During my P4 year, I was able to match one of my rotations with Jessica Robinson, PharmD, BCPS. Dr. Robinson is a second-year residency-trained infectious disease (ID) pharmacy specialist. I spent the 5 weeks of the rotation rounding with the ID team, monitoring antibiotic therapies, and working on projects to improve patient care. The thing I came to love about ID was that it is one of the only areas of pharmacy that is completely curative. If you give someone the proper antibiotics, they will get better! I was able to see how a properly trained pharmacist can mean the difference between life and death for patients with severe infections.
Pharmacists are also on the front line of “Antibiotic Stewardship.” Overuse of antibiotics in recent times has led to an ever-increasing plethora of drug-resistant bacteria. Pharmacists can save patients and the healthcare system money. Additionally, we are taking an active role in preventing future drug-resistant bacteria, while preserving the treatment options currently available. My first P4 rotation opened my eyes to the role of a modern pharmacist in a hospital setting and increased the likelihood that I will pursue a similar type of pharmacy specialty in the future.
Dr. Herdman: What did you enjoy most about this rotation?
Mike B.: I enjoyed seeing how pharmacists really are part of a comprehensive medical team. I liked seeing the role Dr. Robinson plays in helping improve drug use for CAMC patients, which helps them get better sooner.
Dr. Herdman: What was the hardest part of the rotation, especially since it was your first P4 rotation?
Mike B.: The hardest part was making the transition from what you read in a book, to interpreting therapy for each individual patient. Thankfully, Dr. Robinson was very patient and did a wonderful job teaching and bridging those gaps.
Dr. Herdman: I think UCSOP is very lucky to have an ID specialist on faculty. As a student, what do you think is the value to having Dr. Robinson as a teacher and preceptor?
Mike B.: There is no substitute for someone who is trained in the specialty you are having a rotation in! They provide so much great detail about the subject. Additionally, even if you don’t have Dr. Robinson for a rotation, you get to have her for class during your P3 year where she does a wonderful job teaching antibiotic therapy to the class!