Professional Conference Attendance – APhA Annual Meeting

Hi Everyone!

I’m writing to you as I travel back from Nashville, TN! This past weekend, myself and around twenty other Ohio State students attended the American Pharmacists Association (APhA)’s Annual Meeting. We had so much fun! The weekend was a perfect blend of networking, professional development, and fun. It was my first time visiting Nashville and I loved it.

For context, APhA is a national organization dedicated to supporting the profession of pharmacy. We have a student chapter of this organization here at OSU’s College of Pharmacy. Under national leadership, our student chapter focuses on advocating for the profession of pharmacy in our home state of Ohio and on providing pharmacy care services to our community. An example of our advocacy work would be the letter writing campaigns that we host as a way to connect with our state legislative representatives on issues like provider status for pharmacists. An example of a patient care project would be our project “OTC Medication Safety.” For this, we’ll host kids from local schools and do activities with them that cover topics like how to safely take medication with the help of a trusted adult.

Every year, APhA hosts a national conference for pharmacists and pharmacy students. Here’s a link to their website if you’d like to take a look at the schedule and read more about the sessions we attended! I really enjoyed getting to meet other student pharmacists from schools across the nation at these sessions.

Here’s a picture of our chapter President accepting an award we won! Go Bucks!

Outside of the conference itself, we had the opportunity to explore the city. One restaurant of note was this place called “The Pharmacy” – how fitting! This “burger parlor and beer garden” served up some delicious German-inspired burgers and milkshakes in a fun twist on the classic, old-timey soda fountain pharmacies. If you’re ever in East Nashville, I highly recommend stopping by!

If you have questions about the conference or if you want to hear more about the awesome places we visited in Nashville, feel free to send me an email at! Now it’s time to unpack and get ready for the rest of the semester!


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!


Finals Week @ The College of Pharmacy!

It’s early December, and you know what that means…. Finals Week!! All across campus, students are preparing for exams before enjoying a well-deserved break. As lectures wind down, finals week activities are ramping up! The University and the College of Pharmacy are hosting a variety of events to ensure students finish the semester strong. Here’s a glimpse at a few:

  1. Extended library hours: all across campus libraries are opening earlier and closing later!
    1. Did you know we have our own pharmacy library in addition to the health sciences library shared with our other Colleges?
  2. Reading Day: Reading Day takes place between the last day of lecture and the first day of finals week. It’s scheduled time by the University for students to study, prepare, and recharge before the final push to the end of the year. From sun-up to sun-down, there are a variety of things taking place this day to aid in student studying like…
    1. Free Breakfast at the Ohio Union – eggs and bacon! YUM!
    2. Special Group Fitness Classes at the campus rec center, the RPAC
    3. Therapy dogs in libraries across campus
    4. Mindfulness sessions with Counseling and Consultation Services
    5. Rejuvenation sessions with folks from Aveda Hair Salon and Spa
  3. End-of-The-Year Celebrations
    1. Healthy Potluck by the College of Pharmacy Wellness Ambassadors
    2. Yoga with the Student National Pharmacists Association (SNPhA)
    3. Annual College of Pharmacy canned food drive
    4. Cookie decorating social with the American society of Consulting Pharmacists (ASCP)
    5. And more!

As you can see, Finals Week is pretty busy for pharmacy students here at OSU, but it’s not all about the books! This is actually one of my favorite weeks of the year because we have no lecture to attend, only a handful of exams to study for, and there are opportunities to take fun study breaks in a variety of ways!

Best of luck to everyone studying for exams! Enjoy a safe and happy holiday season!


“My Internship at Mount Carmel West”

Hi All! One of our new Ambassador Coordinators, Ashley Erdmann has a blog post for you today.  Please enjoy this post on her behalf about her hospital internship.

My Internship at Mount Carmel West

One of the greatest components of being a pharmacy student at The Ohio State University are the tremendous internship opportunities around Columbus. It seems that no matter what you are interested in, there is a perfect internship for you!

Before I started my P1 year, I had worked as a technician in a community pharmacy for over six years. I loved working in a community setting, where I got to know our patients and talk to them about not only their medications, but their lives as well. The profession of pharmacy has a large humanistic component associate with it, which is something I have always admired. However, I knew that I wanted to branch out and experience other facets of pharmacy, for I knew that it would help me become a more well-rounded professional. I decided that I wanted to obtain a hospital internship, as I am interested in residency, but had no prior hospital experience! And so, the search for internships began!

I started my internship at Mount Carmel West Hospital this past June, and since then, I have been able to perfect my aseptic technique and I have been trained in IV preparations as well as chemotherapy preparations. This has been especially useful, since I was able to get exposure in sterile compounding before we started it in P2 lab this year!

My assigned preceptor is one of  best parts of my internship. She is an OSU PharmD graduate and is a fantastic pharmacist! Whenever we work together, she quizzes me on diseases, therapy options, interactions, and contraindications. She uniquely parallels the material we are learning in class with real-life examples and discussions. I have been fortunate enough to follow her to the Emergency Department when traumas arrive in the trauma bay, to witness her calmly assist the healthcare team, dose and prepare life saving medications in a tense and chaotic environment. These experiences have helped solidify my interest in working as a hospital pharmacist, and I am now leaning toward finding an emergency medicine rotation.

In addition, as a part of my internship, I have created drug monographs to be distributed around the hospital. This activity is an especially important educational component for the nursing team! It gives them a concise but necessary amount of information on common formulary drugs distributed in the hospital.

I have been able to immerse myself in a completely new pharmacy setting which has helped me find my passion. The opportunities for pharmacy students in Columbus are endless. I am excited to develop my skills as an intern and to take on more projects. If you have any questions about internships or working for Mount Carmel, please let me know!


Research at The College of Pharmacy!

Given that The Ohio State University is a world-renowned research institution, it is no surprise that cutting edge research is being led by hundreds of researchers at both the Wexner Medical Center and our very own College of Pharmacy.

Before I started pharmacy school, my definition of research was fairly narrow.  I thought research was limited to laboratory experiments and expensive equipment.  While we do have many of these types of opportunities, the College of Pharmacy has faculty working on pharmacy practice research projects as well.  These projects tend to focus on how pharmacists provide care, clinical outcomes relating to pharmacists’ interventions, or some other aspect of patient care.

To provide you with some examples, I’ll tell you a little more about two of the projects I’m working on.

At the College, I’m working on a project with Dr. Alexa Valentino.  Dr. Valentino is faculty at the College, and in addition to teaching, she practices at a Federally-Qualified Health Center (FQHC) here in Columbus.  FQHCs are primary care clinics that provide a wide range of services to under-insured or uninsured patients.  Our project is a survey-based assessment of clinical quality measures at FQHCs.  We are hoping to assess the relationship between having clinical pharmacy services as a part of the FQHC practice and a variety of clinical outcomes.  In other words, we’re curious if having a pharmacist on site to educate and counsel COPD patients on proper inhaler use improves disease management in these patients.  COPD is just one example of a clinical outcome that we are assessing; we’re actually taking a look at quite a few more!

Another project of mine is with an internal medicine pharmacist at the Wexner Medical Center.  We’ve designed a project that will assess the opioid prescribing habits of internal medicine practitioners three months before and three months after the state recommendations for prescribing opioids were updated in Ohio.  We’re hoping to use this data to look at the impact of these recommendations and to possibly inform future prescribing policies within the hospital.

The opportunity to get involved with the writing of the project proposal and data collection has been really rewarding, and I’m very excited to see what’s to come in terms of potential project posters presentations, and publications.  If you have any questions about research, please let me know!


Experiencing Autumn in Columbus!

Please enjoy this blog post from our new Ambassador Coordinator, Cassie Rush!


“Hi Everyone!

I don’t know about you, but fall is my favorite time of the year! From the leaves changing colors, to the cooler air and sweater weather, and of course football season, fall is a great time; and fall in Columbus is no different. So, what are some fun, fall activities in Columbus?

Enjoy the fall foliage on a hike! Columbus is littered with Metro parks that you can explore, Hocking Hills (one of Ohio’s state parks) is an hour south and full and trails to explore, or you can take a walk around campus—the Oval is located at the heart of campus and is littered with tree and green spaces to study or nap on!

Apple Picking! Lynd’s fruit farm is a Columbus favorite. They have over 80 acres to explore and allow you to pick your apples on the weekends! They also have a corn maze and market to explore and pick up some extra fall goodies at.

Circleville Pumpkin Show: While Columbus has tons of wonderful festivals that occur year-round, Circleville’s Pumpkin Show is definitely a fall experience. From the “largest pumpkin” growing contest, to all the pumpkin baked goods you could imagine and live entertainment, you really can’t go wrong.

Ohio State Football Games: Columbus, Ohio on a football Saturday is truly magical, and there is no better place to be than the Shoe. As a student, you can get tickets at a significantly discounted price so that you can experience it for yourself. And even if football isn’t your thing, game days can still be a treat! Our marching band is world renowned and puts on quite the show at half time, and before the game at skull sessions! Fans everywhere tailgate and bond over their love for our school. And at the end of every game (even if you aren’t in the stadium), you get to come together with thousands of other Buckeyes and sing Carmen (our alma mater)—it’s one of my personal favorite traditions!

So Much More! Columbus hosts tons of festivals every year, and the fall is no exception. From Mac and Cheese fest to the Italian fest and more, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Columbus also has 614 movie nights, where they show movies outside on the big screen—in the fall they tend to feature Halloween favorites like Hocus Pocus! There are tons of haunted houses, even the Statehouse participates, and Cedar Point (an amusement park near Cleveland) does Halloweekends, which Ohio State students can get discounted tickets to.

Overall, Columbus has plenty of fun fall activities to fill your weekends and evenings and help ensure you maintain a great work-life balance!

Cassie – email:”

Student Organization Spotlight: IPC

Hi Everyone,

This week, we’ll highlight a student organization unique to Ohio State – Inter-Professional Council, or IPC for short.  To tell you more about this group, I asked some current PharmD students to share more about their involvement.

When asked, “What is IPC?” third-year PharmD student Lauren Levi explained:

IPC is an interprofessional student organization consisting of professional students from Pharmacy, Law, Dentistry, Medicine, Vet Med, and Optometry. We consists of Senators from each school that serve on various sub-committees at Ohio State, and we dictate funds to help put on interprofessional events thrown by other student orgs within those colleges and put on interprofessional events ourselves!”

For example, IPC hosts social events for professional students – like the annual Halloween Party – and special events for charity (picture sand volleyball tournaments and casino nights) throughout the year.

The volleyball tournament is TaLeitha Varner’s (third-year PharmD student & IPC Service Chair & Pharmacy Justice) favorite event.  “I joined a team at the last minute and do not regret it one bit! Although we didn’t make it very far in the tournament, it was a chance to meet other students, to donate to the designated charity and to just have fun!”

IPC also oversees the “Professional Development Fund” which offers reimbursement for students.  For example, its common for PharmD students to travel across the country for different conferences and IPC will offer reimbursement for travel costs associated with these trips.

An organization like IPC is important for many reasons, including networking and professional development.  According to TeLeitha, her involvement in IPC has been valuable because “IPC plans many events throughout the year that help balance the many hours we all put forth learning and studying.  IPC represents all of the professional schools and is able to serve as a voice within the entire OSU community.”

If you have any questions about IPC, visit their Facebook page or let me know at and I can connect you with a current member!

I intern… @ Riverside Methodist Hospital!

Hi everyone, my name is Victoria Williams and I intern at Riverside Methodist Hospital – a large tertiary care hospital within OhioHealth. I’ve been with Riverside just about a year now and have absolutely loved my time with them! My role and responsibilities vary with every shift and I’ve gotten to learn many pharmacy functions within a hospital setting. OhioHealth’s intern program is fairly robust. Each year your responsibilities evolve to include more and more clinical duties.


The first year of my internship was all about learning the dispensing and distributive processes of the pharmacy. With a pharmacy serving 800 beds, you can imagine how complicated the inner workings of such a process can be! I was first trained to dispense “unit dose” medications, or in other words, to dispense one dose of a medication per patient at a time. For routine, scheduled medications, this is done overnight in an automated process, but for new medication orders or as needed medications, this dispensing is done throughout the day. Riverside has two robots and two medication carousels to help manage inventory. I work with the robots and a barcoding system to ensure that the right dose of the right medication is sent to the right floor for the right patient. The automation involved here is incredible to witness! I could hardly believe my eyes on my first day on the job.

I was then trained to compound our sterile products – think IV bags and injections. Not only did I learn how to master aseptic technique, but I learned about the regulations regarding sterility and stability of making these products in clean rooms. This directly corresponded with the coursework in out Professional Practice Lab class. It was really rewarding to learn about these regulations in class and then see them implemented at work.


From there, I gained experience that benefited my communication skills – both with patients and other healthcare providers. I am trained to perform medication reconciliation in our emergency department with soon-to-be-admitted patients. Here I am tasked with talking to patients about the medications they are taking at home so that during their stay, the physician team can continue their home regimen, as appropriate, make sure any new medications won’t interact with ones they currently take, and identify any drug related problems. This is definitely one of the more rewarding roles I have at the hospital! My other communication-based position is where I staff the phone line and messaging inbox to central pharmacy. I speak with nurses and physicians and try to troubleshoot medication-related questions. When I don’t know the answer, or if the question is beyond my scope, I transfer the call to the pharmacist, but the pharmacists I work with strongly encourage me to answer clinical questions myself if the question relates to something I learned in school and I feel comfortable answering it!


In the second and third years of my internship, we begin to focus on clinical duties. This summer my fellow interns and I will participate in “clinical intern boot camp” where we are taught the OhioHealth-specific processes to answering formal drug information questions. During this year, we will also begin working on our intern research projects. I haven’t picked a topic for mine yet, but I‘m pursuing some questions relating to chemotherapy, antibiotic stewardship, and medication safety. I’ll have to keep you posted with which direction I choose in a future blog post!


I hope that helps to give you a picture of what it’s like to be an intern at Riverside! In case you were wondering, I work about 20 hours a week – generally every other weekend and half of a shift on Wednesdays every other week. If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. J


Until next time!



Study Abroad 2017 – London, England

Earlier this week, I returned from a Spring Break Study Abroad trip with the College to London, England! This was certainly the trip of a lifetime & I can’t wait to tell you more about it. Every year, the College of Pharmacy plans a spring break study abroad. These trips are coupled with a half-semester long class preceding spring break. During the course leading up to our London trip, we learned about the culture and history of England, the healthcare system in the UK, and what pharmacy education and practice are like. We also discussed the logistics of our group travel and make all necessary preparations for studying abroad. By the time our trip rolled around in mid-March, I was so excited to finally go! Here’s a brief summary of our trip, along with some pictures. I think you’ll notice that our itinerary was the perfect blend of pharmacy and cultural experiences!

  • Day 1: Arrival!
    • We landed in London in the morning, and went on a walking tour around Kensington. In the evening we had a group dinner at the Stanhope Arms, a traditional English pub!
  • Day 2: Sight-seeing!
    • We first visited Stonehenge and then saw the Roman Baths in the city of Bath, England.
    • The city of bath was amazing! I really enjoyed the rich history of the Roman baths themselves, but also loved walking around the city and doing some shopping.
  • Day 3: Westminster!
    • In the morning, we went to see Westminster Abby! We had a guided tour of the church & I learned quite a bit about the Royal Family’s history. Around the block was Big Ben, so we had to stop for some photos!
    • After lunch, we crossed the river to visit Guys & St. Thomas Hospital where a pharmacist gave us a presentation on healthcare in the UK and pharmacy residents gave us a tour of one of the hospital floors. It was really interesting to compare payment models as well as how pharmacy is practiced in an inpatient setting in the UK and US.
    • After our tour, we walked a few blocks down to the London Eye. The views from the top of the Eye were incredible & I’ll let them speak for themselves.
  • Day 4: Work and Play!
    • In the morning we went to a community pharmacy called “Green Light” pharmacy. This was one of my favorite pharmacy sites! It was really incredible to get to see how community pharmacists were taking such an active role in patient care within Green Light.
    • In the afternoon, we took a tour of the Tower of London.   This is the castle where the Crown Jewels are held, and we got to see the Queen’s crown! Words cannot explain how impressive both the jewelry and this castel were.
  • Day 5: Doesn’t get more London than this…
    • Our pharmacy site today was the Royal Pharmaceutical Society –an organization committed to representing the profession of pharmacy in the UK. We learned about several practice initiatives that are propelling the pharmacy field forward in London.
    • After our visit, we had some free time until a group dinner and a show. We saw “School of Rock” – yup, just like the movie. During the encore of the show, one of the Spice Girls, Mel C (“Sporty Spice”), came out on stage and sang Wannabe with the cast! It was so unexpected, but really cool to see!
  • Day 6: A Day of Learning
    • This day was all about learning! We first visited the UCL School of Pharmacy in Bloomsbury where we became familiar with how pharmacy school in London is structured. The second half of our day was at the British Museum. My favorite thing in the British Museum was definitely seeing the Rosetta Stone!
  • Day 7: Winding down…
    • On our last day, we had some free time before an afternoon tea (see below for the Queen-inspired cookies), so we went to Camden Market – an open-air market with over 1,000 vendors selling food, clothing, jewelry, and all sorts of trinkets. Though we only had the morning free, we covered a lot of ground and did a lot of shopping!

Like I said, this really was the trip of a lifetime! I feel so fortunate to have seen London with a pharmacy twist. Let me know if you’d like to see any more pictures or if you have any other questions about our trip! 🙂



Why I Chose OSU. :)

Hi Prospective Students!

It’s Victoria here with another blog post. J This week I’d like to share my story with you about why I chose OSU for my education, not once but twice!

I remember visiting Ohio State while I was still in high school. My first visit was for an official campus tour and for a meeting with the Office of Student Affairs to discuss the College’s degree programs in detail. I remember preparing for this visit by doing a lot of research and formulating quite a few questions to ask while I was here. Before stepping foot on campus, I had a working pros and cons list that I planned to add to in order to help me reach a decision.

During my campus tour, I feel in love with this place. Campus was beautiful and it was buzzing with an excited, collegiate energy that I couldn’t wait to feed off of and contribute to. The opportunities seemed endless, and Ohio State/the Columbus community offered me everything I would need to be successful and more. Much to my surprise, I didn’t end up contributing to my pros and cons list – I had an overwhelmingly positive gut feeling telling me this was where I was supposed to be. This wasn’t a calculated decision like I anticipated, which definitely felt like a scary risk! However, emphasizing how I would fit in at an institution was such an important consideration (I just didn’t realize this was what I was doing at the time). I encourage you to come back to this notion of “finding your fit” as you navigate your own decision.

During my visit with the College of Pharmacy, I feel in love with the people. Everyone here was so excited to meet me and answer my questions. They made me feel like I was truly wanted here. I didn’t get this feeling on other campus visits. Other places I felt like I was a number on a tour. At OSU, I felt like I was truly a member of the Buckeye Family. From the very beginning, before I even applied, students here treated me like one of their future classmates. This tightly woven network immediately felt like home.

Months later, I came back for a Penn State vs. Ohio State football game and that sealed the deal. J

Choosing to come to Ohio State for undergrad and then stay here for pharmacy school was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my entire life. I feel so supported by this College and community. I truly believe that anything is possible here on this campus. I’ve gotten involved with numerous student organizations, held several unique employment opportunities, and volunteer on-campus and off-. I chose Ohio State because I knew I would have endless opportunities to take advantage of and a strong support system along the way.

Sorry for the long post, but it’s hard not to go off on a romantic tangent about why I love this institution so much. If you have questions about anything regarding my decision to come to OSU and stay here, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I would be more than happy to answer any questions you might have that could contribute to you “finding your fit.”

Until next time,