Welcome to the Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy blog!

Friday, April 17, 2015

End of the Year Picnic

Every year we have a “Welcome Back” picnic and at the end of the year we have an “End of Year (EOY) Picnic”.  It is very important to attend both of these events because as a newcomer or a person leaving, networking and touching bases with your future co-workers is important.

My first year attending the picnic was very significant for me. Beginning pharmacy school was an overwhelming process for me. Being able to meet current students already in the program helped to ease my worries a little into starting my first couple of months.  Conversing with some of the students gave me an idea of what to expect and how to approach my beginning stages of pharmacy school. Not only was it effective to know more about the program that I was beginning to start, but as a P3 I am still friends with current and former students. One day soon I will be graduating from pharmacy school, being able to create relationships are important for networking and a possible opportunity to expand my career options.

The EOY picnic is definitely a much less overwhelming process because not only have I made it through the first year of pharmacy school, but it is close to summer break!  Spending time with classmates in school every day is different than hanging out with classmates outside of the school setting.  It is very important to create those relationships and friendships not only in a professional setting but in a personal setting.  These relationships that can be created can take you a long way in your journey as a future pharmacist professionally and personally.  So my advice is to have a great time and attend the picnics and other events, especially the EOY picnic, you never know where the road might lead you.

P3 - Class of 2016

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Preparing for Finals

My first semester in pharmacy school I was so nervous for finals week.  I had no idea how I was going to study for cumulative finals in multiple classes to be taken within the same week.  Throughout my time here at PC I have been able to talk with other students and professors to learn some helpful ways to study for finals.

The way PC sets up the curriculum, finals week is not a challenge course wise if you keep up with the material throughout the semester.  If you learn better by making flashcards or study guides, I recommend making them for each section you are learning at that time.  This will allow you to have the information in a condensed and organized form to study from.  The material really does build upon itself so if there is something you are unsure of when a professor is explaining it, do not be afraid to ask!  Clarifying material early on will help you to remember it better and have less to learn or relearn for when it comes time for finals.  I found that it is very beneficial to keep on top of your material.  For example, even if exams may not be cumulative throughout the year, go back and review previous material.  Doing so will help you study a little at a time instead of trying to study everything all at once for the final.

Finals week may be more stressful for some than others so take time out for yourself if you need to.  Go for a hike, see a movie, or have dinner with family and friends.  Pharmacy school is a wonderful time.  Try not to be too stressed when it comes to finals week, everyone here at PC is here to help!

P1 - Class of 2018

Monday, April 13, 2015

Third Year Competency Exam

As P3’s we are required to take the third year competency exam before we can move on to our P4 year and rotations. This is a way that we can show the knowledge and skills that we have accumulated over the past three years, and the professors can assess our competence for moving forward as practitioners. The TYCE is a three hour exam consisting of multiple hands-on sections, such as counseling and performing calculations. It is administered twice in one day, with a morning session and an afternoon session, and students are assigned a time to be there (either 9 am or 1 pm). This year, the TYCE will take place on Tuesday, April 7th.  I will be honest with you and say that I am a little nervous as we are about to go into the exam, but I hope that the things that I have learned over the past three years will “kick in” as I perform each section. As nerve-wracking as it is, I am glad that we are tested before moving on to rotations, as we will need to be able to perform these skills on a day-to-day basis. Wish us luck!

P3 - Class of 2016

Friday, April 3, 2015

Professor Spotlight

Hello everybody! Welcome to Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy’s student ambassador blog. Last month I wrote about one special faulty member and for the month of April I would like to do that again by spotlighting Dr. David Eagerton. He is just another amazing faculty member at the pharmacy school! Read my interview to learn more about him!

Question: “Share with me some things about your personal life.”

Response: “I grew up in a small town in South Carolina and moved to the Columbia area when I went to college. My wife is a pharmacist and I have 2 brothers that are physicians and 2 sisters who are also in healthcare.  This, along with my career in Forensic Toxicology has given me an interesting perspective on health care.”

Question: “Tell me about how you got to where you are today, I know your path to this pharmacy school is bit unique!”

Response: I have a B.S. in Biology form USC and was accepted to the USC College of Pharmacy.  After completing the first year, I decided that I wanted to focus on pharmacology and entered the graduate program at the USC College of Pharmacy where I earned my Ph.D. in Pharmacology.  After graduation, I was fortunate enough to get a job with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division as a Forensic Toxicologist.  Within a few years, I became board certified in Forensic Toxicology and shortly thereafter became the Chief Toxicologist and ran the toxicology lab for over 12 years before I retired from SLED and joined the faculty of PCSP.

Question: “Have you been involved with any research or ever been published?

Response: While I was at SLED, our focus was not on research, but now I have the opportunity to do many of the projects that I could not do there.  Much of my work has involved some aspect of forensic and analytical toxicology.  I have been fortunate to collaborate with some amazing clinical colleagues and have begun publishing in areas involving the effects of diet products, drug overdoses, and drug take back programs.  One of my interests is education about drug abuse.  I have had the opportunity to be involved in several programs here at PCSP which are instrumental in drug abuse education.  We have developed drug take back events here at PCSP and I have taken students to the Utah School on Alcohol and Other Drug Dependencies for the past 3 years.

I am also very involved with the use of simulation in pharmacy education.  We have developed a week-long course and several laboratories that involve the use of our high fidelity simulation mannequins.  I am also currently using our driving simulator to investigate the effect of ADD/ADHD medications on cognitive ability.

Question: “have you had the opportunity to travel or do any sort of mission trip?”

Response:  I have had the opportunity to travel to New Orleans, LA on a mission trip to help rebuild some of the houses that were devastated by Hurricane Katrina.  It was an incredible experience and I look forward to going on more.  Most of my service since the New Orleans has been more community-based which has also been very rewarding.  I have also had the opportunity to travel some for fun and have been to France, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Hawaii.  

Question: “Why in your opinion should a prospective student decide to come to Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy?”

Response: I think that students should choose to come to PCSP for many reasons.  I believe that we have developed a unique environment where students can grow and develop into world class pharmacists and community leaders.  We have unique faculty who have a variety of pharmacy and real life experience and are dedicated to teaching, scholarship, and service.  We have built a culture that encourages student interaction with the faculty, which is key to stimulating the growth of the students.   

By:  Rachel
P2 - Class of 2017

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Highlights of the Diverse World of Pharmacy

Pushing pills behind a counter may be one’s first inclination of a stereotypical pharmacist. Counseling patients and consulting with physicians, all while managing staff and checking prescriptions may be the typical tasks one may count off for a typical pharmacist. However, the world of pharmacy is more than typing on a keyboard and talking on the phone all day. There are many careers to explore within the realm of pharmacy, as I have experience in my premature tenure in pharmacy school. A pharmacist can work with radioactive material to help doctors diagnosis diseases, formulate compounds to avoid administration problems, work with law enforcement to solve criminal cases, and supervise pharmacies for the Board of Pharmacy, to ensure safe and legal practice. There are many more occupations a pharmacist can fill, but these were just a few of the exciting experience pharmacists have the capability of performing. I am excited to learn more about the options I can take to begin the path to my career in pharmacy.

P1 - Class of 2018

Monday, March 30, 2015

Summer Break

ENJOY IT!!!  Make sure you do tons of fun things this summer break, because this will be one your last real summer breaks.  Do not be bummed though, summer break during pharmacy school is still a time of much needed rest.  However, you might find yourself doing pharmacy related activities such as working 40 hours a week to accrue your 500 pharmacy related hours needed for the NAPLEX , or an internship with a specific company, or maybe you do a research internship, and possibly even a health related mission trip. 
Summers during pharmacy school are great and we all look forward to them, but they do not compare to the summer between undergrad and the start of pharmacy school.  SO LIVE IT UP!!!   If you have any questions about working during the summer to intern hours or any questions in general please feel free to email me at castaggs@presby.edu. 

P2 - Class of 2017

Friday, March 27, 2015

Summer Intern Opportunities at PCSP

One of the exciting opportunities that Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy offers is a competitive eight-week Pharmacy Research Summer Internship (PRSI). It is a privilege to have professors here at PCSP that are not only educators, but are also involved in various fields of research. Dr. Alfonso Romero-Sandoval, Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical & Administrative Sciences and also Director of Research, and the Office of Research have partnered with the University of Alcala (UAH) in Spain to offer the PRSI program both at the PCSP campus here in South Carolina and at the UAH campus in Spain. Pre-pharmacy undergraduate students, pharmacy students here at PCSP and students at UAH are invited to apply for the opportunity to be paired up 1:1 with a faculty member to receive mentoring, education, and paid research experience for eight weeks in June and July.

The program currently accommodates eight student research positions at the PCSP campus, two of which are reserved for students visiting from UAH in Spain to do their internship at PCSP. The program also presents the opportunity for two students to travel to Spain to carry out their internship at the University of Alcala. The benefits of participating in the PRSI are numerous, and extend to improving the odds of landing a residency after pharmacy school, as well as, obtaining pharmacy jobs. Faculty mentoring, confidence in the lab, and the networking experience that comes from presenting your work to other professionals are just a few of the other benefits of completing a Pharmacy Research Summer Internship. Applications are due March 13, 2015 and spots are competitive. So what are you waiting for?! Head over to the PCSP website and search under Departments to find the Office of Research. There, you will find the link on the left for the Pharmacy Research Summer Internship and the applications, as well as information about what type of research our faculty is involved in and how you can participate in that research. Good luck!

P1 - Class of 2018