A Different Perspective of Rural Pharmacy Work for Pharmacy Students

Pharmacy Times spoke with students at the Idaho State University College of Pharmacy and its partner program at the University of Alaska Anchorage College of Health.

Pharmacy Times spoke with students at the Idaho State University College of Pharmacy and its partner program at the University of Alaska Anchorage College of Health.

Zachary Larson, PharmD Candidate: Yeah, pharmacy in rural areas, I think the barriers really come up like working in that setting. A huge thing that I work with is like the indigent population, within my clinic, I work in a family medicine clinic. And so, I do a lot of like patient assistance programs for people to get free medications from drug companies. And that's a huge thing that, you know, barrier we have to overcome is cost of medications. Again, just distance people come like, lots, you know, hundreds of miles sometimes even to come to clinics. So, just making sure that everything gets done within those visits. And, you know, it's not as easy as just saying, hey, you know, actually, I forgot, you need this one paper for this application. So can you come by the clinic and drop it off? That's just not possible for a lot of these people. And so, just being on top of those things, so yeah, hugely different. For me, just working, working in the rural setting.

Jessica Goodman, PharmD Candidate: I think it's been very helpful to seeing what it really is, like I'm from Indianapolis, so there's not really like it's not the same thing. It's not where you can only get somewhere by boat or helicopter or anything like that. So I think it really has highlighted for me the struggles of getting proper medical care in a rural area, especially where if you're somewhere that's only accessible by certain routes, where you can just like drive, or even where a peer driving can be a lot, especially without snow and ice and it can still be really dangerous. Um, I think it's just really opened my eyes to like how badly those rural areas do need medical care and how difficult it can be and how important it is to have people who are trained in rural areas where they might not have accessibility to, you know, a level one trauma center or you know, other resources that may be nearby and places that are not rule.