Pharmacist Feature Friday: My Journey into Specialty Pharmacy

Article

Making the patients’ lives easier is at the heart of my job.

I originally majored in chemistry in college, but I missed interacting with different people every day. In pharmacy, I knew I’d get to help people. I kind of fell into specialty pharmacy and am really glad I did.

During rotations in last year of pharmacy school, I did a 10-week rotation under Heidi Burres, PharmD, and Allyson Schlichte, PharmD, where I learned about the many aspects of Medication Therapy Management (MTM). I liked working directly with the physicians and the challenges of the different patients. This led me to pursue a residency in the same field.

After completing this residency, I was hired as the specialty MTM pharmacist in the liver and kidney clinic at the University of Minnesota Health Clinics and Surgery Center; my role was mostly to support the liver and kidney patients by helping them manage multiple medications.

I then expanded my role to include working with hepatitis C patients and post-transplant patients (heart, lung, kidney, and pancreas), as well. These patients now make up the majority of my work. I have seen patients with almost every transplant on the list. The first time I meet them, some of these patients are taking 9 to 15 new medications and taking them 8 times per day. We can often combine many of those doses; we can make their medication management easier, and it’s very rewarding.

It’s great to see a patient 5 days post-transplant and see them doing much better. It’s so rare in the field where you have someone who is extremely sick, and then you’re able to bring them back to a pretty normal life.

It’s especially true for patients with hepatitis C. Many of them have had this cloud hanging over their head for 20 years of their lives, and with the medication now available, I can tell them, “In 3 months, you will be fine.” Making the patients’ lives easier is at the heart of my job. It’s pretty great to work here; I feel very lucky.

Peter Griffin, PharmD, is a Medication Therapy Management pharmacist specializing in nephrology and hepatology at Fairview Pharmacy in Minneapolis. He spends much of his time with patients and providers at the University of Minnesota Health Clinics and Surgery Center.

For a chance to be featured on Specialty Pharmacy Times' and Pharmacy Times'

social media sites and even our websites, pharmacists can post short blurbs—along with a photo of themselves—on their social media sites using #APharmacistIs. Longer article submissions should be sent in to Jennifer Barrett (

jbarrett@pharmacytimes.com

) for review.

Related Videos
male pharmacist using digital tablet during inventory in pharmacy | Image Credit: sofiko14 - stock.adobe.com
Pharmacist holding medicine box in pharmacy drugstore. | Image Credit: I Viewfinder - stock.adobe.com
Pharmacy Drugstore Checkout Cashier Counter | Image Credit: Gorodenkoff - stock.adobe.com
Medicine tablets on counting tray with counting spatula at pharmacy | Image Credit: sutlafk - stock.adobe.com
Capsules medicine and white medicine bottles on table | Image Credit: Satawat - stock.adobe.com
Human cell or Embryonic stem cell microscope background | Image Credit: Anusorn - stock.adobe.com
Concept of health care, pharmaceutical business, drug prices, pharmacy, medicine and economics | Image Credit: Oleg - stock.adobe.com
Biosimilar pharmaceutical drug bottle on blue background. | Image Credit: Carl - stock.adobe.com
Pharmaceutical manufacture background with glass bottles with clear liquid on automatic conveyor line. | Image Credit: wacomka - stock.adobe.com
Bottle and scattered pills on color background, top view | Image Credit: New Africa - stock.adobe.com
© 2024 MJH Life Sciences

All rights reserved.