The first few weeks of P4 rotations is complete, with students working at many rotation sites that are available to UCSOP students. For those of you unfamiliar with the term “rotation site,” think of it as on-the-job training. Students have the opportunity to work at a pharmacy or hospital; classrooms are available if the student is interested in teaching what they’ve learned. The experience allows students to hone their communication skills with patients, while helping fortify the teachings they received in the classroom setting. The goal of the experience is to expose students to their future jobs and responsibilities, with a safety net in the form of a preceptor.
Incoming students may be curious as to what rotation sites are available, and I know one of the first emails I sent as a pharmacy student was to the Experiential Experience Director asking what rotation sites I could look forward to. The director emailed me a rough list and although I had a few years before I could experience most of them, I felt excited and started my planning. At this point, I should clarify roughly how the process works. Students rank the rotations they want, and then a computer system utilizes a lottery-like algorithm to determine which student goes to what site. Therefore, there is a bit of randomness involved and nothing is truly certain.
Luckily the school has a very strong preceptor network, covering multiple different fields of pharmacy. Students interested in institutional environments like hospitals have options like the Cleveland Clinic, Indian Health Services, Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC), Cabell Huntington Hospital, Thomas Memorial Hospital, St. Francis Hospital, Highland Hospital, just to name a few. If students prefer to go into retail or community pharmacy, there is a plethora of rotations as well. These include CVS, Rite Aid, Walmart, Walgreens, and Kroger rotations, as well as many independently owned pharmacies that focus on compounding and home infusion products. UCSOP also has rotations specializing in academia, research, and industrial pharmacy. Opportunities for such rotations are available with professors at the school, but also with Mylan Pharmaceuticals, the drug manufacturer giant in Morgantown, WV.
This list only contains a few of the available rotation sites, as the UCSOP has sites as far west as Guam, Alaska, and New Mexico, as well as many in Chicago, Columbus, Maryland, Virginia, and Kentucky. There’s also the possibility of setting up a new rotation site as well, however this process may take a very long time, as the site must be qualified and inspected to ensure the school’s standards are met.
As a student who originally was worried about the available sites, I have come to realize that the only real limitation is the lack of time to experience them all. Looking at my current rotation schedule, I wish I could try a few more than just the eight I am current assigned.
Contributed by Peter Relvas, P4 student.