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    New Mexico—a frontier still breaking new ground


    New curriculum changes benefit all

    Training students in the cutting edge of provider opportunities in New Mexico will have far reaching effects, says Tracy Hunter, RPh, MS, PhD, Assistant Dean for Experiential Education at the University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy.

    Hunter, who places students in both retail chain and independent settings, as well as clinics and institutions says this hands-on experience throughout the curriculum allows students to learn in an environment “where their preceptors are providing care and are reimbursed for their services.”

    “Under preceptor supervision, students practice as a team, and provide care to a diverse population. They take drug and medical histories, do a script monitor, identify medication-related problems, and design therapeutic solutions acceptable to provider, patient, and/or caregiver. In other words, they participate in the full continuum of health care provided in a variety of cultural settings.”

    Hunter adds this is a very new approach to pharmacy education that also helps advance the practice of pharmacy. “Students explore how their unique interests and skills can best serve a community, and they graduate ready to enter practice.”

    “Big kudos go to the pharmacy students,” says Headrick who cites the receptor role as important, and one she recommends for other professionals to consider.

     “They’re [the students] here for free doing their last rotation year and they can participate in the MTM program in action, and they can see what we do that nobody else sees. They can take that out into the world wherever they go. At the same time, their role here allows us to address patient needs more fully and frees us up to do more of what we want to do to help patient care.”

    And Tinker forecasts a bright future for the profession. “Physicians are starting to think of pharmacists as medication experts. We bring value to their patients and to community health. Doctors refer all their patients to experts when needed, so it only makes sense to refer patients to the experts when it comes to medicines.”


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