The growing field of pharmaceutical science exists in industry, clinical, and retail areas of practice. Michael Flacco, Jr., PharmD’15, intends to illuminate this field for its future prospects through a guest lecture series at several area high schools.
Flacco presents the elements of clinical pharmacokinetics as an example of hands-on academia in the workplace. Blending calculus with an understanding of clinical practice, he discusses the importance of area under the curve (AUC) in designing effective dosing strategies.
“I want kids to realize the material their teachers deliver is useful—that what they are learning has significant potential for a real-world application if they interpret that data in a context,” said Flacco.
Clinical pharmacists work with a variety of patients and health professionals to monitor the role of prescriptions in a treatment plan. Successful care requires individualized dosing adjustments, a lengthy process involving numerous tests to predict their suitable levels. Dosages above an individual’s range have the potential to cause side effects, while amounts below this point will elicit no effect at all.
Interpreting the results of an AUC can be used to find that therapeutic range without additional costs or testing procedures. As a result, clinical pharmacists are turning to this straightforward method to manage their treatment.
Transferring this and similar examples into the classroom, as Flacco’s project does, is an inventive approach inspiring the curiosity of young students.
Flacco relays considerable student interest on the topic, mainly in their reaction to previously unknown options in pursuing a future in pharmacy. By reaching out to these high school programs, he is able to show students the instrumental role of academics in industry applications.
“There is more to pharmacy than a white coat with a bottle. I have always been interested in medicine and am particularly passionate about helping others,” he notes.
Flacco is considering the possibility of a teaching rotation before the completion of his degree, and intends to continue his lecture series with other high school calculus programs.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.