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Pharmacy Spotlight

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.

Name:    Drake Reiter
Hometown:    Keokuk, IA
Degree Program:    Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD), May 2020
Current Position:    Associate Clinical Pharmacist, Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Location:    Des Moines, Iowa
 
How did Drake prepare you for what you're doing now?

Drake prepared me for what I'm doing now in many ways, including:

  • Providing me with a great didactic and foundational background in pharmacy
  • Teaching me to work collaboratively with other students and pharmacists
  • Helping me explore my interests through my IPPEs and APPEs
  • Allowing me countless opportunities for leadership in organizations, involvement with associations, and travel to different conferences
  • Giving me access to some of the best and most committed pharmacy faculty members
  • Helping me gain presentation skills
How did your career goals change as you progressed through the program at Drake?

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.

What is something about the field of pharmacy that might surprise people?
  • How advanced and rigorous our doctorate-level program is
  • How many pharmacists are in unique or non-traditional roles
  • How many pharmacists are brilliant entrepreneurs
What's something you do in your job that you never thought you'd do as a pharmacist?

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.

Where do you see the future of pharmacy going?

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.

Do you have a favorite memory of your time as a pharmacy student?

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.

What were you involved in as a student at Drake?
  • Iowa Pharmacy Association – Student Delegate on the Committee for Professional Affairs
  • Iowa House of Representatives – Health Policy Intern for Representative John Forbes
  • American Pharmacists Association – Academy of Student Pharmacists: Iowa Monitoring Program for Pharmacy Professionals Chair and Chapter President
  • Drake CPHS Ambassadors
  • Drake Student Leadership Development Series
  • Graduate Research Assistant
What was your favorite rotation?

My favorite rotation was in Medication Use Quality Measure Development and Association Management with Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA) in Alexandria, Virginia.

What do you think students should look for in a pharmacy school during their college search?

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.

What advice do you have for someone interested in pursuing pharmacy?

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.


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