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PCP Student Says 'Pharmacists Play Vital Role in Health Care'

By Lauren Whetzel-Siburkis

Deanna BauerleinAs a Philadelphia College of Pharmacy student, Deanna Bauerlein PharmD’16 witnessed the value of pharmacists playing a greater role in direct patient care. In fact, she even had the opportunity to administer a vaccine to a patient during a recent clinical rotation at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

"Because Veterans Affairs facilities operate under federal law, their pharmacists have the authority to prescribe patients’ medications and manage their chronic diseases,” said Bauerlein. “I shadowed a pharmacist who specialized in the therapeutic treatment of diabetes, so it was interesting to see him interact with his patients and prescribe medications to treat high blood pressure and cholesterol.”

By expanding the role of pharmacists in the healthcare setting, Bauerlein said she noticed that patients were more likely to understand their medications, ask questions about their health, and adhere to their therapeutic regimen.

The collaborative approach to healthcare delivery is a very familiar concept to Bauerlein. Over the past few years, she has participated in University of the Sciences ’interprofessional education program with Cooper Medical School of Rowan University and Cooper Health System. This program is available to approximately 30 pharmacy students per class and spans the first three professional years of the PharmD program at USciences.

During the program, Bauerlein and her PCP classmates worked alongside Cooper medical students to run several free community health clinics for low-income residents in Camden, as well as shadowed healthcare providers in various settings, such as a women’s health center, an HIV clinic, and a nursing home.

“This was an eye-opening experience because I interacted with Spanish-speaking patients and it really pushed me to try and break the communication barrier,” said Bauerlein. “I provided them with free healthcare, but they helped me gain practical skills that can’t be taught in the classroom.”

Bauerlein said she has taken full advantage of USciences’ resources by building strong faculty relationships, joining professional organizations on campus, mentoring younger pharmacy students, and participating in hands-on educational experiences, such as the Cooper program.

She especially values the advice and guidance she continues to receive from her faculty adviser, Dr. Anisha Grover, assistant professor of clinical pharmacy at USciences.

As for now, Bauerlein is set to begin her next rotation in the behavioral health unit at Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville, NJ, and is eager to graduate in the spring with her doctor of pharmacy degree.

Bauerlein discusses the most rewarding experiences from pharmacy school in this Pharmacy Times clip:

Categories: News, Feature Story, Student Profile, Students, Profiles, Proven Everywhere, Academics, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacy Practice, Pharmacy, Pharmacy Administration