Student Café: Impact of COVID-19 on Pharmacy Education


Pharmacy students are asked: How has the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) impacted your education, and how well do you feel prepared for the future?

Students at the University of the Sciences Philadelphia College of Pharmacy—Neha Bhardwaj, Julia James, Paige Jacobs, and Rasha Abouelsaadate—answered the question “As pharmacy students, how has the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) impacted your education, and how prepared to you feel for the future?” in interviews with Pharmacy Times. This video is the first in a series for Pharmacy Times Student Café.

This article is a partial transcript. View the video for the full responses.

Neha Bhardwaj: Our classes from last spring, basically all of them got moved online, and our rotations stopped midway. I believe, at least at PCP [Philadelphia College of Pharmacy], they have done a really good job of trying to accommodate the students and trying to make sure that we're still getting the proper education. Pretty much all of our simulation activities and rotation activities got moved online, or we did something to make up the hours that we missed.

Julia James: As far as my next stage, I actually just started my APPE rotations at the end of May. Overall, I feel prepared for that. I mean, it's been a roller coaster. We just have to go a week by week, and we hope nothing gets canceled or postponed. … Our APPE coordinators have been awesome. I mean, they'll be emailing us up until I 1 o'clock in the morning to make sure that we get like everything sorted out, so that's been pretty good.

Paige Jacobs: We have definitely been impacted by COVID-19 and quarantine, especially with our rotations. They were cut about a month early. So in terms of trying to get that same experience but virtually and off-site, we had to switch to online meetings and different assignments and activities that would still give you the same kind of experiences as if you were working in your retail site.

Rasha Abouelsaadate: I think, more than anything, it was just so abrupt that we weren't prepared. I don't think anybody was prepared for what was going to happen, but I think also it was really good that we were united in trying to find out how to make things best. Of course, online learning is not ideal, especially not for pharmacy, but you have to adapt and overcome. I think we did that with the rest of the semester.

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