Preceptors recognized for impact on next generation of Cougar pharmacists

Through teaching and mentorship, preceptors guide pharmacy students as they work with patients in a variety of health care settings. These experiences are pivotal in determining a pharmacy student’s future career. The WSU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences network of pharmacy educators extends across the state of Washington and beyond, with 250 sites and more than 400 annual volunteer preceptors and faculty members. Together, they form the backbone of WSU student pharmacists’ introductory pharmacy practice experiences (IPPE) and advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPE).

To recognize the importance of preceptors, every year the college asks pharmacy students to nominate preceptors who go above and beyond in their education of the next generation of Cougar pharmacists for the college’s annual Preceptor of the Year award. This year, the college extended the award criteria to allow students to nominate not only Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) preceptors but Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) preceptors as well. The response was overwhelming with students submitting more than 387 nominations for over 183 individual IPPE and APPE preceptors. Of those many outstanding nominations, five preceptors were selected for the award.

Here’s what some of their nominations had to say:

Tyler Fischback, APPE

Confluence Health- Central Washington Hospital
Wenatchee, Washington

“I learned more in these six weeks than I would in a classroom. I see Dr. Fischback as a strong mentor for me even when I complete this rotation. I cannot thank him enough for pushing me to strive to be a better pharmacist and person in life.”

Penny Melder, APPE

Jonathan M. Wainwright VA Medical Center
Lewiston, Idaho

“Penny is one of the most knowledgeable pharmacists I have ever had the opportunity to work with and learn from. She truly cares about the patients and wants to see her students succeed in becoming pharmacists… She pushes you to be your absolute best and to try your best. There are days that can be tough, but in the end, you walk away feeling like you gained so much in such a short period of time.”

Vikash Patel, APPE

Genoa Healthcare: Sound Mental Health Capitol Hill
Seattle, Washington

“I have never had a rotation where I learned so much. This preceptor showed me teamwork, communication, patient care, and the true meaning of working in a pharmacy. You can tell he fights for the patients’ voices to be heard and wants the best for his patients.”

Taylor Bertsch, IPPE

Washington State University
Spokane, Washington

“Dr. Bertch is a true professional, he cares a lot about his students. Dr. Bertsch has always been helpful, even during stressful times he would respond soon as possible. Dr. Bertsch is gifted with the art of teaching, he’s able to simplify the most complex kinetics concepts and explain them in a way that makes sense for everyone.”

Garett Manion, IPPE

Spokane, Washington

“Garett possess all of the traits that a strong preceptor has: patience, understanding, knowledge, and kindness. One of the most important things he has showed that positively impacted my experience was his confidence in me.”