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Pharmacy Leaders Podcast: Career Interviews and Advice

Apr 4, 2018

Jessica Sinclair is a University of Purdue alum working as a PGY-1 with the University of North Carolina. She is doing her community residency at RxClinic, a community pharmacy in Charlotte, North Carolina. In addition to retail pharmacy duties, Jessica also plays a part in performing MTMs, working at a local ambulatory pharmacy, and teaching fellow independent pharmacies how to better their clinical services.

DMACC Online Pharmacology Class

New Book Memorizing Pharmacology Mnemonics

 Full Transcript:

welcome to the pharmacy leaders podcast with your host Tony Guerra the pharmacy leaders podcast is a member of the pharmacy podcast network with interviews and advice on building your professional network brand and a purposeful second income from students residents and innovative professionals hey Tony here just wanted to let you know that I've got a new book out called memorizing pharmacology mnemonics and it's really meant to help you not only improve your memory but have better memory techniques as you're studying for the boards that are coming up this spring and also on teaching thr 185 pharmacology there's only ten spaces left for the summer session but it's completely online and you can find that at DMACC edu or just get in touch with me I'll put the links in the show notes hey welcome to the pharmacy leaders podcast today my p4 student Lindsay tillow from the University of Iowa's gonna take over interviewing Jessica Sinclair who was a pgy won at the University of North Carolina working at rx clinic she's a Purdue University grad so staying in the big ten so let me welcome Lindsay tillow jessica sinclair to the pharmacy leaders podcast so everybody is leadership route is a little different can you tell me a little bit about yours yeah so I would say my leadership style and the positions I obtained really started in pharmacy school and I I really saw that develop mostly in the teaching arena so I was a teaching assistant at the Purdue University retail pharmacy and that's really where I started to see my passion for helping students grow so we taught the p1 students how to counsel on prescriptions and a lot of them coming in didn't really know much about counseling so it was great to see them develop over the course of the semester because by the end of it they were just so confident in their skills and I feel like that is where I'm really passionate about leadership is instilling confidence in the upcoming generation of pharmacy and I really see that as an area that we need to focus on developing because the pharmacy field is changing really quickly so being able to keep up with that and help educate and mentor the incoming pharmacists is very important to me awesome so are you wanting to do something maybe in the future um like teaching at a pharmacy college or anything like that yes that's definitely a long-term goal of mine so I want to stay involved in teaching in some capacity throughout my career so going forward after the residency I will have my teaching certificate so I'd like to use that but also with my pharmacy we created an online school and as part of that I'm helping to educate even pharmacists on how to offer clinical services even in the community setting so I really get to be highly involved in teaching throughout my residency so that's been really rewarding for me and I've even been able to have it to a higher level than I expected because I knew I'd be precepting students and maybe even other residents helping them and teaching them but not really pharmacists so that was something that I definitely did not expect to have that's really neat I that's something I would have never even thought of potential so that's pretty neat so obviously you're in a community pharmacy what made you choose community pharmacy did you just not want to do hospital or was there something that was particularly interesting about community that you liked so early on in my pharmacy career I knew that I had a passion for developing relationships with others and I was trying to find a place or a setting where I could see that grow and flourish so I was looking more for the community or ambulatory care route because that's really where you start to see patients on a consistent basis because if you're in the hospital setting you don't want to see your patients more frequently than you have to but in the ambulatory care setting and unis saying it's really about learning more about the patients rather than just their medications or disease dates and how do we treat them on a more comprehensive level so I feel like I'm able to develop stronger relationships when I have those more frequent interactions with patients so I was really looking for a setting where I would be able to do that yeah I definitely understand that's kind of what drew me to community pharmacy as well as I love that patient relationship that you can develop yes so what made you choose doing a pgy one community residency as opposed to just entering into a community practice right off the bat yeah that's a question I get asked a lot especially during recruiting events for residency a lot of people are like why can't I just go into retail and start working there because I'll make a lot more money and that is true but what my residency really focuses on is trying to offer innovative services within the community setting so it's not about learning how to necessarily process the prescription really well or learn how to count pills really well it's more about trying to change the way others are viewing community pharmacy so that we can help move community pharmacy into a more clinical direction or helping to maximize processes or maybe just enhance the services that we offer at those sites okay that makes sense so obviously the University of North Carolina is one of the top-ranked residency programs do you have any recommendations for somebody looking to apply to the University of North Carolina so maybe not necessarily specific to North Carolina but I encourage all students to look early on and not too close yourself off to the residents he's out there and a lot of people they may think that the only thing they want to do is a specific area of pharmacy but if you open your eyes especially on your Appy rotations you'll find that you may be interested in things that you didn't think you would be originally and I've learned that the passions that I have don't necessarily come out in terms of opportunities the way I would expect and what I mean by that is a lot of the things that I'm really passionate about I find those through my residency but they weren't always in the same form or same shape that I expected them to be so definitely keep your mind open to all the opportunities and I think that'll help you grow even if it's not an experience that you expect to enjoy for the residents the application process definitely look early and start preparing in advance because there are a lot of pieces to the application that needs to be uploaded in forecast and you need to have letters of recommendation and giving the people in the process more time definitely helps it go more smoothly that's great advice and I really liked what you said about keeping your mind open during your ACP rotations because you are completely right there's been so many different change every time I have a rotation I'm like oh my gosh this is my favorite rotation no this one is my favorite rotation definitely keeping your mind open that's great advice yes I had a informatics rotation early on in my a year and then I was actually one of my favorite rotations but I remember learning it in school it was not interesting at all so that definitely changed my perspective well kind of transitioning into what Charlotte North Carolina is like why it was Oh what was that transition between Indiana and North Carolina like so in terms of the state I really enjoy the weather in North Carolina well Indiana was definitely a little bit colder and North Carolina it's just a beautiful state you have the mountains in Asheville and you have the Outer Banks for the beach so it's definitely the best of both worlds so I love that part of it but in terms of pharmacy it is fairly different so in North Carolina you have the opportunity to become a pharmacist practitioner and with that designation you're actually able to prescribe through a collaborative practice agreements so one of our pharmacists she actually is a CPP and she has recently started seeing patients for that so we're definitely seeing the shifts within the pharmacy field especially in North Carolina so I think things are a little bit more fast-paced in North Carolina which was something that I had to get used to when I moved here and especially with my sight things are definitely innovative and very progressive so I've had to learn how to adapt things quicker and see things transition more rapidly so that's been a great learning experience for me and I've definitely enjoyed the pace of pharmacy here that's good to know um so you said that North Carolina and this is something I've been reading about in North Carolina a lot that they have an opportunity for pharmacists to become practitioners basically and is that something that you're looking into doing as well so right now I will be starting at one of the clinics in Charlotte North Carolina is starting to offer chronic care management and also annual wellness visits and through that becoming a clinical pharmacist practitioner may be beneficial but really starting out it may take a little bit more time before I'm able to get that designation it is something that I'm considering but I'm also looking into the other certifications that are out there and there are still opportunities to practice on a clinical level even without that designation so I feel like there are a lot of opportunities and I'm still trying to figure out which pathway I want to pursue but that's definitely an option that I'm considering yeah I understand it's so is that part of the reason why you chose North Carolina residency over maybe some other residences yes I definitely wanted to move to North Carolina for several reasons but Pharmacy being very progressive in this state was definitely one of those reasons even neighboring states to North Carolina they may not be as progressive so it's definitely state specific and I would highly encourage people to look into their laws in the states that they're applying to especially if you're not region bound because the laws can be very different mm-hmm yeah so what what advice do you have for me or for other pharmacy students who are moving from the Midwest to the east coast so in general for the pharmacy like I said it's very fast-paced in North Carolina moving to the East Coast I don't know if I have recommendations specifically on with that but when you are going to a different state keep in mind what resources you have and your professors and all of the people you know there are definitely good resources and probably have contacts in the states which you're applying and they may have resources for you in terms of preparing for the MPGe in that state which can be a big piece to moving to another state you have to get licensed there so preparing for that and studying in a way that makes sense so you're not overloading yourself or trying to make your studying process a little bit more efficient it helps to have the resources that will allow you to study more efficiently yeah that makes sense that's kind of what I'm struggling with right now is definitely tell you that there are classes especially in North Carolina where they do have law review courses so that's good thank you so kind of switching it back up to talking about your residency can you tell me what a day of the life is like at rx clinic yes so that's actually one of the hardest questions for me to answer because at RX clinic pharmacy things are definitely moving at a very rapid pace and there are a lot of opportunities so my schedule is not the same from day to day but like I mentioned previously I will be starting with a new clinic to offer those services as a clinical pharmacist but I do staff one day a week two of my days I really focused on the clinic one day me maybe more related to admin and then I'll have another day for working on my UNC responsibilities so it's more kind of on a weekly basis is what it looks like in terms of a standard but really my residency focused more strongly on the community side in the beginning and then it transitioned into the ambulatory care during the second quarter and then the last quarter was really helping me to find opportunities that were related to my interest but would also help the clinic and the pharmacy grow sure which kind of which section which quarter did you like the best out of the community in the ambulatory um so I would say the second quarter was probably my favorite because that was when we first launched our online school so it's called the Avant Institute of clinicians and through that we are actually teaching other firms as how to offer clinical services and we host a boot camp where pharmacists come from all across the country to learn about that and I think seeing those pharmacies come in a lot of them were independent pharmacies where they were feeling really not not so great about how the pharmacy industry is looking and they were just saying I have so many burdens in terms of dir fees and reimbursement is declining for filling prescriptions and so it's really hard to survive as an independent pharmacy but by the end of that training you just see a light bulb pop on their heads and they just feel like pharmacy has so many opportunities and they can change the way that their pharmacy is heading to where it's in a more positive direction it helps the pharmacists grow helps the pharmacy with revenue and also contributes to the need for more primary care providers so it's definitely a rewarding experience and I've loved seeing all the pharmacies progressed through that and just as an example out of the eight pharmacies that we had that came to the first session in November 5 of them secured a clinical contract within a week so very successful and it was definitely rewarding to see that that's really neat yeah that sounds like something that's that could be really interesting and very helpful for those independent pharmacies I like that idea a lot so you're obviously your residency year is coming to a close you said that you're going to start working with a clinic do you have any other plans for after after you're done so my current plan is to stay involved with the pharmacy so my goal is to stay on with our clinic Pharmacy and also be involved with the residency going forward so playing a small role in teaching and also guiding the resident for next years so I may also be helping out with some of the UNSC responsibilities so kind of carrying over my role from this year to next year oh that sounds like a nice transition that'll be really nice for the next resident too to have heavy there to kind of help them transition as well so we kind of talked about your ultimate goal and how you're thinking about teaching but do you have plans any plans for for you know like your five-year plan or just kind of winging it sometimes changes and I know I want to pursue the BC ACP so board certified in ambulatory care pharmacy and possibly also my CBE so certified diabetes educator I really have a passion for treating patients with diabetes and I feel like it is a growing area and disease day unfortunately so we do need more healthcare providers to assist those patients and help them manage their own on disease states so definitely a passion of mine and something that I'd like to pursue so those are more of my short-term goals but yes long term trying to stay involved in teaching at least in some capacity and do you want to stay on the East Coast you're just going to kind of go wherever wherever you can find a place my plan is to stay in North Carolina I love it here and I'm not planning to move unless I have to that's good to know I keep I'm trying to decide if I want to get licensed in Iowa too because I'm like what if I hate it in North Carolina but everybody tells me that I will not hate it but it's always good to be licensed in your home state as well I did get licensed in Indiana too awesome that's great great to know that that's probably do you have anything else that you want to tell our viewers about or anything else that you'd like to talk about um I think just like I said be open to all of the opportunities that come up and this is true of whatever field you decide to pursue whether it's hospital ambulatory care community pharmacy there are so many opportunities out there and I encourage you to kind of think about what your interests are and it may just be a simple thing like I like making people happier just a trade or strength or something like yours and think about how those strengths fit into the position that you want to pursue so my desire to develop relationships with others that's really something that fits well into the ambulatory care and community settings so it makes more sense for me to pursue that type of career and it's not just that you wouldn't have those opportunities in another setting but just think about how your current interests and your values and everything fit into your career pathway and I think that will help you more align with what your ultimate goals are and will make you more happy in the long run that's great advice thank you well thanks for joining me on the pharmacy future the leaders podcast Jessica thank you so much support for this episode comes from good night pharmacology 350 brand and generic name drugs with classifications a leading resource for students in the United States United Kingdom and Australia print ebook and audiobook available on audible iTunes and thank you for listening to the pharmacy leaders podcast with your host Tony Guerra be sure to share the show with the hash tag hash pharmacy leaders [Music]