The University Of Pittsburgh School Of Pharmacy occupies Salk Hall, a prominent building in Pitt’s Upper Campus. The school is situated among a group of some of the most advanced hospitals in the East. An enormous amount of skilled clinicians care for patients as well as provide education for the students in the professions of Pharmacy, Dentistry, Nursing and Medicine.
Imagine the surprise when Denise and Peter Kreckel were invited to present their Rural Pharmacy Experience as part of the “model practices” at the Pennsylvania Pharmacy Association meeting this past weekend in Gettysburg, PA. Dr. James Pshirer, chairman of Pitt’s Experiential Learning Department, selected the Kreckels because of their dedication and unique experiences offered as they train tomorrow’s pharmacists.
Pharmacists from across Pennsylvania listened intently as the Kreckels described how through their daughter Gretchen, a sixth year Pharmacy student at Pitt, got involved by serving as preceptors. They described how the biggest hurdle for students to come to Central Pennsylvania for clinical experiences was the lack of housing. The Kreckels provide room and board free to the students selected for their rotation.
The students experience the new $35 million Geisinger clinic at Grays Woods in State College managed by Denise, where they frequently interact with the clinicians on site. Denise also requires them to do advanced patient counseling, as well as in depth research for those physicians who make such a request
Students also get a professional drug store experience by working with Pete at Broad Ave. Pharmacy in Altoona. They get a varied experience through Thompson Pharmacy in their nursing home pharmacy operations, as well as shadowing Thompsons clinical pharmacist. The attendees were quite impressed that the students are required to lecture on a specific topic to the students in the St. Francis Physician Assistant Sciences program where Pete teaches Pharmacology on Thursday mornings.
These students also sharpen their teaching skills by providing medical lectures in the community ranging from senior citizens in community centers to the Boy Scouts of Troop 300.
Through their caring preceptors the students learn to give back to the community by sharing their knowledge of a variety of health care issues.