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College of Pharmacy

  • Paw prints

    Going to the dogs ... and cats and horses

Rotation in veterinary medicine provides a unique experience

Rachel Snead, '22, originally considered veterinary medicine as a career because her aunt is a veterinarian.

“I decided to pursue pharmacy, and when I saw the opportunity for a rotation in veterinary medicine, I jumped at it,” says the 2022 graduate.

Veterinary medicine is one of a wide array of advanced pharmacy practice experience rotations that fourth-year students may choose to expand their learning opportunities.

Snead, who wants to pursue independent community pharmacy, knows that many owners have their pet prescriptions filled at their local pharmacy.

Pharmacy is changing, and more veterinary hospitals are adding pharmacists to their teams.

Dr. Wendy King, Spears Creek Veterinary Clinic
Two women holding a small dog

During her rotation with veterinarian Wendy King at Spears Creek Veterinary Clinic in Elgin, South Carolina, she experienced the relationship between human and animal medicine.

“I can better discuss the medicines with my patients to make them aware of dosing and potential side effects for their pets,” she adds. “Community pharmacies even do a good deal of compounding for pet medicines.”

King began precepting pharmacy students not long after she opened her practice 10 years ago, when a friend who was a pharmacy student asked to do a rotation with her.

“Students bring a fresh approach, taking their human medicine experiences and relating it to animals,” she says. “Pharmacy is changing, and more veterinary hospitals are adding pharmacists to their teams. They can gain more exposure to the different drugs and how they work in veterinary medicine.”

Claire Spence, ‘22, knew she wanted a rotation that was “out of the norm” and applied for a rotation with the School of Veterinary Medicine at N.C. State University in Raleigh, North Carolina.

“I wanted to get every experience possible,” she says. “I really love animals and wanted to see how different it was from human medicine.”

Ellie Spahr ‘22, has a strong interest in compounding pharmacy and completed a rotation at Bees Ferry Veterinary Hospital in Charleston, South Carolina.

“This was an amazing rotation,” she says. “I gained more knowledge and was able to see surgeries, help with medications and learn more about a field that I was really unaware of before.”

Dr. Katherine Saenger, a veterinarian, who helped launch Bees Ferry, says her students appreciate that they get to see everything from preventive care to extensive workups and surgery.

“They get to see the diagnoses and why I’m using a particular drug,” she says. “It is a learning opportunity to see firsthand how pharmaceuticals intervene and impact patient care.”

Topics: Experiential Learning, Pharm.D. Program, Become a Preceptor

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