UCSOP Class of 2018 Hosts Health Fair at Local Pharmacy

Starting this fall the Class of 2018 has set out to reinforce the vision of the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy, which is to provide optimal healthcare to patients in rural Appalachia and other areas. The Class of 2018 has met this vision this semester by hosting a health fair at the Family Life Pharmacy in Comfort, West Virginia. This pharmacy serves a very rural part of West Virginia and gave us the opportunity to touch many patients lives that may not have the means of accessing health care on a regular basis.

Throughout the day we offered blood sugar and blood pressure checks, along with general information on diseases and ways to stay healthy. We also had the privilege of a local nurse participating in the fair and giving out flu shots to any patients who wanted them. All of the patients we interacted with that day really seemed to enjoy our company and information they received.

I personally participated in this activity and by doing so I feel as though I learned some great skills that I can apply to my future in pharmacy. We all learned how to effectively deliver medical information in a way that made sense to the patients. One of the more difficult parts of the day  was adjusting to accommodate the elderly patients. All of the student pharmacists had to come up with a way to aid in patient care with those who may not hear or see as good as they used to. This can be a real challenge when trying to accurately deliver or obtain information.

In total we interacted with around sixty patients throughout the day. We are hoping to make this a routine health fair and would love to see it happen multiple times throughout the year. In the upcoming semester the Class of 2018 along with a health fair is trying to organize a golf tournament for a local charity. We not only want to touch the lives of patients by interacting with them directly, but we also want to help the organizations that aid patients with chronic diseases provide better services and also monetary support. Our hope with doing activities in our community is that we can at least make a difference in one patients life if not many. If we can make a difference in a patient’s life, then that makes everything we are doing worthwhile.

Contributed by: David Poe (President, class of 2018).Poe, David

Pharmacy School Application Deadline Extended

Great news! It’s not too late to apply to the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy! Students wishing to start in Fall 2016 (Class of 2020) still have time to apply!

deadlineThe deadline to submit your PharmCAS Application to the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy has been extended to March 1, 2016.  You can begin your PharmCAS Application today by visiting http://www.pharmcas.org.  

In addiition, Pearson recently announced the addition of new February PCAT Testing dates for 2016.  This testing block will be from February 1 – February 12.  The UCSOP will be accepting February 2016 PCAT scores for 2015-2016 applicants.  

Registration is open now through January 28th. Seating is limited for these new dates and will fill up fast.  Be sure to register now to secure your seat.  The next PCAT Testing Block is not until July 2016. 

For more information about the PCAT visit:  http://pcatweb.info/

Don’t miss your opportunity to join the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy Class of 2020!

Not sure if you should start Fall 2016 or Fall 2017? Have questions about the application process or prerequisites? Let us help!  We are happy to provide courtesy transcript evaluations and consultations to help guide you through every part of the admissions process.  Contact: Ms. Stacie Geise, Director of Pharmacy Recruitment and Admissions Today at (304) 357-4889 or staciegeise@ucwv.edu

A Book Review of Antibiotics Simplified, 3rd Edition by Jason Gallagher and Conan MacDougall

A Book Review of Antibiotics Simplified . . . 

Author: Lindsay Acree, PharmD, AE-C

Corresponding Author: Marco Custodio, PharmD Candidate Class of 2016

Antibiotics Simplified Third Edition provides a practical reference and overview of anti-infective classes for pharmacy students and residents through 6 pathogen-directed sections further divided into 45 concise, reader-friendly chapters. This book is intended to supplement the myriad information taught in pharmacology and pharmacotherapy courses. Compared with other texts on antibiotics, this book is strategically shorter as it may be easily toted as a quick reference guide. The chapters within this book are formatted to include sections that denote agents in the respective class; an introduction; mechanism of action; spectrum; adverse effects; important facts; what they are used for, where agents’ places in therapy are stated; and a “Don’t Forget” section that lists pertinent clinical pearls of the class or agents therein.

51O021a2EPL._SX310_BO1,204,203,200_Part 1 acts as an introduction to microbiology. Chapter 1 identifies microbes and laboratory tests of interest to healthcare professionals. A flow chart is included as well as a brief, general description of how the tests differentiate various pathogens. Chapters 2,3, and 4 discuss differences between prophylactic, empiric, and definitive therapies; some ADME properties; and pharmacodynamics vocabulary, respectively. This section is ideal for students that are unfamiliar with the topics as they are used throughout the text. Universal tips are provided in order to limit ADRs and resistance in Chapter 5.

Part 2 covers antibacterial drugs in Chapters 6-20. Chapter 6 covers the beta-lactam antibiotics. There are useful graphics utilized to display the spectrums of activity between classes of penicillins as well as between generations of cephalosporins. This chapter touches on some significant ADRs like cross-sensitivity. As a quick reference by class, this part does an exemplary job of noting major ADRs along with some key dosing and bioavailability concerns.

Part 3 details antimycobacterial drugs. Chapter 21 is an introductory section that provides ground knowledge necessary to understand the sites at which these agents act. There are beneficial suggestions provided to alleviate ADRs and Patient concerns throughout this part.

Part 4 discusses antifungal agents. This section also provides valuable classifications of various fungi in the introduction section that allows for generalized terms to be used within the spectrum of action areas. The author continues to take a practical approach by addressing agents that are most commonly used.

Part 5 focuses on antiviral agents. This section has numerous areas in which the author admits that in-depth discussion is omitted as they are beyond the scope of this particular text. There is a website provided to the reader that details current information more completely. This section does, however, offer a general approach to viral diseases complete with ADRs and toxicities associated with select agents.

Part 6 deals with antiparasitic agents. The author does take the time to mention disease states that are resultant from select pathogens in this section. The ADRs are very thorough and well explained. The individual agents are selected out based on whether or not they are preferred therapy to a great extent in this part.

The book offers a great resource for intended readers, but the reader may benefit from a discussion of pathogens and their respective disease states. Many bacteria are mentioned within the spectrum of activity, but their respective conditions are not always explicitly stated. It may be beneficial to move Appendix 3 into its own chapter within Part 1.

Antibiotics Simplified Third Edition would be an excellent supplemental text in two capacities. The text could be used for students prior to infectious disease courses in order to gain familiarity with the material before a more in-depth lecture is provided or as a quick reference guide for students and residents. The text offers sufficient information to act as a refresher, and Appendix 2 succinctly summarizes the teachings of the book in 2 tables that display appropriateness of agents for empiric therapy. This book would benefit students and serves its purported purpose.

UCSOP Kicks off Script Your Future Medication Adherence Campaign

January 19, 2016 through March 18, 2016 an interdisciplinary student team from pharmacy, physicians assistant, and other health professions from the University of Charleston will kick off a series of community outreach activities through West Virginia to raise awareness about the health consequences of not taking medication as directed. They will join with health professions students across the country in the 2016 Medication Adherence Team Challenge, a two month-long inter-collegiate competition among health profession student teams and faculty for creating solutions to raise awareness about medication adherence as a critical public health issue. The Challenge, coordinated by the National Consumers League (NCL), America’s pioneer consumer group and the lead organization on the national Script Your Future campaign, is returning to university campuses across the country, this year for two months, after four years of successful student innovation.

SYFchallengeinfographic #1 2016[2]

About the Challenge: The Challenge is part of Script Your Future, a campaign launched by the National Consumers League and partners in 2011 to combat the problem of poor medication adherence. In the United States, nearly three out of four patients do not take their medication as directed. The campaign focuses on three disease states—diabetes, cardiovascular, and respiratory. All of these disease states are among the leading causes of hospitalization in West Virginia.

“In 2013 and 2015 our students received national recognition from the National Consumers League for their efforts in educating West Virginians about the importance of medication adherence and managing chronic disease,” said Dr. Susan Gardner, UCSOP’s Assistant Dean for Professional and Student Affairs. “Our students are committed to educating the public and conducting medication adherence and disease management outreach activities that reach individuals in both urban and rural areas.”

Our 2016 Script Your Future Activities: Activities will be coordinated by pharmacy students including health fairs, educational outreach activities, and public service announcements on radio and television through West Virginia January 18-March 18, 2016. Pharmacy students, pre-pharmacy students, athletic training and physician assistant students will be partnering to deliver education and health screenings at various locations throughout the state. In addition, through a partnership with Fruth Pharmacy, mediation adherence information will be distributed with prescriptions at all Fruth locations during February 2016. For a comprehensive list of events CLICK HERE.

“There are many reasons why people don’t take their medicine as directed, but the consequences for patients are the same,” said Michelle Easton, Dean of the UC School of Pharmacy. “Nonadherence puts patients, especially those with chronic conditions, such as diabetes or asthma, at risk for serious complications.” Students, faculty and staff at the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy are encouraging EVERYONE to take the pledge to take their medications as prescribed. Take the PLEDGE NOW!

SYF challenge3

For more information about our Script Your Future Activities or to schedule an event at your location or with your organization, contact: Dr. Susan Gardner, 304-357-4879, susangardner@ucwv.edu.

 

 

Interview Advice from Our Director of Pharmacy Admissions

CaptureYou have studied and you have tested and finally the BIG day has arrived. It’s your interview day!

Interview candidates are pre-screened for GPA and PCAT scores. Many admissions committees review personal statements and letters of recommendation prior to inviting students to campus for interviews. You’ve made the initial “cut” but what should you expect from the interview process?

Geise

Ms. Stacie Geise, Director of Pharmacy Recruitment and Admissions

Many schools have a structured interview process. For example, at UCSOP we have a structured interview process that pairs each candidate with a team of two to three interviewers. At least one member of the team is a full-time faculty or staff member in the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy. The other interviewer might be a preceptor or other health care professional. The interview itself is 20-25 minutes with five minutes reserved for your questions. The interview process is designed to allow the interviewers to get to know you better.

At UCSOP, and at most schools, interviewers are looking for your ability to think critically and solve problems. They are also evaluating your commitment to pharmacy, knowledge of pharmacy (especially current events and issues), communication skills, citizenship, and motivation.

Interview Preparation Tips:

  • Be prepared to talk about why you want to become a pharmacist. Avoid the patent answer: “Because I don’t like blood but I still want to help people.” Is someone in your family a pharmacist? Was there an experience that led you to your career choice? Is there a current event that sparked your interest?
  • Identify two current events related to pharmacy— whether its oxycodone use/abuse, medical marijuana, or medication adherence—and inform yourself about these issues so that you can speak about them intelligently during the interview. Consider what you know about pharmaceuticals or legislation pertaining to the field of pharmacy or break-throughs in drug innovation. Show the interviewers that you are aware that the world is happening.
  • Identify examples— from your experiences that you believe highlight your involvement on your current campus or within your community. Share how those experiences have helped you solve problems or work through adversity. Be sure to discuss a variety of experiences including: work or job experiences, leadership roles, community service, and campus involvement.
  • Research the school. Try to find one of two things that you can talk about that set this school apart in your mind and be prepared to discuss why you are interested in attending. Is it the location? NAPLEX passing or residency placement rates? Opportunities for research or a dual degree? Opportunities for research, advocacy or professional involvement? Do you know someone who attends or attended the school?
  • Focus on doing your best. Dress as if you are going to a job interview. Remain calm. Check the mirror. Shake hands. Make eye contact. Introduce yourself. Talk with other candidates but do not feel you need to dominate the conversation. Smile!
  • Prepare questions. If students are a part of the interview process, ask them for their opinion about the curriculum, location etc… Ask why they selected this institution. Ask about extracurricular and leadership opportunities. Current students are the best mirror into the program.
  • Say Thank You! When possible, send a written thank you after the interview if you have the contact information for your interviewers.

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As you are preparing for your on-campus interview, please remember the saying: “You never have a second chance to make a first impression.” Many times, your interview will be the first impression that you are making at your potential home for the next four years. How you dress is part of what communicates who you are and how serious you are about becoming a pharmacist. Before leaving for the BIG interview, there are many things to consider when choosing the perfect outfit!

What is appropriate?

  • As you are preparing for your on-campus interview, please remember the saying: “You never have a second chance to make a first impression.” Your interview many times will be the first impression that you are making at your potential home for the next four years. How you dress is part of what communicates who you are and how serious you are about becoming a pharmacist. Before leaving for the BIG interview, there are many things to consider when choosing the perfect outfit!
  • Remember to polish your shoes. Women should choose heels of moderate height.
  • If you are wearing a belt it should match your suit or match your shoes.
  • Have a well-groomed hairstyle. It should be in a natural color (i.e. not blue or green, etc…).
  • Facial hair should be neatly trimmed.
  • Finger nails should be clean and trimmed. If painted, must be in a natural or neutral color.
  • Wear minimal cologne or perfume.
  • Wear minimal jewelry and eliminate jewelry that makes a lot of noise. One ring per hand, for example. You should have no visible piercings- except earrings for women.
  • Please make sure your teeth are brushed teeth and you have fresh breath. This is especially important if you have eaten breakfast and/or sipped coffee on your trip to campus.
  • Do not chew gum or have candy in your mouth during your interview.
  • Use conservative make-up techniques and cover any visible tattoos.
  • Make sure that nothing is low cut on top or too short on the bottom. You should be able to lean over and/or cross your legs without showing off your entire body.

SNPhA Region I & II Conference Coming to Charleston

max your potential_logo.jpgOn behalf of the University of Charleston school of Pharmacy SNPhAmily, Our SNPhA chapter would like to welcome every pharmacy student and pharmacist to the city of Charleston and the 2016 region I & II conference. It is with great honor to have the opportunity to host the next SNPhA regional conference and introduce you to the beautiful city of Charleston, WV. As every pharmacy student and pharmacist take part in making the pharmacy profession, the healthcare system and community better, we hope this will be an opportunity for each pharmacy student to learn, connect, and most importantly, “Maximize your Potential.”

The conference will be taking place at the Marriot Town Center in downtown Charleston. Shuttles will be provided by the hotel in terms of requests to pick up students or pharmacists from the airport. Motivational speakers, Dr. Mordecai Brownlee and Dwayne Bryant are looking forward to bringing out the best in every student pharmacist and pharmacist. In addition, our “Casino” themed party is sure to bridge the gap between professionals and students in a very welcoming atmosphere. Lastly, we are putting together workshops with a goal in mind to enrich every student’s mind about subjects that would contribute to their growth. There will be endless opportunity for everyone to perhaps meet their future boss or company and we encourage everyone to travel to the conference with their business cards, ready to connect. And although this conference may be mostly geared towards pharmacy students, another portion of the conference is also designed with CEs to encourage every pharmacist in the field to continue being the best at patient care and continue to be informed in this forever-changing healthcare world.

We have worked effortlessly for the past few months to put together the most beneficial workshops, socials events, and CE’s to allow all pharmacy students and pharmacists to learn and share something new. We hope everyone will take the time to fully participate in all events and will be able to take away something significant and memorable to make the world, as future and current pharmacists, a better place to live in.

We are truly excited to see you all on April 1st -3rd in Charleston at the Marriot Town Center Hotel and we look forward to meeting, mingling, and learning with all of you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MV9qZj4_q2s 

To register for the conference, click here. Attendees registered for the conference can book a room at the Marriott Town Center (where the conference is taking place) by calling and mentioning the SNPhA Conference: 304-345-6500 or 1-800-228-9290.

About SNPhA

SNPhA, the Student National Pharmaceutical Association, is a group of educated pharmacy students, concerned about pharmacy, healthcare issues and the poor minority representation in healthcare. As a result, we are known to “serve the underserved.” Our mission is to plan, organize, and execute programs directed towards the improvement of health, education and social environment of the community.

Every year, SNPhA National gives through competition, an opportunity to two of their school chapters in regions across the country the privilege to be the host of one of the most meaningful experiences as pharmacy students. The SNPhA regional conference is an event for every pharmacy students and pharmacists to learn, grow and connect in the outside, all to ultimately forge great and knowledgeable pharmacists. This year, the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy was chosen to host the Region I & II conference in April 2016.

Contributed by: Loic Noubossie, Class of 2018, SNPhA President

Learn more about UCSOP’s Fellows Program

The UCSOP Fellowship Program is a scholarship and leadership skills development program awarded to a maximum of 10 incoming UCSOP students each year.These students have demonstrated potential to achieve outstanding leadership and success in the pharmacy program.

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“Being a UCSOP Fellow has provided me with an exciting array of opportunities in pharmacy school, such as developing leadership skills and participating in various on-campus activities. It is also rewarding to be able to help incoming students as part of the Fellows’ activities. These experiences, along with the scholarship, have enhanced my learning and growth and UCSOP.” -Anojinie Karunathilake (Class of 2017)

Students participating in the Fellows Program benefit in several ways, including receiving a scholarship with a maximum of $15,000 annually, which is renewable for up to three years if the student continues to meet all requirements while in the program.

School of Pharmacy students, meeting the selection criteria, will be offered an invitation to apply for the fellowship program. The application process includes a phone interview and an essay.

The selection criteria includes:

  • Cumulative GPA of 3.25 or greater
  • PCAT composite score of 50 or greater
  • Interview at the UCSOP by January of the application year
  • Satisfactory interview scores

In addition to the fellowship funding, Fellows are engaged in activities that:

  • Develop leadership skills and abilities
  • Positively advocate for both the profession of pharmacy and patients
  • Make significant contributions to the community
  • Provide a platform to effectively represent the School of Pharmacy and the profession of pharmacy.

 

As a first year student, some of the Fellows activities include:

Recruitment:

  • Participate in Interview Days and USCOP Open House Events
  • Represent the UCSOP during the AACP Virtual Fair
  • Communicate with incoming students
  • Assist in managing social media sites for recruitment

P1070579Professional Development:

  • Participate in state, regional, and national pharmacy conferences
  • Attend an annual leadership conference for student pharmacists
  • Attend leadership luncheons
  • Peer mentorship experiences

Annual Project:

  • Provide support to the Fellow’s annual service project
  • Plan and execute an event for UC Pre-Pharmacy students
  • Serve as Camp Counselor for the week-long ExRx Summer Camp for high school and undergraduate students

Organizational/Other:

  • Assist at alumni events and with special guests on campus
  • Attend membership meetings
  • Uphold assigned organizational responsibilities

Throughout the program, Fellows will also:

  • Assist with Pharmacy 501L
  • Visit national associations in Washington, DC
  • Coordinate a convocation session
  • Participate in scholarship/research project

For more information about UCSOP or the Fellows Program, contact: Ms. Stacie Geise, Director of Pharmacy Admissions and Recruitment, 304-357-4889.