Meet Drake Reiter, a 2020 grad from Drake's Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program. After graduating, Drake began working as an Associate Clinical Pharmacist for Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Des Moines, Iowa.
Drake prepared me for what I'm doing now in many ways, including:
When I first started at Drake, I only knew the patient care side of pharmacy. My goal was to work my way up in a health system and work in administration. However, as I progressed through the pharmacy program I gained exposure to health policy as well as the managed care side of pharmacy, and my goals quickly changed. I’d always had an interest in business and population health management, and through my various experiences in student organizations, IPPEs, and APPEs, I learned that I wanted to pursue a career in managed care and began to work with our experiential office to set up rotations that would allow me to pursue my goals.
The biggest lesson that I learned from this experience is that a pharmacy degree can open so many doors for new opportunities - even beyond what we think traditionally exists.
Combine my clinical pharmacy knowledge with finance and economics to determine which drugs will be on preferred formulary tiers all while ensuring the best safety and efficacy for our members.
With the advancement in newly approved drug therapies and the rising costs of healthcare, I think pharmacy will start to integrate itself with big data to become a leader in the field of health economics and outcomes research and population health management. I also think that pharmacy will begin to shift away from the traditional retail setting and begin to integrate itself with primary and ambulatory care offices. I believe we will be a drug therapy management profession, rather than a profession focused on verification and dispensing. For example, I believe that in the future, patients will see their physician for a diagnosis and will then see their pharmacists to have their treatment prescribed, modified, etc.
Leading our APhA-ASP chapter holds many of my favorite memories. I was able to become connected with so many other students and faculty, and organizing and participating in some of our community events was always such a rewarding time.
My favorite rotation was in Medication Use Quality Measure Development and Association Management with Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA) in Alexandria, Virginia.
I think students should look for a pharmacy school where collaboration is at the center of everything that they do. I also think students should look for a pharmacy school where faculty and staff are committed to the success of their students during and after school. Being allowed to pursue your passions and areas of interest vitally important, and having connections in those areas is also key. I would advise students to keep this in mind when they are searching for a pharmacy school they’d like to attend.
Be enthusiastic, open-minded, and willing to step up and be a leader. There are many great opportunities in pharmacy, but it takes someone willing to do all of these things in order to be successful.
Lin, Michelle (U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps Pharmacist, Indian Health Service)