• Laura Kline

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.

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The Pennsylvania Area Health Education Center and its Scholars Program is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $721,000 annually with no percentage of the work being financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government