Student Spotlight: Amanda Robinson, PharmD
This month, Robinson starts an exciting new chapter in her academic career at MCPHS: advanced pharmacy practice placements at some of the area’s leading hospital, including Massachusetts General Hospital.
Amanda Robinson, PharmD, is starting an exciting new chapter in her academic career at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS): advanced pharmacy practice placements at some of the area’s leading hospitals.
She will be putting her knowledge into practice at Mount Auburn Hospital, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, and Massachusetts General Hospital, to name just a few. “I’m looking forward to solidifying my knowledge by putting it into practice throughout my rotations,” said Robinson.
Her journey started in the community pharmacy laboratory on the University’s Boston campus, where Robinson says she’s gained hands-on experience that has prepared her for her upcoming rotations.
“The faculty set up the lab to mimic a real working retail pharmacy,” said Robinson, who is originally from Wilbraham, MA. “I loved how the faculty would ask us to call the patient’s ‘doctors’ to recommend changes to prescriptions, but in reality it was them on the other end of the phone.”
For Robinson, it was a huge learning experience. “It was stressful at times, but it showed me how to act in high-pressure situations and how to interact with other healthcare professionals when trying to take care of a patient,” she said.
As Robinson prepares to put those skills into practice in a clinical setting, we sat down with her to hear her insight into the program and to learn about her inspiration for entering the PharmD field.
What inspired you to pursue a future as a PharmD?
I really enjoyed chemistry and biology in high school, and I knew I wanted to pursue something in the medical field. I worked in a grocery store that had a pharmacy, and that’s what originally sparked my interest. I loved talking to customers, and the science behind drug therapies interested me beyond any other aspect of the medical field. Pharmacy was the perfect balance between customer service and working in medicine.
What’s your dream career?
I want to be a community pharmacist in a small town back home. I love being there for my patients and seeing their improvements from month to month. Working in the community will allow me to take an active role in improving the health of patients and will enable me to foster relationships with many members of the community. I feel as though the impact I can make in that setting is very significant, and I can’t think of anything more fulfilling.
What most excites you about pharmacy?
What excites me the most about pharmacy is that it is always changing. There is always something new to learn! I think that our profession is always evolving to adapt to the way healthcare is changing. Pharmacy is always gaining new pathways within the profession, and there’s always a new job endeavor to participate in.
Can you tell us about a time when collaborating with students or faculty in other programs enhanced your knowledge or awareness?
In my fifth-year seminar course, we met with Tufts dental students and discussed the opioid epidemic. It was eye opening to see that they look to the pharmacist to assist them in making recommendations when it comes to opioids. The healthcare system is using interprofessional healthcare teams in order to properly take care of patients. This is a big change from a couple of years ago. The profession of pharmacy is always changing!
Tell us about the PharmD program. What makes it unique?
The PharmD program allows students to gain a lot of insight into the different divisions of pharmacy. Before coming to MCPHS, I had no clue about institutional and industry pharmacy. Our university allows us to explore the different sides of pharmacy and provides us with the resources to gain knowledge in the different areas.
What is your favorite part of your program?
The faculty are my favorite part of the program because you get to learn about their life stories through their pharmacy careers! They all do something unique and really look to mentor their students.
What are your professors like?
The faculty here at MCPHS love sharing what they do and why they love pharmacy. It is very easy to start a conversation with them that ends up turning into a mentorship. Our faculty want to see students be successful and try their best to provide us with all the necessary tools to be successful pharmacists.
What’s your advice for someone considering pursuing a PharmD?
Find what part of pharmacy you are passionate about, because that will keep you focused on the end goal and allow you to be excited about learning the information that will get you to that goal.
Your advanced pharmacy practice experience rotations start this May. Are you excited?
Yes! It’s the final step where I get to put everything I learned into action.
You will be completing six six-week rotations. Where will you be completing your rotations?
I will be at Mount Auburn Hospital for a research elective, Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program for my ambulatory care rotation, Newton-Wellesley Hospital for my internal medicine rotation, Baystate Specialty Pharmacy for my community rotation, Massachusetts General Hospital for an infectious disease elective, and North Shore Medical Center for my institutional rotation.
What are you most looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to solidifying my knowledge by putting it into practice throughout my rotations. Learning about many disease states and drug regimens can be difficult, but you are able to see how much you truly know when you put it into practice.
Why did you choose to attend MCPHS?
I chose MCPHS because I liked how all the students were focused on some form of healthcare. It allows us to all have something in common and for us to interact with each other when learning about the patient as a whole.
What do you love about the city of Boston?
I love the spirit of the city! Whether it’s Red Sox games or the Boston Marathon, the city of Boston is always so lively. Everyone is proud to be from Boston, and Boston truly is a college city. Many students live throughout the city, so it’s a great community to be a part of!
The full-time six-year Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program at MCPHS–Boston prepares students for exciting and meaningful future careers as pharmacists.