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A Vision for the Next Generation of Practitioners
March 17, 2017

A Vision for the Next Generation of Practitioners

Amanda Waltemath, PharmD, MPH, is a clinical pharmacist at Healthesystems She leverages her special interest in pain management and data analysis to direct the firm's opioid therapy management program and develop risk assessment tools for workers' compensation payers. Her responsibilities include creating medication formularies for clients; tracking and analyzing pharmacy trends, and conducting drug therapy reviews and pharmacotherapy evaluations. In addition, she provides educational programs on emerging issues in prescription drug therapies and serves as a clinical resource for clients and colleagues.
Higher education ought to lead society. It has the power to be used as a platform to promote social advocacy—to teach students material and content, yes, but also teach them not what to think, but how to think. How to learn, how to engage, how to interact, how to question, how to critique, and how to begin to unravel the complexities of what lay before us, so they can begin to figure out how to work together to fix it.
I am motivated by learning, and by inspiring others to learn.
I teach to challenge myself, as a lifelong learner. I teach to inspire others and cultivate the best professional version of another person. Throughout my experience as a clinical pharmacist, I have had the privilege of mentoring and precepting students from various pharmacy schools throughout the state. Some students are at the end of their pharmacy curriculum; others are just starting their Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience rotations, and still others have been selected as a first- or second-year student intern. I continue to be impressed by the caliber of students that will be entering the pharmacy profession.
In my field, there is little coursework in the curriculum exposing the students to the wide-ranging role of a pharmacist in a public health or managed care environment. The opportunity I have had to mentor pharmacy students throughout their studies and support them in discerning their passions and career goals offers essential knowledge and skills not often gained in a didactic program. Critical thinking, problem-solving, and application of clinical concepts to real-world scenarios are the basis for true pharmacy practice.
My ultimate goal is to inspire and motivate students to become teachers themselves. A true teacher exemplifies integrity, motivation, professionalism, and effective communication. Although these qualities can be learned, leadership in teaching is a characteristic that cannot be taught and is not based on position or title. It is based instead on a vision, solidified by commitment to that vision, and pursued by acquiring the skills to make that vision come to life.
I hold a vision for the next generation of pharmacists—that they, too, be inspired. Inspired to learn, to grow, to advocate, and to teach.

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