Clinic Experience Helps Pharmacy Students Become “Team-Ready”
For the last two years, students in the Wegmans School of Pharmacy have joined medical students at the University of Rochester, and community health care providers in staffing the UR Well Clinic.
Formed in 2012, the clinic provides health care services to underserved and uninsured residents at St. Joseph’s Neighborhood Center, Asbury First United Methodist Church, and St. Luke’s Church and is managed and staffed by volunteer medical students and physicians. While pharmacy students have served as volunteers at St. Joseph’s for more than a decade, the School formally joined the UR Well Clinic outreach program to provide students the opportunity to engage in intentional Interprofessional Education (IPE).
Dr. Anna Ratka, professor and associate dean of academic affairs, coordinates Fisher’s involvement in the clinic. A required experience for third-year students, she said it teaches pharmacy students the roles and responsibilities of doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals, how to communicate and work as a team, and offers opportunities to learn how physicians approach patient care. This experience allows pharmacy and medical students to work together, as they learn from each other in a patient care environment.
The clinic provides screening services for hypertension and diabetes, ongoing care for chronic conditions, physical exams, health education and preventative medicine, and more. In addition, there are specialty clinics that include orthopedics, neurology, endocrinology, and ophthalmology. When at St. Joseph’s, pharmacy students can staff the medication room, and under the supervision of a preceptor, recommend a course of medication and dispense prescriptions.
“It’s almost as if we’re practicing ‘mission medicine,’ being resourceful and incredibly creative when it comes to developing the safest and most effective therapeutic plans for patients,” said Giovanni Magliocchetti ’20, a recent graduate of the School who served at the clinic. “By having these interprofessional experiences, we become accustomed to working on a team that uses our individual strengths as health care professionals—an idea that will take years to implement across all health care settings—but, we are at the forefront of it.”