The Resiliency of Pharmacy and Pharmacy Education During a Pandemic
At the start of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, we watched practicing pharmacy and pharmacy education quickly adapt. Across the pharmacy spectrum, professionals, educators, and students showed readiness and preparedness in helping to mitigate the spread of the virus, as well as navigating new occupational methods, such as teleconferencing as a replacement for in-person interactions.
More than a year later, we’ve seen even greater adaptation from pharmacy staff. Pharmacists, technicians, instructors, and other industry professionals, as well as students, are not resting on their ability to adapt as new information comes to light and as safety protocols and policies are continually in flux. These health care professionals and students also resilient, continuing to show the value of pharmacists to health care, embracing opportunities that may not have been considered before the pandemic, and advocating for expanded roles.
Pharmacy has also come to the forefront across the United States as a crucial part of the country’s massive effort to vaccinate our population against COVID-19.
In this issue of Pharmacy Careers®, we highlight stories of pandemic resilience across the pharmacy landscape.
In partnership with the Idaho Immunization Coalition, students at Idaho State University are leading drive-through vaccination events in an effort to follow COVID-19 safety protocols while simultaneously helping patients stay safe from viruses. They started these events for distribution of the flu vaccine and later applied the experience to COVID-19 vaccination. Their story appears on page 10.
Interviews with pharmacy students from Midwestern University and Washington State University also revealed resiliency. In our Student Café video series, the students discuss academic challenges they’ve faced and innovative solutions, as well as hands-on training with COVID-19 testing and vaccination. These interviews are recapped on page 22.
Students and health systems seeking residency matches also were undeterred by the pandemic. According to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, its residency match program has continued a trajectory of annual growth despite unique challenges faced by health care this past year. Read more about the program on page 16.
Other students have pursued pharmacy opportunities in spite of the pandemic. On page 20, Marvin M. Agyeben discusses his work to increase minority representation in pharmacy and providing care in underserved communities. Justyna Sudyka provides advice on writing a successful continuing education activity, based on her experience, on page 18. And Fatima Khaleq shares her story on page 21 about overcoming challenges associated with an autoimmune disease to becoming a pharmacist.
We hope you enjoy reading these and other stories in this issue of Pharmacy Careers® and perhaps draw inspiration from the resiliency shown by our authors and in the stories they share.
Thank you for reading.