University of Pittsburgh Pharmacy Student Thrives in Undeserved Clinical Experience
By: Alexandria Taylor, University of Pittsburgh Pharmacy Student
As part of my clinical experiences in the PA AHEC Scholars Program, I volunteer once a month at a local free clinic, Birmingham Free Clinic. I specifically help with “Panther Clinic” which is a a clinic at Birmingham Free Clinic that is coordinated by medical and pharmacy students. Medical and pharmacy students work alongside each other providing care to patients with the supervision of a preceptor.
Caring for patients at Panther Clinic has allowed me the opportunity to apply what I am learning in the classroom to real patient care. Additionally, the opportunity to work along side medical students has been an invaluable experience. For example, seeing how they complete a physical exam solidifies the information that we learned about different disease states. Instead of just memorizing that patients with diabetes need foot exams, I have learned how to perform a proper foot exam.
In addition, Panther Clinic has increased my exposure to serving the undeserved population. I have a better grasp on social determinants of health and the barriers these patients face. For example, when one of our patients was facing barriers to immigration status, we reached out a local, nonprofit law agency that specialized in immigration. Overall, Panther Clinic has been the best and most valuable experience during my time as a pharmacy student and a highlight of the PA AHEC Scholar Program.