A day in the life of a community pharmacy resident

October 15, 2011

For this community pharmacy resident, each day is filled with new challenges and diverse experiences.

Key Points

I chose to perform a community post-graduate year 1 (PGY1) residency for 3 reasons: to achieve my career aspirations, to work in public health, and to practice as a clinical pharmacist in the community.

I am a pharmacy resident at the University of Georgia, and my practice site is Barney's Pharmacy in Augusta, Ga. A community-based PGY1, as opposed to a hospital-based PGY1, has allowed me to explore new avenues of pharmacy-based care. In hospital-based PGY1 residencies, residents have the opportunity to rotate through different clinical services in a fashion similar to the way the fourth year of pharmacy school is conducted. For me, each day is filled with unique clinical experiences ranging from drug information to cardiology, allowing me to employ my passion for public health to make an impact on patients' lives.

My day is filled with diversity. Barney's Pharmacy has pharmacy students from 2 different colleges and from first to fourth year at our site. I have the opportunity to precept small groups with our students on a daily basis. This not only helps to improve my teaching skills; it keeps the pharmacists I work with current on the latest medical information.

For example, when FDA updated information about simvastatin with data from the SEARCH trial, the students and I took the opportunity to analyze the study and its recommendations.Afterward, we were able to disseminate that information to the pharmacists.

On the basis of the new research we discussed in the small-group setting, we were able to intervene in multiple drug interactions.

And in light of the impact of the new recommendations, we contacted a local cardiology practice to educate the providers there as well. Imagine the benefit to a patient's healthcare and to our business, now that a local cardiology practice is aware of the clinical pharmacy services offered at Barney's!

More direct care

With a resident on staff, the pharmacy is able to provide more direct patient care. I have a special interest in improving the lack of communication between patients and the rest of the healthcare team. So my time is dedicated to identifying and improving clinical outcomes.

Specifically, my presence as an additional pharmacist means that we are able to better connect the pharmacy, physician, and patient. I bridge the gap in the healthcare team, empowering patients and partnering with physicians. This is public health.

Case in point

For example, I was reviewing medications and noticed a patient who was prescribed furosemide, spironolactone, and potassium. Instead of approving the interactions or simply calling the physician without informing the patient, I was able to sit with the patient and discuss the situation. We talked about the interaction, and I explained why I was concerned.

The patient contacted the physician and presented the issue; the physician then partnered with me in the care of our patient. After reviewing our patient's labs, the physician accepted my recommendations for therapy and future follow-up. This successful intervention was possible because we had the staff (and resident) available, and we took the time to include the patient in her own care.

Looking ahead

I have many goals to complete during my residency tenure.

As I kept telling myself when I was finishing this article ... it has only been 2 weeks, and I have a year.

Imagine what we can accomplish each day.

Jake Galdois a community pharmacy resident in Augusta, Ga. He can be reached at john.a.galdo@gmail.com
.