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College of Pharmacy

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Schreiber polishes clinical skills as pharmacy intern in Appalachia

Gamecocks on the Go: Student pharmacists reflect on summer internship and fellowship experiences of Summer 2022

Tell us about your summer internship experience:

“My summer internship was through the Carilion Clinic – a nonprofit, integrated health care system that provides care in southern Virginia to nearly one million Virginians and West Virginians. My role was defined as a summer pharmacy intern with particular emphasis on hospital operational duties and responsibilities alongside opportunities to develop my clinical and professional skills through shadowing, workshops, and journal clubs.”

What did your typical day look like as a pharmacy intern?

“A typical day for me included conducting patient medication histories with pharmacists and members of the health care team where I clarified medication administration processes with patients for appropriate outcomes. I also fulfilled typical pharmacy operational duties such as filling, labeling, and delivering medications and pharmaceuticals for distribution to hospital floors.

I was able to shadow an ambulatory care pharmacist, outpatient and inpatient infectious disease specialists, an internal medicine pharmacist, a cardiovascular surgery pharmacist, among others. As an intern, we were expected to attend journal clubs, workshops, and various presentations to further develop our clinical and professional skills and understandings.”

What knowledge and skills did you gain from this experience?

“The experience working within the hospital gave me some key opportunities for one-on-one patient interaction and to better understand the needs and healthy literacy of patients in a different setting than what I am accustomed to. I was given extensive time with patients to understand their medication needs and to work up their charts to ensure accurate medication administration.

My time at Carilion allowed me to engage with an even greater assortment of health professionals and introduced me to specialties within pharmacy of which I had not previously been aware. Through my interactions with nursing staff, fellows, physician residents, medical students, physician assistant students, and pharmacists in a variety of settings, I was able to further develop and refine my interprofessional skills."

What past experiences or prior knowledge helped you to be successful in this internship?

“As a Unit Dose Intern for Prisma Health, I was well-versed in the inner workings of inpatient hospital pharmacy and entered my role as a summer intern with greater certainty. I was able to smoothly transition into many of the responsibilities and expectations of a summer intern. Through my prior activities with the Walker Leadership Scholars program, I was well-equipped for the professional and leadership development workshops that we participated in throughout the duration of the internship. I felt confident in my abilities to engage with hospital administration and pharmacy leadership, and I was willing to network and step outside of the usual workflow of the interns to meet individuals from whom I sought advice or insight.”

Would you recommend this internship to pharmacy students in the future? 

“I would recommend this internship to another student – especially those who may not have had exposure to hospital pharmacy and want to see the daily operations of the hospital pharmacy setting. I would likely encourage them to keep an open-mind and to engage with as many pharmacists and health professionals as they can during their time in the position.”

Beyond the actual internship, what other perks or learning opportunities did you enjoy in Virginia?

“Living in the mountains and in the foothills of Appalachia, I was able to engage with patients and communities that vary in resources or knowledge from the more metropolitan areas where I grew up or attend school. As someone who has never lived in a mountainous region, I was able to take advantage of the hiking and nature of the area.”

How does this experience relate to your long-term educational or career goals?

“The opportunities and exposure I gained from this internship solidified my understanding of what exactly I want to do next and the steps in which I must take to make those goals a reality. I now understand I wish to work in an ambulatory care clinic or outpatient infectious disease area. The relationships one is able to build with patients and the impact one can make as a pharmacist cater extremely well to my passions and my personal mission in life.”

What’s next for you? 

“This coming year I will serve as president of Phi Lambda Sigma as well as a member on the National Member Engagement Standing Committee for APhA-ASP, where I serve as national liaison for Operation Diabetes. I also serve as research chair for Rho Chi and as Scholastic Achievement Chair for Phi Delta Chi. I hope to utilize the lessons I have learned from this internship to inform my opportunities as a leader and to continue the professional development journey that this internship instilled.”

Danny Schreiber

About Danny Schreiber

Danny Schreiber is a third-year pharmacy student at the UofSC College of Pharmacy. He is originally from Toms River, New Jersey. He aims to pursue a career rooted in advocacy and service to improve health outcomes in underserved populations, particularly the LGBTQ+ community.

Topics: Student Experience, Pharm.D. Program

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