Pharmacy News

Entries for August 2018

Rotations: Are They Really as Scary as You Think?

By Taylor Roberts, Pharm.D. candidate 2019, Ferris State University College of Pharmacy, Grand Rapids

What makes starting P4 rotations so nerve-racking? Is it the feeling you don’t remember anything from the first three years of pharmacy school? Or is it the fear of not knowing what to expect? Now that I am over two months into my P4 rotations, I conclude that it is a combination of both. All pharmacy students have their own perception of what they think rotations will entail. Some think it will be the best, most relaxed year of pharmacy school, while others think of it as preparing them for a residency. In my case, I didn’t know what to think. I had this vision in my mind that I was supposed to know everything I had ever learned, and I had to answer questions from physicians, preceptors and other peers right on the spot. I also thought it would be like working, that I would come home after my day and be able to enjoy my evening and not have anything to work on. I soon came to find out that my vision of P4 year was far from the truth and was a lot more work than I anticipated.

As I sat waiting to meet my preceptor in the lobby of the hospital on my first day of P4 rotations, I began to reminisce about the past three years of pharmacy school and thought about how it seemed like just yesterday I was starting my P1 year. I thought about a conversation I had a couple years prior with a friend. We had just finished our last final exam of P1 year, and I had never felt prouder of myself than I did in that moment. I turned to her saying, “I cannot believe we are done with our first year of pharmacy school!” To which she responded, “Yeah, but this just means people expect us to know more now.” This statement never felt truer than it did that Monday morning as I sat in the lobby waiting. I was afraid that I did not know enough from the past three years.

However, in no time at all, I settled in to my first rotation, and my fears of P4 year began to subside. I realized that it was okay to not know every answer right away, that Lexicomp® and treatment guidelines were my best friends, and most importantly, I realized that I did remember more from the past three years than I originally thought. However, the moment that made me realize that I could make it through this last year, and that I could be a pharmacist, was after I made my first recommendation. I was looking over a STEMI patient’s discharge medications. I noticed he was on all the core medications a typical STEMI patient should be on, except for an ACE inhibitor. After extensively searching the patient’s chart, as I wanted to make sure I did not miss any information stating why he was not on one, I brought it up to a pharmacist. We contacted the physician, and as a result, he added lisinopril to the patient’s list of discharge medications. At that moment, I knew I was going to make it through my P4 year.

My advice to pharmacy students nervous about starting rotations is to trust yourself. You know more than you think you know. Your P4 year is a learning experience. You will make mistakes, you won’t know everything and you will get questions wrong, but that is what rotations are for. Ask plenty of questions, review old notes, work hard and remember that your preceptors are your friends, not enemies.


Posted in: Member News
MSHP Residency Committee Updates

By Alison Lobkovich, Pharm.D., PGY2 ambulatory care pharmacy resident, Detroit Medical Center, MSHP Residency Committee co-chair

Across the country, fourth year pharmacy students interested in pursuing a residency are faced with the daunting task of navigating the residency pool to identify high-quality programs that best suit their needs. In 2018, there were 31 American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP)-Accredited post-graduate year one programs that participated in the match from the state of Michigan.1 While students from the local colleges of pharmacy are likely more familiar with the statewide programs, pharmacy students across the nation may not be aware of the high-quality residency training available in the state of Michigan. Therefore, as residency training continues to grow, the need for resources that highlight the value of Michigan residency programs is essential.

The Michigan Society of Health-System Pharmacists (MSHP) Residency Committee has been working hard over the past few months on a variety of committee charges focusing on “Demonstrating Our Value.” This year, the Residency Committee was tasked with developing dashboard content for the Michigan Pharmacists Association (MPA) website to measure and promote the quality of Michigan residency programs.

This Committee, which consists of several residency program directors, has worked diligently to identify quality metrics to advance the quality of Michigan residency programs. The data collected will not only provide residency programs a mechanism to benchmark themselves against quality metrics within the state, but will also facilitate national recruitment by increasing visibility for participating programs and the quality of Michigan residency programs across the country. Data collected will concentrate on residency program graduates and current preceptors. Selected metrics include:

1.      Percent of residency graduates with board certification.

2.      Percent of resident research projects published.

3.      First position after completion of post-graduate training.

4.      Average years of experience of pharmacy preceptors.

5.      Percent of preceptors who completed residency training.

6.      Percent of preceptors with board certification.

This initiative will be rolled out gradually over the next few years with continued improvement and expansion. The initial data collection will only include post-graduate year one data with plans to eventually expand the metrics and include post-graduate year two programs.

If you are a Michigan residency program director, you should have received an email inviting your program to participate in this dashboard. Every year, participating residency programs will receive recognition through publication of aggregate data on the MPA website, access to de-identified aggregate data, individual data in order to facilitate quality improvement activities and summarized residency quality metric benchmarking data. For further information regarding this service or for any comments or concerns, please contact Andrea Schweitzer, MPA liaison at


1.      American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. Online Residency Directory. ASHP website. aspx?pageno=1. Accessed July 2018.

Posted in: Member News
Regional Society Update: Southeastern Michigan Society of Health-System Pharmacy

By Neha Desai, Pharm.D., director of pharmacy, Beaumont Hospital Dearborn, southeast regional representative

The Southeastern Michigan Society of Health-System Pharmacy (SMSHP) met in April with live continuing education presented by Amber Lanae Martirosov, Pharm.D. The title of the presentation was, “Breathing Easy: Updates in the Current Management of COPD” and was presented in Livonia. Dr. Martirosov interacted with the audience and helped demystify the myriad of inhalers and treatments used for COPD. At the general body meeting in April, updates to the constitution and bylaws were presented. The updates were based on recommendations from American Society of Health-System Pharmacists review.

In May, Victoria Tutag-Lehr, Pharm.D., educated pharmacists and technicians on, “Increasing Naloxone Access in the Community.” Dr. Tutag-Lehr is currently serving her third term as the chair of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee as well as a member of the Naloxone Standing Order Implementation Task Force. The educational presentation provided information on the naloxone standing order which has been in effect since May 2017 and how increased naloxone access has helped to positively impact the opioid crisis and decrease deaths due to overdoses. The Pharmacy Resident Research Posters were also presented at the May meeting held in Southfield. Pharmacy residents from across the region displayed their research and interacted with membership.

An annual highlight for SMSHP was held in June with the annual technician symposium. This year the Annual Pharmacy Technician Breakfast and Continuing Education Seminar featured live continuing education presented by all technician speakers. The speakers were Adam King, CPhT; Keith Binion, B.S., CPhT and Timaka Williams, B.S., LPhT, PRS. The breakfast seminar was well received and well attended as it was almost sold out! Special thanks to all who made it a success.

While there was no general body meeting or education in July as we slowed down for the summer, the Programming Committee is meeting to plan for the next year. SMSHP continues to enhance its website functionality and is fully functional with LecturePanda for CE administration.

Monthly educational offerings will resume in September. For more information, visit our website at

Posted in: Member News
MSHP/MPA Public Affairs Committee Update

By Frank Zaran, pharmacist, Public Affairs Committee co-chair

The Michigan Society of Health-System Pharmacist/Michigan Pharmacists Association (MPA) Public Affairs Committee has been working on updating the “Pharmacists as Providers” brochure. The updates include informing the public as well as other healthcare providers and the legislature on the value that pharmacists and technicians provide to the quality of patient care. In addition to ensuring the information in current, new sections were added for the following topics: addiction and abuse, antimicrobial stewardship, specialty pharmacies and transitions of care.

The Committee is working on promoting the public awareness of the role of pharmacy technicians via the creation of a video to be shared in such venues as, YouTube and Facebook. The video would feature brief statements by pharmacy technicians. The Committee also reviewed suggested updates to the “That’s My Pharmacist” marketing, including increased focus on services pharmacists provide on an everyday basis. A video, similar to the pharmacy technician one which addresses the roles of pharmacists, is planned for next year. 

Other projects the Committee is working on includes reviewing and updating the Patient Safety section of the MPA website as well as the Opioid Toolkit for pharmacists.

Julie Schmidt, my fellow co-chair, and I would like to recognize the following Committee members for their contributions: Curtis Smith, Sam McNerney, Meridith Davison, Joseph Fava, Tisha Lewis, Carol Moore, Emily Olgaard, Vitaliy Perets, Heather Schalk, Michael Toscano, Sheila Wilhelm, Mark Bomia, Allison Liao, Sara Ogrin, and Mike Ruffing.

Posted in: Member News
MSHP Annual Meeting

By Denise Pratt, Pharm.D., clinical pharmacist, Sparrow, Lansing

The Michigan Society of Health-System Pharmacists (MSHP) Annual Meeting will be taking place Friday, Nov. 2, 2018, at the Sheraton Detroit Novi Hotel in Novi. A full schedule of educational opportunities has been planned to help you keep current in what is occurring in health-system pharmacy. Our keynote speakers from Johns Hopkins Health System, Jonathan Lewin, Pharm.D., MBA, and Todd Nesbitt, Pharm.D., MBA, will be providing their thoughts on elevating pharmacists’ scope of practice. A short Town Hall meeting will follow this presentation, and after participants can choose to attend either an informative talk on managing drug shortages presented by Julie Botsford, Pharm.D., from Munson Medical Center in Traverse City, and Melissa Murphy, Pharm.D., from Genesys Regional Medical Center in Grand Blanc, or a preceptor development program entitled “Best Practices: Using Residents as Extenders of Patient Care and Demonstrating Their Value,” delivered by panelists Stephen Caruana, Pharm.D., from Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center, Sagianw; Rachel Kenney, Pharm.D., from Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit; Brooke Roe, Pharm.D., from Meijer Pharmacy, Plainwell and Jesse Shuster, Pharm.D., from Detroit Medical Center – Harper Hospital, Detroit.

After a sit-down lunch that will offer networking opportunities with other practitioners and exhibitors, an infectious disease general session presented by Curtis Collins, Pharm.D. from St. Joseph Mercy Health System and Scott Flanders, M.D. from the University of Michigan Health System will be held focusing on best practices, the Michigan Hospital Medicine Safety Consortium (HMS Collaborative) and its implications. The final session of the day will update attendees on practice guidelines in hypertension and diabetes to assist in transitions of care for patients. Emily Blum, Pharm.D., from Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit and Dana El Masri, Pharm.D., from the Wayne State University Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences will present this topic.

To learn more about the event or to register visit We look forward to seeing you in November!

Posted in: Member News
Page 1 of 2First   Previous   [1]  2  Next   Last