Tuesday, September 15, 2009

They don't teach you THIS in pharmacy school!

Posted by Jeffrey Huang at Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I am only just at the midpoint evaluation for this rotation and Al Knaak at Village Pharmacy has already completely turned my perception of retail pharmacy upside down. I came into the rotation thinking that though I would still work hard, there would only be a slim chance I would consider a career in community pharmacy. Now, the idea of a small, independent pharmacy near the beaches of Kona, Hawaii doesn’t seem so bad of an idea! If I could duplicate the business model and work ethic of the team that Al has in place at this store, life would be pretty great – that also includes the flip-flops and boardshorts into work, of course.

First off, Al loves his patients – he knows 90% of them all by name, and they all know his. His pharmacy is completely patient-focused – the staff prides themselves on the unique services they provide for the patients free of charge. In fact, a project that is required for the rotation is to challenge the P4 student to formulate a service plan and pitch it to Al and the other pharmacist, ultimately with the hopes to implement the service at the pharmacy.

I’m becoming proficient at MTM’s (Medication Therapy Management) for the unique patients Al selects, a pro at doctor office calls (3 hours straight today), and wowing the staff with my spatula skills for compounding. I enjoy each morning when we review a new patient case, and I am always impressed with how knowledgeable Al is in areas that can only come from years of practicing experience. He loves sharing all the tidbits where “they don’t teach you this in pharmacy school” and I enjoy picking his brain whenever I get the chance.

The Village Pharmacy community rotation is definitely a great opportunity to learn. Al makes a lot of effort and dedicates specific times during the day to teach and engage his students. It is clear that Al loves his job as a pharmacist – I am trying to make the most out of my time with him and know I will finish this rotation with a newfound appreciation for community pharmacy.


Ryan E said...

Glad to hear you are enjoying it Jeff. I have heard good things about Al and Village Pharmacy. If you get to owning your own pharmacy in Hawaii one day look for a job application from me! Have fun.

Rachael said...

I totally agree! There's so much in pharm school that you don't learn until you get out into the real world.

Anonymous said...

It's nice to see small local pharmacies such as the Village Pharmacy managing to stay in business, when market forces seem to favor the big boys. The Village Pharmacy may not be able to match the prices of mail order houses, but their service is stellar, and that sets them apart from the faceless competition.