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Dr. Amin and Dr. Soric

Pharmacy Faculty Adapt to Virtual Learning During COVID-19

05/28/20

Categories: College Update, Faculty Pride

In light of COVID-19, the College of Pharmacy had to quickly adapt its curriculum to a virtual setting. Kunal Amin, BSPS, Pharm.D., RPh, Director of Clinical Services at NEOvations Rx and Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice, and Mate Soric, Pharm.D., BCPS, FCCP, Chair and Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice, created virtual APPEs and syllabi to adapt during the pandemic. Advancements in technology made this all possible.  Services such as Zoom, Doximity, Microsoft OneDrive, and EHRGo, a virtual electronic medical record to assign cases. A majority of the work could be done remotely and students could work as teams on projects at the same time using cloud-based technologies, such as Microsoft OneDrive.

Students are were on Zoom meetings with Dr. Amin for several occasions: (1) with patients doing MTMs, 2) faculty meetings or committee meetings, 3) new and existing client meetings for business development and reporting, 4) grading assessments, 5) topic discussions weekly, and 6) bi-weekly 30 minute updates for individual and group projects.

Rotation Experiences

Drs. Amin and Soric could schedule MTMs conducted via telehealth using Zoom. Students were also able to schedule and complete MTMs with patients remotely. Pharmacists and preceptors could set up zoom meetings at scheduled times and Dr. Amin could remotely precept and supervise students while doing MTMs.

There were multiple projects (individual and group) that were assigned to students for the ease and flexibility of scheduling. Individual projects helped students manage their time in between scheduling and conducting MTMs. Group projects allowed students to develop managerial skills, teamwork, and communication skills (especially when working with students with different career paths, different backgrounds and different skill sets). Meetings were scheduled to review and check-up on students’ progress on projects.

To mimic patient care rounding and case presentations, the College utilized EHRGo, a virtual electronic medical record to assign cases. Students presented each case to the group and the preceptor could probe with additional questions, assess the students care plans, and observe their critical thinking, much like it would be done on a traditional rotation.  In addition to virtual rounds, students were rotated through various ECHO clinics with Dr. Sara Dugan to experience interprofessional interactions with providers from around the state and country. Disease state topic discussions, drug information papers, journal clubs, and rotation evaluations were completed the same way they would have been conducted on a typical rotation.

Topic Discussions

Every week there was a topic discussion on various pharmacology and pharmacy related topics, such as heart failure, asthma/COPD, diabetes, pharmacy law, and immunizations. Topic discussions prepared students for the NAPLEX and trained them to be practice ready. As P4 students graduate and enter the workforce after a quick year of rotations, it is important for them to gain confidence and skills they can utilize to implement patient care processes. Topic discussion helps refresh the knowledge base they already learned during pharmacy school.

Faculty Meetings & Academia

Students could experience service components of academia by attending various faculty and committee meetings. Many times, students are unaware of the service and scholarship component of faculty roles. Having exposure to these meetings helped them understand a full picture of faculty roles, their developments, and how they integrate back to the profession of pharmacy.

Students assisted in grading various pharmacy skills assessments and got an understanding of the behind the scenes of teaching and how patient cases are developed and rubrics and keys are put together for those cases.

Presentations

Students were expected to do a 30-minute presentation (last week of rotation) on a topic that is decided at the start of the rotation. Virtual presentations through Zoom made it possible and also allowed more attendees from various rotations.

Business Development

Students could work with Dr. Amin through zoom meetings on developing new business ideas, attending virtual meetings with current clients when giving them monthly briefing and reporting. Similarly, students could attend meetings with potential new clients for new contracting whenever possible.

 

A special thanks to Drs. Scott Wisneski and Liz Fredrickson for hosting a Hospital Week and an Academia Week for the APPE students, respectively.  During these weeks, students presented on hospital leadership- and operations-related topics and learned about life as a faculty member.

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