How to Manage Your Time in Pharmacy School

As a dual PharmD/MSPH student, I had experience in a graduate school program before starting pharmacy school. I was already aware of some of the major differences between undergraduate and graduate time management requirements. However, pharmacy school was a completely different experience and I realized that I needed to rethink my time management skills pretty quickly after starting my P1 year. Since starting this year, I have figured out some of the best ways to manage my time most efficiently. Here are my top 3 tips to time management during pharmacy school:

1. Plan everything: You’re going to be bombarded with assignments, quizzes, and exams from each class. It is important to keep track of the due dates and hold yourself accountable. Planners are a great way to keep all your due dates organized. Most of the due dates for classes will be scheduled on the syllabus at the beginning of the semester. Go through each syllabus and write down every assignment due date at the beginning of each block. As you go through the block, you can add, and change things as needed. By being proactive, you already have everything that you need written down in one place. And if planners aren’t your thing, then that’s fine, too! Make a Google Doc or plan everything on a calendar (physical or virtual). How you do it is up to you but be flexible. Allow yourself to explore options and choose what works best for you!

2. Stick to a routine: It’s going to take a while to get the hang of pharmacy school but try to figure out a routine that you can stick to every day. Having a routine helps to keep you motivated and make the most of your time. Everyone’s schedule will look a bit different but knowing what works for you is key. Personally, I work about 15-20 hours a week at a retail pharmacy. I also have an hour commute to school and back every day. A daily routine is essential to keep me focused and on top of my assignments. One way that I maximize my time is by listening to recorded lectures on my commute to and from school. Find what works for you and stick with it. Routines help to reduce your stress and that’s extremely important in such a stressful program!

3. Take time for yourself: A demanding program like pharmacy school takes a lot out of you. It can be easy to get caught up in all of the stress and due dates. Sometimes you have to decompress and find time for yourself. Once again, this is very personal and different for everyone, but find a moment in every day to do something for yourself. This can be taking a walk, reading a book, or maybe watching your favorite Netflix show. Obviously, you can’t get too carried away since you have so many other things on your to-do list, but it’s nice to just focus on YOU for a little while. Give yourself a break. You deserve it for all of your hard work!

Overall, be proud of yourself for everything you have accomplished! If you need help figuring out a schedule or how you can best manage your time, reach out to someone. There are plenty of resources available at CPHS to help you succeed!

Tayler Clark, P1

Health Taco Recipe

As a busy pharmacy student, I know sometimes you find yourself eating anything within a 5-mile radius. I have also been guilty of doing the same myself. Over time I have learned planning my meals ahead of time helped reduce this habit. Since starting my meal prep journey, I have found most of my recipes from Pinterest. One of my favorite recipes I stumbled upon was the veggie tacos with chipotle crema. Not only is this recipe healthy and delicious it also takes less than 45 minutes to prepare.

This is what you will need is:

  • 1 small head of cauliflowerBrittany Pic 2
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tsp of chili powder
  • 1 tsp of ground cumin
  • 1 tsp of smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp of dried oregano
  • ½ tsp of Kosher salt
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 14-ounce can of black beans
  • Corn tortillas

Chipotle lime crema:

  • 2 tsps of adobo sauce
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp Kosher salt
  • ½ cup of water
  • 1 lime, juiced

Mashed avocado:

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • ½ tsp of Kosher salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. For easy clean the parchment paper can be used to line the baking sheet. Set the baking sheet aside for later use.
  2. Prep the veggies: Cut the cauliflower into bite sized florets and dice the sweet potato into 1/2 – inch cubes. Now placed the florets of cauliflower and diced sweet potato in a large bowl. Drizzle the olive oil over top, then season with the chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, oregano lime juice and salt. Toss to combine. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet (make sure it is uniform on the baking sheet)
  3. Place the veggies in the oven for 25 minutes. Halfway through cooking gently shake the baking sheet. Add the black beans to the baking sheet, seasoning with another pinch of salt, then place the baking sheet back in the oven for 5 more minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  4. Prep taco assembly: The rest of the taco fixings can be prepared while the veggies are cooking:
  5. Prep the chipotle lime crema: Add all listed ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend. Transfer to a bowl/container and set aside.
  6. Mash the avocado: Add the avocado, kosher salt and lime juice to a bowl. Mash the contents with a fork until your desired consistency is reached and set aside.
  7. Assemble the tacos: Smear some mashed avocado on each tortilla and add some veggies. Don’t forget to add your chipotle lime crema to complete your delicious creation!

Brittany Gibbs, P2

Why I Chose a Dual Degree

As a Campbell undergraduate student, I sat through many lectures about the different opportunities that Campbell’s College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences offered to prospective pharmacy students. My goal was just to make it to pharmacy school. Even though I had been told about the dual degree opportunities that were available to me, I never considered applying to one. That was until my interview day for pharmacy school. I was extremely nervous as I went into my first interview of the day with Dr. Taylor. We talked through the standard interview questions and then he asked if I had ever thought about applying to a dual degree program. He introduced me to the Public Health dual degree that Campbell offered and said that I would be a great candidate if I were interested.

After my interview day, I decided to find out what public health was all about and what it could mean for me. I attended the MSPH open house and the Rural Health Summit that is hosted by the Campbell Public Health department every year. These events opened my eyes to the health disparities experienced by communities all around the country, especially those who live in rural areas. I decided that an education in public health would be a great addition to my future in pharmacy. As someone who is very patient oriented and always focused on the individual, public health allowed me to have a broader perspective. Focusing on the needs of the community is an integral part of the health of our society.

Looking back now, I am thankful that I chose a dual degree. Public health taught me so much about what it means to be a healthcare professional as part of a community. The courses challenged me with the complex health problems that our society faces, but they also pushed me to think beyond the boundaries that I had built for myself. I had the chance to take part in some amazing events and opportunities that I would have never known existed without public health. My favorite part of being a public health student was participating in our practicum experiences. Practicums allow you to reach outside of the classroom and see what public health is all about. Everyone’s practicum experience looks different throughout the program and that’s what is amazing about it. The possibilities are endless, but the journey is so rewarding!

As I move forward, I hope to apply my public health knowledge and skills throughout my journey to become a pharmacist and beyond. Don’t be afraid to look at every opportunity available to you. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions about the PharmD/MSPH dual degree or CPHS Office of Admissions to see what opportunities are available to you!

Tayler Clark, P1

Healthy (yet easy) Recipe

One of my favorite things is to try new, yummy, and semi-healthy recipes. However, with school it is extremely hard (not to mention overwhelming) to find the time to make these recipes during the week all while navigating coursework. This is where my Crockpot enters. I LOVE to start my crockpot during our lunch break and have it ready in time for dinner. I have attached a hearty recipe below that takes hardly any prep time and is simply delicious! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! Happy studying and eating!

Taco Soup:

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb lean ground turkey or hamburger meat
  • 1 medium diced onion
  • 1 packet of Ranch seasoning
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning
  • 1 32 oz box of Swanson Chicken Broth
  • 2 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes, with chiles (Rotel is the brand I use)
  • 5 oz can black beans, drained
  • 5 oz can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can corn, drained

Directions:

  • Cook ground turkey (or hamburger) meat in the skillet, drain grease
  • Add ground meat to crockpot along with the other ingredients
  • Cook on high for 4 hours
  • Garnish with sour cream and cheddar cheese and enjoy!

Madison Saint-Amand, P3

Elective Spotlight: Spanish for Pharmacists

I had the opportunity to take the Spanish for Pharmacists elective, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a fun class, and Dr. Jim Morgan made it interesting. As future pharmacists, we are bound to provide care to patients who may not speak English very well, or who may not speak English at all. This elective is designed to provide you with basic skills that are necessary to be able to communicate with Spanish-speaking patients in an effective manner. We learned some common Spanish pharmacy jargon, and we had the opportunity to practice saying the words and phrases while in class. The inability to communicate due to language barriers is very common in our health care system, and it is the source of many health disparities among certain patient populations. A lot of patients in the United States speak Spanish, and I think it is important to at least be aware of some basic Spanish as a health professional. We also learned about some of the unique cultural aspects of the Spanish-speaking population. This class placed an emphasis on cultural competence, which is very important in health care. Culture plays a huge role in patients’ lives! It can greatly impact how a patient approaches their health, as well as treatment options. It is necessary for health professionals to be aware of these cultural differences. Overall, I would highly recommend this elective to anyone. I believe that this elective is advantageous, and you will enjoy it!

Amber Hill, P2

A Day In the life of a Quarantined Pharmacy Student

Never in a million years did I think I would live to witness a pandemic. As I sit here in my living room heading into my 5th week of quarantine all I want to do is go to Target without feeling afraid. COVID-19 has changed the way we live our lives and it does not care if you are a first, second, third, or fourth year pharmacy student trying to remain healthy and maintain a solid GPA. The day classes got moved into the online platform I panicked. I need the structure of classroom to hold me liable or else I get behind but the crisis at hand was much larger than me not wanting to fall behind and I needed to find a way to make things work.

The first week of online classes was horrible and I was scattered while trying to find my routine. By the second week, I had finally found regimen that worked for me. I wake up as if I am going to go to school, but instead I log onto Blackboard Collaborate Live for my scheduled classes, the nice thing is that I can stay in my pajamas and sip on my cup of coffee while sitting on my couch. If the class is pre-recorded, I get on my stationary bike at home and watch the lecture while I exercise. After all my classes are done, I have lunch and watch some Netflix and let my mind relax for a bit. After I am done with lunch, I take an Allegra, some Flonase, and Zaditor eye drops and go sit on my patio to work on my school notes and other assignments. You may be wondering why I do all three anti-allergy regimens and that is because spring in NC is brutal. The green pollen is my kryptonite and I usually stay inside when the green monster makes its appearance, but this year is different. My patio time is my favorite part about my routine, I enjoy the few hours I get to be “outside “and I marvel at how beautiful the world is regardless of the chaos. I refuse to stay indoors during my quarantine time, if the patio is my only connection to the outside world, I am going to arm myself for battle and sit out there for as long as I can tolerate it. Once I am done with my patio time I hop in the shower and wash away whatever pollen got on my hair and skin. I make dinner and if I am really bored, I get on my stationary bike and do a second round with some weight intervals. As I get ready to go to bed, I ask Alexa to set an alarm and play sleep guided meditations. I repeat the entire regimen the next day.

Whatever it is that you are doing to stay sane and keep things going if you are reading this it must be because you are healthy. We should never take our health for granted because we never know when it can be taken away. When I am not doing my routine, I am working as an intern in the emergency department and have witnessed firsthand the devastating effects this virus has done to our country and how we function as a health care system. But I will save that for another time. I simply want to end by thanking the truck drivers, grocery staff, janitorial services, and health care workers for all that you do!!

Adriana Muradyan, P2

Recipe: Peanut Butter Protein Balls

Soon after starting pharmacy school last fall, I soon realized the importance of taking the time to pack multiple healthy snacks in addition to my lunch, that could be eaten quickly when needed. This is true, because many days you will have multiple lectures that are back to back for 3-4 hours straight with only a 10-minute break at the end of each hour. During this time, you will likely not have time to run to Chick-fil-A or Starbucks to fuel your hunger. Also, you wouldn’t want to get a sugary drink or an order of fries to curb your craving, because these options are not filling and will leave you feeling hungry again within no time! Thus, always having a healthy and filling snack on hand can help you to retain your focus and ability think clearly throughout the day!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ c. old fashioned oatsMacy 1
  • ½ c. unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ¼ c. mini chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp. flaxseeds
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¾ c. natural peanut butter
  • ¼ c. honey
  • ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp. milk

Directions:

  1. Line a large baking sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the following ingredients together: old fashioned oats, mini chocolate chips, shredded coconut, chia seeds, flaxseeds, ground cinnamon, and kosher salt. Stir the ingredients together, until uniformly combined.
  3. Next, add the natural peanut butter, honey, and vanilla extract into the large bowl of ingredients. Stir the ingredients together in the large bowl.
  4. The mixture of ingredients should have a slight crumble-like consistency at this point. Accordingly, your preference of milk should be added and stirred in gradually to decrease the dryness of the mixture.
  5. Once all of the ingredients are mixed together, roll the ingredients into small balls and then place them onto the baking sheet.
  6. Refrigerate the balls for about 35 minutes or until chilled.
  7. Remove the balls from the refrigerator and store them in a plastic container, in order to maintain their freshness throughout the week.

Macy Worley, P1

How to Focus on Fitness & Nutrition During Pharmacy School

Pharmacy school is a unique experience for everyone, but one thing we share is the rigor and subsequent stress of pharmacy school. I personally deal with anxiety and this exacerbates stress and its side effects for me. Before pharmacy school and as a result of this rigor, I am keen on maintaining my well-being through my fitness and nutrition. I implement a workout routine that helps channel my anxiety and I like to cook meals that make me feel clean, healthy and energized for my daily routine. In my routine, I include a 30 minute to an hour workout in the afternoon after returning home from class. Waiting until after I am finished with class is beneficial for me because it allows me to unwind and decompress from the day. It is critical for me to prioritize my fitness to ensure that I have a balanced life. At the beginning of every week I like to prepare meals that are cost-efficient, but also that are healthy for my body. I’ve learned that your nutrition greatly impacts my ability to operate throughout life, especially concentrating on my studies. I highly suggest finding the time for yourself and prioritize your health. You will only see positive results in your daily endeavors.

Briana Williams, P1

Campbell University Community Care Clinic

Campbell University Community Care Clinic, or as some call “The Free Clinic”, is a great place to gain experience working hands on with patients, providers, and other students in different healthcare fields. I have been given the opportunity to currently work as a Pharmacy Floor Director at the free clinic and I see the impact we make in the community by volunteering every week. The clinic welcomes uninsured patients who still need medical attention and accessible healthcare. Students at Campbell who are in various medical programs come together to learn and give the best care possible to the patients with the guidance of a physician. It is always humbling to work with other health care professionals and personally, it helps me grow by being able to learn and respect the different roles of the other various professionals. Working together and communicating allows us to come together with all our various knowledge and be able to come up with the optimal approach for our patients care. I would highly recommend any student to volunteer at the community care clinic if given the opportunity.

“Campbell’s free clinic is an amazing opportunity for pharmacy students. Although lectures and classroom discussions are essential to the learning process, hands-on experience is what truly solidifies treatment algorithms of various disease states, and important clinical pearls. Volunteering at the free clinic allows students to practice patient care as well as enhance their soft skills by working on a student-led inter-professional team, consult with physicians on the best patient-centered treatment plan, and practice their patient counseling skills. The free clinic at Campbell not only aids in the professional development of students as future healthcare providers, but also is a unique avenue in which students can give back to the community by providing their best patient-centered care.” Sarah McGrath – PharmD Candidate 2022

“What I love about working the clinic is getting to know the patients on a deeper level and being able to personalize their care further because of that. It’s so touching to know that some patients, all they have is us and the care we provide. They are grateful for us even when we can’t do every single thing for them.” Gabriella Salerno – PharmD Candidate 2022

“At the end of my P1 school year, I had the opportunity to campaign a new position within the Campbell University Community Care Clinic. I was offered the position of pharmacy floor director, and with the help of a P2 student, we had the opportunity to develop the position into what it is today. Currently, it’s a biweekly volunteer position where I have the chance to build professional relationships with not only my own colleagues in pharmacy school, but those across other programs at the university as well. I have gotten the opportunity to discuss therapies with medical students, physician assistant students, pharmacy students, and attendings which allows me to put into practice this whole idea of Interprofessionalism within the healthcare community. I have enjoyed sharing my knowledge as well as being taught in this role. I know I have also gained valuable contacts that I know I can call on in practice one day.” Emily Woodfield – PharmD Candidate 2021

Amanda Smith, P2

ACCP Conference in NYC

As a student pharmacist, there are many opportunities to travel to different states for various conferences through school organizations. These conferences vary in cost, due to registration, hotel stay, and travel. However, Campbell University, has a Pharmacy Executive Board (PSEB) who can provide funds toward these trips. There is PSEB meeting once a month where students get a chance to apply for up to 60% of travel cost (hotel, airline or gas). It is an amazing opportunity and gives you the chance to improve your pharmacy network opportunities with less of a financial burden.

Recently, I attended the annual American College of Clinical Pharmacy conference in New York City with the Student College of Clinical Pharmacy organization here on campus. We were able to apply for travel and hotel funding for the trip as an organization. Once we arrived in NYC, we went straight to our hotels and got dressed in our professional clothing to head to our first workshop. As students, we were able to attend most of the workshops offered which included lectures on various disease topics, professionalism topics, and networking opportunities.

When you join SCCP on the national level, you are given the option to join Practice and Research Network (PRN) groups which are established to connect focused groups of clinical pharmacists to enhance professional support and collaboration. These consist of current practicing pharmacists; however you get to be linked in on their virtual conversations which helps you keep up to date with specific therapeutic areas. At the conference each PRN group had a social hour for students to attend and network with current clinical pharmacists.

My favorite workshop was focused on students who were interested in applying to residency. It was focused on building your brand as a student. The speaker also discussed what to expect at midyear, interview opportunities, and a cover letter workshop. This shows that the conference included workshops that were beneficial for both pharmacist and student pharmacist ACCP members.

You are probably wondering, if we got to explore NYC… and yes of course we did! Each day consisted of conferences in the mornings, and some in the afternoon. During our down time we were able to explore the city with a group of friends, shop, sight see, enjoy an iced coffee at a trendy coffee shop, and enjoy group dinners at popular restaurants. The most important part of these conferences is not only to network but also to get to know your peers.

Phoenix Riley, P2