Q&A: The Pharmacy Intern Experience
Recently, we had the pleasure of hosting Savanna Anschutz, a pharmacy student from the University of Kansas who is in her final year of rotations. We sat down with Savanna to learn what the pharmacy internship experience is like from a student’s perspective.
1. What influenced you to want to become a pharmacist and work in an independent pharmacy setting?
My passion originated with my dad. He had health complications when I was younger and he ended up having an extensive medication regimen. I grew up in Rose Hill, KS and our local independent pharmacist was vital to my dad’s health transition and understanding his medications.
The relationship and trust that was created between the pharmacist and my family was really important to us. That connection was something that inspired me to want to give back to my community and develop that same bond with my future patients.
Along with my academic involvement through different organizations such as NCPA, Currus, and the KU School of Pharmacy, my passion has grown and I’ve seen the importance of a pharmacy within a community.
2. What kind of experiences are you looking to gain from your rotations in your final year?
I am trying to get a well-rounded experience from many different fields within pharmacy. My end goal is to work in a rural community where you are a vital resource to the patients of that town so being well-rounded is important to me. I am experiencing many variations of clinical work through different locations and my goal is to continue to grow to become the best pharmacist that I can be.
3. What advice would you give to students who are just starting out in pharmacy school?
I would say join organizations and network as much as possible. Involvement is key. I have attended and helped organize many of my school’s pharmacy events. For example, I was the past president of the NCPA student chapter at KU and I was able to build strong relationships with pharmacists in Kansas because of that involvement and through networking with Currus at roundtables and different events they host throughout the year.
I would also recommend hands-on community involvement and working in a pharmacy throughout your school career.
4. What have you enjoyed most while interning here at Currus and what do you see as the benefit of interning at an organization like ours in comparison to interning in a pharmacy setting?
My most enjoyable experience was getting to talk with members of Currus and hearing about the benefits of being a Currus member. Currus provides many opportunities such as networking and resources for owning or purchasing a pharmacy. I also love the lobbying work that Currus does because that’s not something I’m as knowledgeable about and I was very glad I got to attend the legislative forum they had to get a first-hand look at how they are advocating for independent pharmacies.
It was good insight to see how this organization supports independent pharmacists, advocates for healthcare for patients, and continues to be a point of reference for any questions or concerns their pharmacists may have. They also keep their pharmacists up to date with what’s coming and what’s changing in our industry.
It was great to experience a setting other than inside a pharmacy but still see the impact they have on the independent pharmacies in the state.