By: Ada Seldin and Moisey Rafailov, PharmD Candidates Class of 2015
The “Coffeehouse Chats” is an annual Rho Chi Society Event that serves as a steppingstone to fostering professional relationships between students and faculty. The event provides a platform for students and professors to exchange experiences and ideas. This year, the event took place on April 23rd from 6-8:15 PM in the D’Angelo Center Coffeehouse. Approximately 50 students and 15 faculty members attended. The event commenced with dinner and provided guests an opportunity to meet. During this time, students and faculty enjoyed catered food over light conversation.
At 6:30 PM, attendees gathered around and Moisey Rafailov, president of the Rho Chi Society, introduced himself and the Executive Board. He thanked the audience for attending and started an icebreaker, during which each guest introduced him/herself, year in the pharmacy program or faculty position, and something unique about him/herself. The icebreaker created a lighthearted and comfortable atmosphere, which was conducive to learning and networking.
The spotlight once again turned to Moisey, who began the discussion by asking the faculty, “How has pharmacy school changed since you were a student? What changes have you witnessed in the pharmacy profession?” In response, several faculty members spoke about changes in the curriculum that reflect the profession’s shift towards patient-focused care and the expanding role of pharmacists. They also reminisced on carrying around large drug information textbooks because online resources, such as LexiComp, were not yet available. In addition, some faculty shared that records were written by hand and stored using triplicates and carbon copies.
After this discussion, there was a short break for dessert, which included hot beverages, pastries, and fruits. Professors and students comfortably continued conversation. As dessert came to an end, guests returned to their seats and Moisey resumed the organized “chat.” This discussion was primarily focused on current events. Moisey quoted an article from the Pharmacy Times, which stated: “A chorus is rising in the pharmacy community, calling for the profession to be accorded health care provider status. From a Doctor of Pharmacy candidate who has started an online petition calling on President Obama to join the cause to the CEO of one of the country’s largest pharmacist associations who has identified it as a top priority, many feel that 2013 just might be the year when pharmacists win the right to be paid for the role they play in patient care.”1
Then, Moisey questioned the audience. He asked, “This, of course, has to do with the role of a pharmacist as a non-physician provider. Do you agree that 2013 may be the year? What needs to be done in order for it to be so? And what is the importance of pharmacists receiving this status?” Dr. Arya took the floor, sharing her belief that this is not the year that pharmacists will achieve provider status, and that achieving this goal will require a big push from both pharmacists and students. Dr. Brocavich built upon her thoughts by mentioning that it is vital for students to keep abreast of pharmacy-related news. Dr. Beizer added the importance of utilizing the many pharmacy organizations on campus to try to get involved on the national level.
Moisey then asked the audience, “As we know, all 50 states allow pharmacists to immunize. What do you think the importance of this is on the pharmacy profession?” Faculty members unanimously felt that the ability to immunize will help strengthen the pharmacist’s image and further expand the role of a pharmacist in the community.
Another noteworthy topic of discussion was how pharmacists can deliver patient-centered services in the face of low reimbursement rates. Mr. Gary Corn and Dr. Aveena-Woods both emphasized that one major way to improve reimbursement rates is to counsel patients, explaining that the more we counsel, the greater the difference we will make in patient care. They stressed that the key is to transform the pharmacist’s image and have patients associate pharmacists with counseling, rather than just dispensing duties. In other words, pharmacists need to create the demand for counseling in order to attain recognition for it. Further discussion stemmed from these ideas, such as the importance of students taking initiatives and never limiting oneself to the traditional roles of a pharmacist.
At the end of the night, Moisey concluded by urging students to apply what they had taken away from the discussion to their own practice. He reminded fellow students that faculty members can offer valuable insight and advice, and that it is in our power to make a difference in the pharmacy profession.
- Weiss D, The push for pharmacist provider status. Pharmacy Times. Published online January 8, 2013. http://www.pharmacytimes.com/news/The-Push-for-Provider-Status Accessed May 30, 2013.