Meet the Ambassador – Bliss Green

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Bliss Green, Class of 2019, Chapel Hill Campus
Hometown: Wilmington, NC
Prior Education: Bachelor’s degree – Biochemistry and Health, NC State University


If you could have any superhero power, what would it be and why?
I would be able to adjust/freeze time (without it affecting my age). I just feel like there are not enough hours in the day! Wouldn’t it be nice to just freeze time so that you could have a couple extra hours to sleep-in or study for an exam approaching? I could pause traffic and go around, fast-forward through uncomfortable situations and rewind and reexperience exciting situations.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Bora Bora. I am in love with tropical islands with clear blue water and white sand.

What three words best describe you?
Friendly, organized and passionate.

When you were younger – what did you want to be when you grew up?
I feel like I changed my mind often. I remember wanting to be a “movie star” and performing skits/dances for my family.


How did you get interested in pharmacy?
Since I was a senior in high school, I knew I wanted to pursue a field in healthcare. I am fascinated by science and am empathetic towards people. I looked into many aspects of healthcare in addition to pharmacy (including medical, PA, nursing, etc.) and found that pharmacy was the best fit for me. My roommate at the time was applying to pharmacy school and helped guide me through the process.

What would you change about your undergraduate studies and/or preparing for pharmacy school?
I cannot think of anything I would change about my undergraduate studies. Biochemistry was a great program at NCSU that required all of the necessary courses to perform well on the PCAT and to provide the baseline knowledge necessary to keep up when entering pharmacy school. Speaking of the PCAT, make sure to start studying for it at least a few months before you are planning to take it!

What experience/class/activity from undergrad best prepared you for pharmacy school?
I think just being involved overall throughout undergrad was important. It is important to challenge yourself so that you can develop time-management skill and test your limits. I made sure to apply for extracurriculars that challenged me (e.g. honors and scholars programs) as well as extracurriculars geared towards my hobbies (e.g. dance teams).

What advice would you give a prospective students interested in pharmacy?
I am happy with my decision to pursue pharmacy. There are so many different career paths available with a PharmD degree. I would advise prospective students to focus on their undergraduate coursework and keep their GPA up while also getting involved on campus and in the community.

What advice would you give a prospective student trying to decide between pharmacy and another health profession?
I would advise them to really research professions/career paths that the degree offers and see where they are best fit and where their personality traits would allow them to excel. More importantly, shadow someone in the field and see what it is like. Ask questions to your peers, professors, advisors, parents, friend’s parents, etc. If available, join student interest clubs on campus and attend informational sessions to learn more about the professions you are interested in.


Why did you choose the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy?
Besides the fact that I am from a family of Tar Heels, UNC has everything I could ask for in a pharmacy school. From the reputation and ranking, redesigned curriculum, and prestigious faculty, UNC contains all of the resources necessary to challenge students and produce the future leaders in pharmacy. The location of the school, being in the triangle area/research capital and right next to UNC hospital, presents numerous opportunities for growth as a student healthcare professional. I believe that UNC produces cutting-edge pharmacists who are capable of adapting to the ever-changing field. The new curriculum teaches students to be better problem solvers and innovators, while also subjecting students to increased hours of patient care and clinical experience. All of these aspects set the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy apart from other pharmacy schools across the nation. I feel honored to be a part of this program!

What’s been one of your favorite experiences at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy so far?
My first immersion experience/rotation this past summer at UNC Hospital has been my favorite experience so far in pharmacy school. It made me realize the importance of everything I am learning and striving to become. I was able to witness the value of a pharmacist in the clinical setting and provide patient-care to real-life patients in need. It was an amazing learning opportunity and really solidified by passion for the profession of pharmacy.


Have more questions for Bliss? Feel free to send her an email: elizabeth_green@unc.edu

My Immersion Experience – Bliss Green

Students have their first immersion (pharmacy rotation) the summer after their PY1 year. They are placed in either a hospital (health system) or community pharmacy. For more information about our curriculum, click here.


Name: Bliss Green
Year: PY2 (Class of 2019)
Rotation: Health System

Where was your immersion located?

UNC Hospital, Cardiac ICU and Central Inpatient Pharmacy/Sterile Products Area

How did you prepare for your immersion experience?

Throughout the second semester of the PY1 year, there will be a few informational meetings that discuss the requirements for various immersion sites and important dates to make sure everyone is on the same page. I reached out to my preceptor about one month before my immersion to introduce myself, ask if he wanted me to have anything prepared for my first day, and set a location/time to meet him. Before my first day of my immersion, I made a trip over to UNC hospital to make sure I knew where to go and to make sure I could connect to the hospital WIFI. I highly recommend this, especially if you are prone to getting lost like me! You don’t want to be late or unprepared on your first day. Besides that, there was not extensive preparation needed before the start of the first immersion.

What was a typical day like?

For the first month of my rotation, I was in the cardiac ICU working with advanced heart failure patients alongside my preceptor, a PGY2 pharmacy resident, and a PY4 pharmacy student. I was assigned patients by my preceptor and followed them throughout their admission (I started with one patient at a time and then worked my way up 3 patients towards the end of the month). A typical day started around 7am. I would look up newly admitted patients on my unit, particularly patients labeled as “high risk for readmission” and perform a medication history assessment. Basically, I would print their list of medications, go find their room, and interview them on which medications they are actually taking and how they are taking them (as well as the last dose). I would then call their pharmacy to confirm fill-dates and make note of any discrepancies. After medication histories, I would open my assigned patient’s medical records on EPIC (UNC’s electronic health record database) and analyze any changes in labs, vitals, medications, notes from physicians, etc. from the night before. Based on this data, I would begin writing my SOAP note that included my assessment of the patient’s status and my proposed plan for each problem. I would then attend rounds with the entire medical team. This is where I could hear the discussion about my patients and make any medicine recommendations to the team. After lunch, I would present my note/findings to my preceptor and we would have a discussion/mini-lecture on the medications involved. The end of my day usually consisted of independent research assigned to me by my preceptor to support our discussion and my recommendations, updating my patient’s notes in EPIC, and discharge counseling in the cases where my assigned patient was ready to go home. I was usually finished around 4:30pm. Some days I also attended journal club, medication safety meetings, transplant discussion meeting, and lectures/discussions with other students/preceptors. I also spent one day with a nurse to witness their role and how they administer the medications. Lastly, I was lucky enough to shadow two serious operations.

What did you like about your rotation?

I liked everything about my rotation! Especially my clinical month in the cardiac ICU. Everything became so real when I stepped foot into the unit. I was challenged on a daily basis and never stopped learning. My preceptor was a phenomenal teacher and a true role model as a pharmacist/professional. I loved seeing how valued and respected he was as the medication expert on the healthcare team. The experience truly motivated me and made me excited about my career path.

What part of your immersion was most surprising and/or interesting to you?

I was able to shadow two open-heart surgeries during my clinical month in the cardiac ICU, which is something I will never forget. I witnessed the insertion of a Left-Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) into a patient’s heart, as well as a complete sternotomy and aortic dissection. This was the first time I have ever seen a beating heart, working lungs, etc. It was amazing to see what the human body can endure and the advantages that science permits.

What was the most challenging part of your rotation?

The most challenging part of my rotation was the emotional aspect of working with advanced heart failure and the poor health status of patients in my unit . It was difficult to see how sick these patients were and accept the fact that most patients with this stage of the disease do not have good outcomes. I witnessed death and heartbroken families multiple times. It is easy to let your emotions bring you down in this type of setting but you have to remain optimistic and provide the best patient care possible.

Is there anything else you want to share about your immersion experience?

I also spent one month in the central inpatient pharmacy and the sterile products area at UNC hospital. This allowed me to see more of the “operations” side of heath system pharmacy. Within this month, I also spent five days exploring five other types of pharmacy (investigational drugs, pediatrics, specialty pharmacy, special formulations/compounding, and operating room pharmacy). It was a great experience and very beneficial to explore various different aspects of pharmacy. I was offered a job in the IV room/sterile products area after my rotation and am currently working there now!

Meet the Ambassador – Taylor Dennison

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Taylor Dennison, Class of 2019, Chapel Hill Campus
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
Prior Education: No bachelor’s degree – 3 years, Clemson University


If you could have any superhero power, what would it be and why?
If I could have any superhero power I would want to be able to fly- cliche but so true. I would love to be able to get places faster and see things from a bird’s eye view!

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I would love to go to Bali or to the Great Barrier Reef.


How did you get interested in pharmacy?
I was talking with my Mom’s co-worker who exposed me to the world of clinical hospital pharmacy. Prior to that I had no idea that pharmacists were even in hospitals let alone rounding with other health care professionals and having a direct impact on patients. I loved that pharmacists could use their knowledge to optimize medications while working with patients directly, to me that was the best of both worlds and initially got me interested in pharmacy.

What would you change about your undergraduate studies and/or preparing for pharmacy school?
Although probably unexpected if I could change my undergraduate studies in order to better prepare for pharmacy school I would take more Spanish classes. I have been fortunate and have had the opportunity to work with many Hispanic populations through several organizations I am a part of at school. If I had a better understanding of the Spanish language I would be able to better understand and serve the patients I work with.


Why did you choose the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy?
I chose the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy because of the incredible administrators, faculty, professors, and other students who are here. Every day I am encouraged by the people I am surrounded by who challenge me and push me to be my best. I was also drawn to ESOP becuase of the changing curriculum which allowed me to go on rotations earlier, more often, and for longer than any other program I had looked at. Finally, the emphasis on international opportunities was something that drew me to ESOP. I have a passion for travel and attending a school that also valued multicultural experiences was important to me.

What area of pharmacy is most interesting to you?
Clinical pharmacy in a hospital setting is what interests me most right now. I am especially interested in oncology pharmacy and the role that pharmacists can have managing the adverse effects of many cancer drugs. However, since I am only just starting my second year I am keeping my mind open to all the diverse options the career of pharmacy has to offer.


Have more questions for Taylor? Feel free to send her an email: tedenni@email.unc.edu

Meet the Ambassador – Melissa Lore

Meet Melissa! She completed 2 years of undergraduate work at University of Florida, comes from a pharmacy family (a phamily, if you will), and enjoyed the Molecular Foundations of Drug Action class during her PY1 fall semester.

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Melissa Lawrence, Class of 2019, Chapel Hill Campus
Hometown: Orlando, Florida
Prior Education: Associate’s degree, University of Florida


If you could have an endless supply of any one type of food, what would you choose?
Mac and Cheese! It’s my favorite food of all time!

If you won a lottery ticket for $100 million dollars, what would you do with it?
I’d probably save most of it to help pay for school and for future investments. I’d also use some of it to help my family with anything they needed, and donate some of it as well. I would also use part of the winnings to travel!

If you had one extra hour each day, how would you use it?
I would go for a run! Pharmacy school keeps me so busy, and I always feel like exercising is the one thing that always falls by the wayside, so I’d love an extra hour to squeeze a run in.


How did you get interested in pharmacy?
I became interested in pharmacy from many different places. I’ve always excelled in science and math, so those strengths directed me towards a career in the healthcare field, as well as my desire to have a job that allowed me to help people. Another influence came from my family. I volunteered with my mom, who is a pharmacist, and really enjoyed being in the pharmacy. Her job seemed interesting and allowed her to make a positive impact in the lives of others. Finally, after learning more about the many different paths that can be taken in pharmacy, I was sold that it was the career for me!

What experience from undergrad best prepared you for pharmacy school?
I think the course load that I took on during undergrad really helped to prepare me for pharmacy school. When I went into undergrad, I had already decided that I wanted to enter pharmacy school after two years. Because of this, my course load was pretty intense every semester, including both summers, and involved a lot of science courses. I also was deeply involved in a couple of organizations. While this made undergrad quite challenging, it helped prepare me for the even more intense course load that goes along with pharmacy school, as well as improve my time management and study skills.

What advice would you give a prospective students interested in pharmacy?
Pharmacy is a great profession to get into! It has so many different opportunities, all of which allow one make a positive impact in the lives of others! In regards to preparing for pharmacy school, I would advise prospective students to really be a “well-rounded” student, in that you do well in school, but also are involved in other things such as student organizations, research, work, etc. These experiences will help prepare you for the rigors of pharmacy school, and also help you pinpoint your interests.


Why did you choose the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy?
I chose to attend the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy due to the excellent education that it provides to its students. The new curriculum, in particular, interested me because of its uniqueness and embedded opportunities. What excites me most about the new curriculum is the experiential rotation opportunities that we will get, as the time for these have essentially been doubled. As a result, we will get more time in “real life” situations, which will allow us to not only apply what we learn in the classroom, but also learn so many new things through practical experiences. In addition to its novel curriculum, the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy has a world class faculty. Knowing this, I am sure that I am learning the best information from experts leading their fields. Not only is the faculty very knowledgeable, but they are also very approachable and open to answer any questions a student may have.

What’s been one of your favorite experiences at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy so far?
My favorite experience at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy so far has been the class Molecular Foundations of Drug Action. I found this class so interesting as we got to learn how many of the different drugs classes work and what allows them to exert their respective physiological effects.

What area of pharmacy is most interesting to you?
I am most interested in pediatric pharmacy. I really love taking care of kids and have found that it is a passion of mine. I feel that pediatric pharmacy will allow me to combine my passion of taking care of kids with my passions for science, math, and helping others.


Have more questions for Melissa? Feel free to send her an email: mlore@email.unc.edu

Class of 2019

Cookout

We were excited to welcome 152 new members of the Class of 2019 to campus for a cook-out last night and orientation today. You can find more pictures from orientation here. It’s been a lot of fun to work with them this past year throughout the admissions process, and we’re looking forward to following their next four years at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy as student pharmacists. What a great group of students! Orientation started at 8:00am, and they started arriving at 7:00am – talk about eager! Let’s hope they continue that trend when classes start later this week 🙂

Orientation

Check out the profile for the Class of 2019. You can find more information about the types of students we’re looking for in the admissions process here.