My first day at The Johns Hopkins Hospital was quite challenging and slightly intimidating to this southern pharmacy girl. Finding parking in Baltimore, MD, was a bigger accomplishment than finding parking on the Ole Miss campus. Once I found a parking spot, I proceeded to ask every security guard I saw for directions to reach the building where orientation was being held. Each individual, with whom I interacted, including several patient security guards/guides, was friendly and polite reminding me of our southern hospitality. I made it to the meeting room with time to spare but quickly learned how enormous the hospital truly is. Even with a challenging beginning, I could not contain my excitement for this new summer adventure!
My internship class consisted of 26 student pharmacists from across the country. Together we participated in pharmacist discussions each week to enhance our knowledge of various pharmacists’ roles within the hospital. I had the opportunity to intern with Mrs. Cathy Walker in the Education and Training Pharmacy Department of the hospital. Throughout the summer, I was able to participate in unique projects and shadowing experiences. Helping develop an educational module for formulary medications that are part of the risk evaluation and mitigation strategy (REMS) program, updating residency program materials, and developing two promotional banners for the department of pharmacy allowed me to broaden my current knowledge and skills. Two projects on which I focused related to continuing education: development of a home-study continuing education (CE) program for the hospital and affiliate hospitals and the development and administration of an institutional CE provider survey to assess their opinion in fulfilling specific Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) requirements. My knowledge of continuing education requirements and activities were inadequate before participating in these projects, so I am grateful that I now have an understanding and appreciation for the time and effort that the Education and Training Department spends on making continuing education activities available to pharmacists and technicians. Overall, I would not have been able to complete these projects without the help and guidance from my preceptor. Mrs. Cathy became a friend, wonderful mentor, inspiring pharmacist, and role model helping me feel at home this summer, even though I was a long way from Mississippi!
As a diverse group of interns with common interests, we formed unforgettable memories through many fun recreational experiences. We attended Orioles games, toured ASHP Headquarters, ate DC Cupcakes, went sightseeing, and spent July 4th weekend in Inner Harbor. I learned from each intern this summer. I am thankful for the lifelong friendships that were made!
Everyone at the hospital including the security guard I would speak to every day when I walked into the hospital, fellow interns, my preceptor, residents, and pharmacists helped make this summer more memorable than I could have ever imagined. This incredible experience is one that I will never forget and has enhanced my passion for the profession of pharmacy!