Jalpa Patel, a third-year pharmacy student at MidwesternUniversity's Chicago College of Pharmacy and thismonth's RESPy Award winner, initially had hopes of oneday becoming a physician. "I realized, however, that I would beseeing patients for 10 to 15 minutes, and I wanted more patientinteraction. I was happy to find so many more options in pharmacythan I realized existed."In her current ambulatory carerotation, Patel is spending a half hour to 45 minutes with eachpatient—enough time to make a difference.
The experience has made such an impact on Patel that she iscertain she will pursue a clinical career after graduation."Inpatient and ambulatory care really gives you an opportunityto be a part of the health care team,"she said.
Being part of a team is something Patel really understands.She has played a big part in pharmacy student council duringher years at Chicago College of Pharmacy. She served as herclass liaison in her first year and as class president in her secondyear, and she is now executive student council president,where she presides at all general and executive board meetings,appoints committee and election judges, among other responsibilities.The experience, she said, has helped her to become closerto faculty members as well as to her peers.
"Jalpa possesses a wonderful blend of people skills and taskskills,"said Thomas J. Reutzel, PhD, professor of pharmacyadministration at Chicago College of Pharmacy. "Jalpa is compassionate,understanding, and patient. She isvery influential and respected by her colleagues.She knows how to get groupmembers motivated to work together, andshe enjoys teamwork."
Jalpa also embodies the spirit of volunteerismin her community. Shehas been a leader in BAPS, anonprofit, socio-spiritual organizationrecognized by the UnitedNations, for nearly 13 years. Shehas served as a project managerfor a regional children's leadershipconvention, where shecompiled registration information,oversaw all logistics, andwas master of ceremony forthe final award ceremony. Shealso has been active in herHindu temple, has volunteered as a math instructor to preparehigh school students for the ACT, and has participated andserved as public safety guard in BAPS annual walkathons. Jalpaalso has volunteered over the years at St. Alexius Medical Center,Good Samaritan Hospital, and Lexington Nursing Home.
Balancing a number of commitments with her academicresponsibilities has not proved too great a stress for Patel. "It isreally rewarding to see the results of your hard work,"she said.That dedication has earned her academic recognition as well asskills she will take into her pharmacy career. "Her organizationalskills and leadership savvy give Jalpa the ability to negotiatecomplex organizations and to understand and meet organizationalgoals and integrate them with her own principles andpatient care goals,"said Dr. Reutzel.
Patel's patient care goals are a big part of her success as well,since she is dedicated to the profession and to enhancing therole of the pharmacist as the drug therapy expert. She alsobelieves pharmacists should play an important part in a community'shealth care system.
About the College
Midwestern University is a graduate degree-granting institutionspecializing in the health sciences, with 6 colleges of specialty—theChicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, the Chicago College ofPharmacy, the College of Health Sciences, the Arizona College ofOsteopathic Medicine, the College of Pharmacy—Glendale, and theCollege of Dental Medicine.
Midwestern University's Chicago College of Pharmacy's highestpriorities are teaching and lifelong learning. The school's faculty isfocused on developing and offering a Doctor of Pharmacy curriculumthat enables students to prepare for successful careers as pharmacists.
The curriculum includes a well-integrated collection of lecturecourses, workshops, laboratories, and experimental rotations in avariety of pharmacy practice settings. The PharmD program providesstudents with enhanced experiences in the biomedical, pharmaceutical,and clinical sciences.
Ms. Sax is a freelance writer based in Chevy Chase, Md.
The Wal-Mart/Pharmacy Times RESPy AWARD(Respect, Excellence, and Service in Pharmacy) ispresented to the student who has made a difference in his or hercommunity by demonstrating excellence in pharmaceutical care.Visit www.pharmacytimes.com for more information.