Student pharmacist Megan Baker is interested in owning her own pharmacy someday, and she just received a scholarship designed to help her get there. Baker was one of just 20 students nationwide selected to receive a $2,500 Pharmacists Mutual Scholarship for the upcoming 2019-20 school year.
The scholarship acknowledges students interested in serving in an independent or small chain, community pharmacy, or in an underserved geographic area. Baker currently works at Sixth Avenue Medical Pharmacy, an independent pharmacy located in Spokane, Wash.
“I am interested in independent pharmacy and ownership, specifically compounding,” Baker said, “I have always loved being able to help patients personally and making compounds is such a special experience in the world of pharmacy, you work closely with patient and provider to create the perfect product for each patient.”
Baker’s interest in compounding is nothing new. In 2017, she teamed up with two of her classmates to compete in the national Student Pharmacist Compounding Competition (SPCC) where her team placed fourth in the USA and won a separate research project proposal. In 2018 she returned to the competition, and WSU took first place. During the competition the teams developed formulations and compounded preparations for unique clinical situations in a timed event, presented proposals for an innovative compounding idea, and were tested on their knowledge of compounding skills and regulations.
“Megan was an incredible asset to the SPCC team,” said the club’s faculty advisor, Connie Remsberg, a clinical assistant professor at the college. “She was successfully able to apply her previous compounding experiences while working diligently with her teammates to complete the required tasks during the competition. I am very proud of her hard work and dedication.”
Baker chose the WSU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (CPPS) in part because of its compounding coursework and interprofessional programs. Now she is in the class of 2020, and is just moving on to her fourth year in the Doctor of Pharmacy program. The fourth, and final, year of the program is comprised of professional rotations where students have the opportunity to be in real practice settings and be involved with the care of patients under the supervision of a WSU preceptor.
“I am looking forward to implementing the knowledge that we have acquired over the past several years and working with patients to solve critical health issues,” said Baker.
In addition to her coursework, Baker recently participated in the National Community Pharmacists Association’s Steering Committee Forum, an annual two-day event dedicated to wide-ranging, in-depth discussions of the role independent community pharmacies play in health care and how to best position them for the future. Baker, as a member of the Student Leadership Council, was a member of the compounding committee. She also just completed a term as NCPA (National Community Pharmacists Association) President. Outside of the college she is a part of Phi Lambda Sigma, an American college honor society for pharmacy students.
“I just want to thank Pharmacists Mutual for the generous scholarship and allowing me to focus more intimately on my personal goals as a future pharmacist,” said Baker about the scholarship.