moving here was a very big transition for me, and so I can relate to many of you incoming P1s that come from a different state. In a small effort to relieve any stress you may have, I’d like to let you know that I am 100% happy with my decision to come to The Ohio State University for my PharmD, and I am so confident that you will be too. It was the best decision I could have made, and I am so fortunate to have all the opportunities for preceptors, colleagues, work, volunteering, and leadership.

Why pharmacy? Well, there are many, many reasons. The two main reasons is that I love science and math and I love helping people. Pharmacy blends these two together perfectly (in my opinion). What really reinforced that pharmacy was the perfect career for me, was getting pharmacy experience. I volunteered and worked at an independent pharmacy in Arizona. I loved everything about that job, especially the opportunity to learn so much about a unique setting of pharmacy. I currently work at The James Cancer Hospital and I absolutely love it as well. I hope that you are (or will be) just as happy as I am with pharmacy as your career choice!

Here’s what you should know about me:

  • I graduated from Arizona State University (GO DEVILS!) with a BS in Biochemistry, and a minor in Mathematics/Statistics. So, yes, I am a bit of a nerd.
  • My family and friends are everything to me.
  • I love animals – especially dogs.
  • I recently became a puppy mom to the cutest mutt you’ll ever see!! His name is Cooper (stay tuned for a picture of him).
  • I consider myself an introvert with extrovert tendencies.
  • I’m absolutely in love with Arizona. And I hate the cold.
  • I am half-Japanese and half-Caucasian.
  • I hate bugs. Like HATE them.
  • I spend my free time either hanging out with friends, crafting, reading, watching Netflix, or working out.
  • I love makeup. Gotta keep that brow game strong.
  • I love braids. It’s pretty much the only thing I do with my hair besides brush it.
  • I’m also terrible about remembering to take pictures.
  • I danced growing up, and I miss it so much. My last two years at Arizona State I got really into Latin dances.
  • I love wine and craft beer.

I suppose that is enough for now 🙂


Cooper 🙂

If you would like to contact me for any questions about Ohio, The Ohio State University, internships, volunteering, etc, please do so! My email is sakai.22@osu.edu.

Sarah Pic




Preparing for the PCAT


I’m sure many of you have questions as to how to start preparing for the PCAT. I’m here to help guide you and give you some advice.

  1. Take a practice test. Find out what areas you are weak in, and what areas you are strong in.
  2. Create a study plan, and make sure you are spending time on each section (even if it’s a strong section).
    • I took the PCAT on the first test date in July, and so I started studying in June. But I did enjoy my summer, and I would suggest you make sure you are still doing fun things! I actually went to California for a week, and brought my study materials.
    • Set specific goals for each week and for each day. Link these goals to each subject. How much time do you want to spend on Chemistry vs Biology vs Verbal?
  3. Carve out a specific time of your day to study.
    • I personally studied from 4-6pm Monday through Friday. Sometimes more and sometimes less depending on what kind of groove I was in. Of course life happens, but always try to dedicate time to the PCAT studying each week!
  4. Find the resources that you want to use.
    • I personally used the Kaplan PCAT Prep Book. It should come with one online practice test and one practice test in the book. Definitely utilize those. The book is listed as $55, but on Amazon you can find it for cheaper!
    • If you are able to spend more money, I would recommend the PCAT Prep Course by Dr. Collins. It is a looooot more money than the Kaplan book, but I know people who have taken it, and it increased their PCAT score significantly. Like from the 60th percentile to the 90th!
    • Another source that I personally used was this man named Chad. He is (potentially was now) an instructor at Arizona State University. He would create review videos for chemistry that was one of the reasons I did very well in Gen Chem and O Chem. When I was preparing for the PCAT, I was able to utilize the videos he had. Now he and some other gentlemen have a website called CourseSaver! You can gain access to all videos and quizzes for $50 for 30 days. The chemistry may be very helpful to you, I definitely thought it did. It has 14.5 hours of gen chem, 14 hours of ochem, 5.5 hours of quantitative and 7.5 hours of biology. Currently the biology videos are free of charge because they are incomplete! I have met a dental student that studied for the DAT using Chad’s videos from CourseSaver, and he only says amazing things 🙂
  5. Use the resource!!
    • I tried to review the material then answer/solve questions.
  6. Try to find a study buddy.
    • I was fortunate enough to have a friend that was studying for the MCAT at the same time I was studying for the PCAT. It was nice having someone to meet at the library and to hold me accountable!
  7. Ask pharmacy students.
    • You will find a wide range of answers as to how they studied. But pick what method is good for you!

As always, if you have any questions at all please email me at sakai.22@osu.edu! Enjoy your summer 🙂

Sarah Pic

Welcome Day 2016

Hello all!

Saturday, May 21st is Welcome Day for all incoming P1s! We are so excited to see you! This day is a great day to meet your fellow classmates, some faculty and staff, and hear from some peers. If you are looking for what you can expect for the day, continue reading!

You will be able to meet some amazing people! One is Dr. James McAuley who is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and he will teach you all about anti-epileptic drugs in P&T! You will also meet Dr. Donald Sullivan who is Director of Professional Experiential Programs and he will be your law professor. For Welcome Day, Dr. Sullivan will be giving you a sample class and talk about the health requirements. Joe Orozco, Director of Student Affairs, will be there as well to go over the curriculum! He can help answer all your questions towards this. You will also get another chance to talk with some students, so come prepared with any questions you may have!

We won’t just be in Parks Hall all day, so bring some shoes you can walk in. 🙂 You will be going to The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Center where you will get a hospital tour. You will also head to the Ohio Union, where you will hear from an Alumni Spotlight!

It will be a long day, but it will be a great start to your PharmD education as well as a time to learn what the next four years will be like! So please come! Be there at 8:30am, and be ready to eat breakfast with Brutus!!

Last year was our first Welcome Day, and we had an awesome turnout. I can tell you that many others and myself are so excited to meet and get to know all of you! If you have any questions at all, please email me at sakai.22@osu.edu!

Sarah Pic

SPOTLIGHT: E. Michael Murphy

Hello everyone!

I am very lucky to have a very influential, motivated, inspiring student pharmacist in my class! He was able to take time out of his busy schedule to write a blog post for all of you! I hope you enjoy his post and find inspiration in his choices and leadership.



My name is E. Michael Murphy and I am a second year student pharmacist at The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy. While attending pharmacy school many students find something that they are passionate about and that is what drives them through what can be the ups and downs of acquiring a PharmD. Some focus their attention on their studies and others on their internships or work experiences. I have found my passion in professional organizations. This past March I was elected by my peers to represent over 36,000 student pharmacists across the country as the next National President-elect of the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP). I have chosen to be involved in professional organizations because they allow me the opportunity to impact the education and professional development of students today while envisioning the future of our profession.

My involvement in APhA-ASP began as a third year undergraduate student at Ohio State. I had learned about APhA in my History of Pharmacy class and wondered in Ohio State had a chapter. After stumbling onto their website I reached out to the Chapter and became their first APhA-ASP Undergraduate Liaison. Since that time I have served in several leadership roles on the Chapter and Regional level. However, do not let my early involvement in APhA-ASP discourage you. If you are already involved in something you are passionate about, then great! If not, it is never a bad time to start. By taking an active role in something that you care about you can truly make a difference. During my tenure serving student pharmacists across the country I have several ways that I hope to make a difference in our profession.

First, I will increase the mental wellbeing of student pharmacists by partnering with the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy to promote mental health in our colleges. Second, I hope to enhance interprofessional student relationships by working with other national professional student organizations. And finally, I plan to form global partnerships with colleges of pharmacy in our country and those across the world using resources established by the International Pharmacy Student Federation. I know that over the course of the next two years student pharmacists will bring together their collective voice to accomplish these goals which will advance our profession and enhance patient care across the world.

Overall, I hope to uphold the values of the student pharmacists that I represent and ensure that the profession is in a present stable position so that we might advance it to new heights. And that is exactly what involvement in professional organizations brings, a sense of hope. I won’t lie to you, being a student pharmacist is hard. Day to day balancing exams, work, assignments and a social life can be challenging but it is the goal we are working towards that makes it worth it. Involvement in professional organizations can give you a peek into what that goal will be like. It can help you experience interacting with a patient, learning about a new medication, or networking with peers from across the country. You will grow professionally in a fun environment. That is why I am such a strong advocate for professional organizations. If school ever gets hard then I don’t get down because I know I am a part of something bigger than myself that provides an opportunity to educate students, allow them to grow professionally, and makes a difference in the development of the future of our profession.

E. Michael MurphyScreen Shot 2016-04-04 at 10.55.03 AM

SPOTLIGHT: Jaclyn Hawn and Buckeyes Without Borders

Hi Everyone!

I hope February has brought great things to you all! I want to introduce to you a current P4, Jackie Hawn. She is amazing and has started Buckeyes Without Borders, which you can be a part of as a pharmacy student!! If this interests you, be sure to learn more about this when you start pharmacy school here 🙂 Also, be on the lookout for a blog post about Joyce’s Buckeyes Without Borders trip after Spring Break!



As my graduation date in May comes closer, I have noticed that the last four years of pharmacy school have flown by. I feel that The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy has a place in my heart forever and likewise, I hope to leave a piece of me to be remembered.  My most proud moment in pharmacy school was the opportunity I had to start a medical brigade to Nicaragua through the student organization, Buckeyes Without Borders.

During my undergraduate career, I studied abroad in Granada, Nicaragua, a city just south of the capital, Managua. Tropical rainforests, large lakes, and a stunning volcano surround the city of Granada.  The streets are flooded with cars, horses, motorcycles, and the lovely people, which inhabit the colorful, colonial homes. I became extremely close to my host family and the culture during my time abroad.   Although beautiful, this area of Nicaragua is still in desperate need of medical attention. When I arrived at The Ohio State University, I saw the opportunity to take interdisciplinary students and providers down to my home away from home and provide free medical care to these patients in need.   After the blood, sweat, and tears I put into this program, we have now taken two, one-week brigades to rural Nicaragua.  These teams have included pharmacy, medical, nursing, public health, social work, occupational therapy, and biomedical engineering students, as well as multiple supervising physicians.  On average we treat 120 acute and chronic care patients daily and provide all patients with toothbrushes, toothpaste, and anti-parasite medication. I have had multiple patients cry on my shoulder, thanking me for the care we provided to them and their families.

The third group will be traveling to Nicaragua this March during Spring Break to continue the patient care. I am proud to watch the multidisciplinary students work together, learn from each other, treating and educating patients, and learning about the beautiful culture of Nicaragua.  I know now, that as I move forward in my career and graduate from pharmacy school, a part of my heart will be left behind at the College of Pharmacy, bringing free health care to the people of rural Nicaragua.


Con todo mi corazĂłn,

Jaclyn (Jackie) Hawn

Jackie Hawn