Pharmacy Perspectives - Summer/Fall 2017 - 17
Nigerian pharmacists Omolola Nwokoma and Titilayo Fakeye
BY DANA BRANDORFF
BUILDING BRIDGES AND RELATIONSHIPS
THROUGHOUT THE WORLD
BY DANA BRANDORFF
or Nigerian pharmacists Titilayo
Fakeye and Omolola Nwokoma
coming to America to participate in the FIP foundation's
Pharmabridge program at
the University of Colorado
Skaggs School of Pharmacy for one month has
been "without reservation -- great."
Back home, both practice pharmacy in
different settings. Fakeye is an academic
and teaches and lectures at the University of
Ibadan. Nwokoma is a clinical pharmacist with
the Federal High Courts Staff Clinic.
Fakeye says, "In academia, the major difference between the U.S. and Nigeria is that in the
U.S. teachers are practitioners. That's not the
same at home." For Nwokoma, "We have a long
way to go in the hospital setting, especially when
it comes to specialization. I'm fortunate that I
have built a strong relationship with a physician.
So, he relies on me and allows me to prescribe
or make recommendations. That is not normally
the case and in fact is not legal in my country.
But the physician has faith in me to know where
to draw the line in terms of care."
According to Nwokoma, "I believe that this
program will help us to be better pharmacists
and impart knowledge that we have gained to
our fellow pharmacists back home and other
Pharmabridge® is a voluntary initiative aimed
at strengthening pharmacy services in low-income and emerging countries. Pharmabridge
was established to link individuals and institutions together to actively exchange resources and
training in pharmacy practice, pharmaceutical
science, pharmaceutical industry and professional pharmacy education. Supported by the
International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP),
Pharmabridge was founded in 1999, to foster
communication and exchange of information,
resources, and experiences between pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, and pharmacy
educators from all corners of the globe, leading
to better pharmacy services, improved patient
care and enhanced community health. The
Pharmabridge project aims to strengthen
pharmaceutical services and pharmacy education in developing and transitional countries
through coordinated support from pharmacy
establishments in developed and more advanced
developing countries. This is accomplished by
establishing institutional and personal links
between schools of pharmacy, pharmacists
associations, drug information centers, hospital
pharmacies and individual pharmacists.
WHAT WILL THEY TAKE HOME WITH THEM?
Fakeye says her take away from the experience is
the teaching methods, which she says, "will be
implemented when I get back home." Objective
rubrics and encouraging students to do a lot of
work on their own, as well as encouraging her
students to be life-long learners are what she plans
on embracing upon her return.
Nwokoma says that the philosophy of
patient-centered care, better treatment outcomes, and collaboration across health care
professions is what she will take home with her. "I
believe that no man is an island and collaborating
with others is best for patients," says Nwokoma.
Recently, Nwokoma has been invited to train pharmacists in Kenya,
which will be a starting point for her
in terms of imparting what she has
gained during the Pharmabridge
program. 'If that's a success, then I'll
be able to have an impact, and will be
carrying on the legacy of Pharmabridge
ver since I was 16 I wanted to go
to med school," says second-year
pharmacy student Miya Holley. "It's
probably because I was diagnosed
with Type I diabetes around the same time," she recalls. "I got to see more of the system, especially from
a patient's perspective and it interested me."
During her undergraduate years at CSU, Holley
received exposure to kinesiology, biology, and microbiology and finally settled on biology as a major.
Post graduation she thought about pursuing a PhD,
but "it didn't seem right for me as I knew I wanted to
manage disease states."
Holley decided to take a few years off to figure
out what she wanted to do. "I took a job as a medical scribe in the emergency department at North
Colorado Medical Center in Greeley." As a medical
scribe, she followed a physician throughout the day
and discovered that 90% the of physician's time was
spent on administrative tasks (charting) and the
remaining 10% was with the patient. "Actual patient
time was miniscule, which was eye opening."
During that time, Holley took the MCAT and applied
to some med schools.
Still confused, Holley decided to join AmeriCorps
and during a career fair AmeriCorps hosted she
began talking to CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy recruiters. Admittedly, she knew little about the field
of pharmacy and like so many thought it was "just
distributing meds." But after a tour by a third-year
pharmacy student and a meeting with Cathy Jarvis,
PharmD, Holley discovered an entirely different side
to pharmacy - the clinical side.
"I had a moment of clarity. The profession
seemed to align well with my goals of treating
patients and being able to conduct research." After
the first year of the program, Holley says, "The
program has been amazing."
She's even been working with faculty member
Sam Ellis, PharmD, who specializes in diabetes
research and care at the Barbara Davis Center
and working for a student research grant.
"There are two outstanding reasons
why pharmacy is a better fit for me
than medicine: one is to be a part
of innovation in medical care is
very important to me, and secondly there's more opportunity
to conduct research."
For Holley she's discovered
Check out our video highlighting Miya Holley's experience at
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