Peggy Malovrh Pharm.D., BCPS, Sparrow Hospital, Lansing
The annual MSHP Student Luncheon was held Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020, during the MPA Annual Convention & Exposition (ACE) in Detroit. With 130 registered, the function was well attended by student pharmacists from all three colleges of pharmacy in Michigan, as well as a few out-of-state students. Each table had the capacity of eight students and a MSHP leader. Students from each academic year of school participated and it was really nice to see the networking among schools and year of study.
Curtis Smith, current MSHP president, welcomed the student pharmacists and thanked everyone for coming. Guests at each table took some time to introduce themselves, share their personal career experience, and past experiences at the ACE meeting and MSHP student luncheon. The pharmacist table leader also shared their own career path, talking about pros and cons of their area of practice and how they ended up in their current position. There was lively discussion among the tables, including a great ice breaker of guessing the names of medication. Without peeking, a student would hold a card to their forehead containing the name of a medication. Clues were given until the medication was identified. It was very impressive, seeing the rapid discovery of the correct answer after only a few clues, even by the first-year pharmacy students.
During dessert and coffee, a serious conversation was held at my table on the under-staffing issues at larger pharmacies and how it impacts patients and pharmacists alike. The shortage of licensed technicians seemed to be a common denominator among the group. Maximizing technology and expanding technician roles were other identified solutions. Other tables discussed such topics as the opioid crisis, drug shortages and the impact on health care, provider status and collaborative practice agreements.
Before concluding, each table held a raffle for an Amazon gift card, and participants parted ways on a very positive note, many making arrangements to meet again later that evening during the Annual Awards Banquet through the Michigan Pharmacy Foundation (MPF) Adopt-A-Student program.
It was encouraging to hear all the student pharmacists voice their commitment to the profession and resolution to continue to be actively involved in local, state and national associations. Many students expressed interest in pursuing a residency and some were interested in learning more about fellowships with manufacturers.
Regardless of the various career paths, it was clear that all of these student pharmacists have a passion for patient care and making a difference in the lives of their patients.