After sitting in a classroom for 5-years, it was finally time for me to start my Advance Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) rotations. Finishing up my last semester of classes, then immediately starting rotations sent me through a roller coaster of emotions; excited, scared, nervous, and so many more. I remember early in this last semester choosing my preferences and thinking that the Missouri Pharmacy Association (MPA) would be a unique experience I probably wouldn’t get anywhere else, so it went to the top of my list. After waiting, what felt like years, I got my final rotation schedule, and there it was; MPA was listed as my first rotation. I had only heard good things about this rotation site from students going through the program last year, but I still had the first day jitters when that start date came. What I didn’t know before coming to this rotation was that I was going to get two rotation experiences in one. I not only spent time in the MPA office, but I also got the opportunity to spend time with Dr. George Oestreich and Dr. Jennifer Kemp-Cornelius at G.L.O. & Associates. While there is a connection between the two different sites, the experiences associated with each were unique.
Missouri Pharmacy Association (MPA)
The Missouri Pharmacy Association (MPA) gave me a perspective on the pharmacy career I had never seen before. They work behind the scenes on legislative matters, such as granting pharmacists provider status and fighting to implement an electronic health record (EHR) between pharmacies throughout the state. While on this rotation I got the opportunity to write blogs for the MPA website and even get published in the Missouri Pharmacists Magazine. I attended meetings with Ron Fitzwater, the CEO of MPA, including those with the Missouri Board of Pharmacy and Missouri Pharmacists Care Network discussing new and exciting events coming up in the next year. I even got the chance to take a tour of the State Capitol, which surprisingly I had never done before considering I’m from a small town just outside of Jefferson City. Touring the Capitol gave me insight on what really happens with the government and how the history of our country is so important. I give huge thanks to the staff at the MPA for making me feel so welcome and taking the time to help me learn. Upon graduation I will definitely keep my membership with the MPA.
G.L.O. & Associates
It was a pleasure to work under Dr. George Oestreich and Dr. Jennifer Kemp-Cornelius at G.L.O. & Associates and see what else pharmacists can do besides work in a retail or hospital pharmacy. I was able to observe several Show Me ECHO pain clinics, the Missouri Medicaid Prior Authorization Committee meeting, participate in a Missouri Primary Care Association (MPCA) workshop for their FQHC pharmacies, and get insight on Xerox, which is more than just a printer brand.
At the Show Me Echo Clinic Dr. Oestreich would participate along with Dr. Haake who specializes in pain management, and Dr. Lillard a psychologist from LifeSong, to provide recommendations to other primary care physicians all over the state through telecommunication. It was interesting to see how doctors, pharmacists, and psychologists could work together as a team and develop recommendations for physicians to handle their hard to treat patients. When Dr. Haake would have questions for the pharmacist, I was able to help with the research and provided feedback.
The Missouri Medicaid Prior Authorization Committee meeting took place in Jefferson City, Missouri where I was able to attend with Dr. Kemp-Cornelius. This is an open meeting to the public that happens four times a year and discusses which medications should be on the preferred medication list of MO Medicaid. It was a great experience to see behind the scenes of how medications are put on this list and how some fail to make it. I witnessed how representatives of drug companies pleaded their cases as to why their medication should be added to the preferred list. To my surprise one of my professors, Dr. Patrick Bryant, was one of the pharmacists participating on the board, which I assume is because he’s a wizard at evidence-based medicine! It was great to see his work in action.
Like I said before, Xerox is much more than just a brand of printer. I was able to sit down with the project manager at the Jefferson City location and see how their whole corporation contributes to the pharmacy world. Xerox in basically the middleman between all MoHealthNet claims that are billed daily. Having a retail pharmacy background I was able to relate and see that Xerox was a part of my everyday work routine of sending claims for medications to insurance companies. It only takes a few seconds for the server to respond, which is simply amazing, since so much happens in that little amount of time.
I would highly recommend this rotation to any student pharmacist in the process of choosing their APPE’s. I definitely got more out of it than I expected, and appreciate all those who contributed to me be able to receive all of these experiences.
Pharm.D. Candidate 2016
UMKC – School of Pharmacy