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Pharmacy Spotlight

Meet Kendra Ford, a P4 student in Drake's Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program.  In her last year at Drake, Kendra completed a pharmacy rotation at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. 

Name:    Kendra Ford
Hometown:    Green Bay, WI
Degree Program:    Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD), May 2020
Rotation Site:    Mayo Clinic
Location:    Rochester, MN
Type of Experience:    Pediatric Oncology
Tell us about your rotation site at Mayo Clinic. What was your primary role?

I recently completed a pediatric oncology rotation. I learned about chemotherapy regimens in children, how pharmacists can assist in managing the side effects of these therapies, and I even spoke with patients and their families to learn about the medications they were taking before coming to the hospital! My day consisted of working up patients, rounding with the pediatric hematology and oncology team, providing drug therapy recommendations to the team, and participating in topic discussions with my preceptor and other student pharmacists.

How did Drake prepare you for your experience at Mayo?

Even though I did not have any prior experience with this specific patient population, Drake equipped me with the strong communication and drug information skills needed. Through the Pharmacy Skills and Applications course series throughout pharmacy school, I was able to practice and enhance my skills in simulated clinical scenarios that prepared me for clinical encounters during rotations.

What was your biggest lesson from this rotation experience?

My biggest lesson from this experience is to ask questions! I didn’t have prior experience in pediatric oncology, but I was able to utilize resources to familiarize myself with chemotherapy medications. I also participated in different topic discussions with my preceptor that allowed me to ask questions and hone in on my knowledge.

What is your favorite memory from your time at Mayo?

One of my favorite memories from this experience was connecting with a medical student on the team. We took time to collaborate with one another and were able to offer knowledge in our areas of expertise to facilitate our learning. The interprofessional collaboration process is extremely valuable as it is important to gain knowledge and perspective from other health care professionals as we work towards providing the best patient care.

Share a few things you’ve liked the most about your time at Drake and in the pharmacy program.

One of the things I’ve liked the most during my time at Drake is getting involved in different student organizations. At the College of Pharmacy and Health Science, there were so many organizations that I could choose to get involved in. I chose to give my time and energy to Phi Lambda Sigma, the Pharmacy Leadership Society, and the American Pharmacists Association – Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP). I was able to meet and connect with colleagues, faculty advisors, and pharmacists, advocate for the pharmacy profession at the Iowa State Capitol, perform health screenings, and volunteer throughout the community. My experience in pharmacy school was extended beyond the classroom, and I was able to learn about the pharmacy profession through my involvement.

What are some of your accomplishments at Drake and in the pharmacy program?
  • Being awarded the Phi Lambda Sigma, Pharmacy Leadership Society, 2019 Member of the Year
  • Serving as the Iowa Monitoring Program for Pharmacy Professionals Chair and on the executive council of the Drake University American Pharmacists Association – Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP)
  • Completing a research project with a faculty member that was presented as a national conference
  • Serving as the Teaching Assistant for the “Career Academic and Professional Success” course series
  • Awarded Dean’s List by achieving a grade point average of greater than 3.5
What is one piece of advice you have for future Drake pharmacy students?

Take time to connect with your advisor, professors, and other faculty and staff members! They want you to see you succeed and are prepared to guide you along the way. I have been able to create lifelong relationships with my mentors, and turn to them for advice and guidance throughout pharmacy school, and as I make the transition into my pharmacy career.

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