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Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy
Zooming into 2021
by Sara Gardner, P2, President-Elect, SIUE School of Pharmacy
At the SIUE School of Pharmacy, our chapter of SSHP stayed virtually connected by taking part in several fun and informative events on Zoom throughout the Fall 2020 semester. Our residency “happy hours” were a hit, as always! At these sessions, faculty of the SIUE SOP shared their expertise about residency topics, including the processes of choosing and applying to residency programs, standing out as an applicant, CV review, interviewing, the match, and more. Our chapter also hosted a virtual residency panel, which consisted of PGY-1 pharmacy residents from several programs, including St. Luke’s Hospital, the St. Louis VA Healthcare System, HSHS St. John’s Hospital, and the University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy (UHSP) Community-based residency program. Students also had the opportunity to speak with a fellow from Agios Pharmaceuticals. The members of the panel discussed their path to residency and fellowship with students, and they held Q&A sessions in individual “rooms” on Zoom. This provided time for students to ask questions about specific programs and really personalized the experience for everyone. It was great to see that students ranging from P1s through P4s took part in this event. It is never too early to spark an interest in residency or fellowship!
Another pharmacy resident that we interacted with during the fall semester was Dr. Aakash Patel, a PGY-2 resident from HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, IL. Dr. Patel specializes in infectious diseases, and he graciously spent time giving an educational talk on Zoom about antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) during one of our chapter’s general meetings. This seminar was part of an exciting professional development project completed by our chapter’s President, Justin Shiau, and one of our chapter’s members, Ashley Wensing, with the guidance of several faculty advisors. Students who attended this virtual seminar had the option to complete a pre-quiz and a post-quiz to assess their understanding of AMS. They were also provided a curriculum handout, which included antimicrobial definitions and information such as antibiotic treatment guidelines, setbacks in antibiotic utilization, resources for students, etc. This seminar provided a thorough overview of how AMS is currently used in a clinical setting, along with its effectiveness in practice. Data collected from this project showed that students who attended the seminar and completed the quizzes earned more points on the post-quiz, showing the educational benefit provided by this project. As a P2 student who has not yet taken a therapeutics course covering infectious disease, I learned a lot of new information in this seminar, and it left me with a greater understanding and appreciation for AMS. Our President, Justin, presented a poster describing this project at ASHP’s Midyear Clinical Meeting - virtually of course! Justin, Ashley and our faculty advisors did a great job on this project, and our chapter looks forward to expanding upon it in the future.
Another annual event that our chapter successfully transitioned to a virtual format was the SSHP Clinical Skills Competition (CSC). This competition is open to all SSHP student members, and is designed to test their problem-solving skills in several areas to evaluate patient drug therapy problems. Participants in this competition were provided patient information, and they were given a 2-hour time period to complete a Patient Care Plan (PCP) with a partner over Zoom. Later, the teams gave 10-minute virtual presentations to a panel of judges and received feedback. Our chapter congratulates Melinda (Molly) Jorns and Kristen Engelhardt (P4 students) on winning the local competition! They represented SIUE at ASHP’s Midyear Clinical Meeting this year, and we are very proud of them!
While the fall semester of 2020 was certainly much different for our student organization than we could have anticipated, we made the most out of a virtual platform and enjoyed networking with one another and professionals within our beloved world of pharmacy. Members of our chapter are looking forward to events in the spring, such as our Mock Clinical Skills Competition, the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) Clinical Research Challenge, ICHP’s virtual spring meeting, and other exciting events. We anticipate that many of our chapter’s activities will continue to be virtual in the coming months, and together, we will successfully Zoom into the new year!