Many of you already have a plan for where you want to practice as a pharmacist. That’s fine, but keep an open mind, said Louis Barone, Pharm. D., associate professor of pharmacy practice, in accepting the Dean’s Leadership Award at the College of Pharmacy White Coat ceremony Monday, Sept. 17. Dr. Barone was addressing the 92 first-year students in the Class of 2022 cohort who had assembled for the exhilarating and daunting event to symbolically don a white coat for the first time.
President Jay A. Gershen, D.D.S., Ph.D., welcomed excited friends and family members, faculty and students to the NEOMED Education and Wellness (NEW) Center Grand Ballroom for the much-anticipated ceremony. Richard Kasmer, Pharm. D., J.D., dean of the College of Pharmacy, greeted the students and introduced the day’s keynote speaker, Antonio Ciaccia, who challenged the students to make their own opportunities.
“What’s the dumbest question in pharmacy?’’ Ciaccia asked, rhetorically. The answer, he said is a line routinely uttered at the checkout counter, “Do you have any questions for the pharmacist?’’
You can provide better care, Ciaccia told the students, if you
- Don’t lose your empathy
- Put your patient first
- Speak out if you see something wrong
- Be an advocate with lawmakers and patients alike
- Treat everyone with decency
Students Coating Students
Students chose four of their peers from the College of Pharmacy Class of 2021 for the honor of ‘’coating’’ each member of the Class of 2022 as they processed onstage to the sound of their name being called by Sandra Emerick, Ed.D., chief student affairs officer. Coaters for the College of Pharmacy were Nuur Alkenany, Ashley Brooks, Kevin King and David Whipkey.
Alumna Megan Elavsky, Pharm. D. (’15), BCPS, now a clinical assistant professor at West Virginia University School of Pharmacy and a family medicine clinical pharmacist at WVU-University Town Center, told the students that she hadn’t gotten her first choice of residencies. (Back to Dr. Barone’s advice—keep an open mind.) She discovered from that experience that change was necessary for growth and success, Dr. Elavsky said.
Her final advice to the first-years? Find a mentor. Wisdom, insight and feedback from them will help you make the most of the changes that are certain to come.