Michael Geisler, a student at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville School of Pharmacy, works hard to make patients feel cared for outside the physician's office.
Michael Geisler, the April winner of Walmart/Pharmacy Times RESPy award, says he was drawn to pharmacy after he took a class in human biology and “fell in love” with the coursework. An advisor suggested he channel that scientific interest into pharmacy, a career Geisler will pursue after graduating with his PharmD from the Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville (SIUE) in 2011.
Geisler has excelled at SIUE, both inside and outside of the classroom. In addition to maintaining a high academic standard and regularly making the Dean’s List, Geisler gets involved with student organizations and activities that help promote the field of pharmacy. Geisler is a member of the American Pharmacist Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) and 6 other organizations, including the Illinois Pharmacist Association and the Illinois chapter of the Student Society of Health-Systems Pharmacy.
An important aspect of these many memberships is the opportunity they bring for volunteer work, and Geisler has given freely of his time during pharmacy school. Geisler is an accomplished fundraiser; in his 3 years at SIUE, he has helped raise money through the Asthma Walk, Diabetes Walk, and Celebrating Disabilities Walk, as well as coordinating the APhA-ASP Trivia Night Fundraiser.
Through his participation in the spring 2010 diabetes symposium, SIUE wellness fair, and Walmart health fair, Geisler truly felt the positive impact he will make in his chosen career. As a pharmacist, Geisler says, “you’re doing one-on-one patient care where a patient feels they are being taken care of outside of a doctor’s office, and they feel that comfort.”
Geisler has also had the honor of serving as the SIUE School of Pharmacy’s 2011 class president for 2 years, which Philip J. Medon, professor and dean of the School of Pharmacy, attributes to the fact that “his peers recognize his professionalism and reliability.” Geisler has honed that professionalism through his work in community and clinical internships and rotations. Geisler worked as a pharmacy technician and a pharmacy intern in 3 different settings, where he worked closely with patients and learned some of the business aspects of running a community pharmacy.
During his internship for the Department of Human Services Bureau of Pharmacy, Geisler implemented improvements to the Illinois Prescription Monitoring Program Web site, called the Prescription Information Library (PIL). The PIL tracks all Schedule II, III, IV, and V prescriptions dispensed by Illinois retail pharmacies, and allows Illinois pharmacists to view a patient’s prescriptions for the past 6 months to help monitor for drug diversion and abuse.
Geisler also conducted research on the epidemiology and pathophysiology of substance abuse for continuing education programs for the prescription monitoring program. He is currently involved in a research project that will examine polypharmacy in ethnic groups in Illinois.
Finally, Geisler promoted the profession of pharmacy by writing articles for professional journals. Geisler has published articles in both the Illinois Council of Health- Systems Pharmacists KeePosted newsletter and the Illinois Pharmacists Association news magazine. Several of his articles drew on his experiences with prescription drug monitoring.
The field of pharmacy continues to appeal to Geisler, he says, because “as a pharmacist, you can really intervene” to help improve health care on a personal level. Geisler aspires “to go above and beyond the retail setting” in his practice, and work with patients one-on-one to provide disease state management, counseling, and other clinical services. ■
About the School
The Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville (SIUE) School of Pharmacy
, the only pharmacy program in southern Illinois, offers a professional program leading to the PharmD degree. The SUIE School of Pharmacy values excellence in teaching, pharmacy practice, research, scholarship, and service, and is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. The school collaborates with rural and urban health care institutions to meet the health care needs of central and southern Illinois and the St. Louis metropolitan area.
The Walmart/Pharmacy Times Respy Award
The RESPy (Respect, Excellence, and Service in Pharmacy) award is presented to the student who has made a difference in his or her community by demonstrating excellence in pharmaceutical care. For more information, please visit www.PharmacyTimes.com/RESPy