Lily Yip, PharmD (’11), manager of Clinical Pharmacy Operations and Patient Education at Facey Medical Group, explains why she volunteers to supervise USC School of Pharmacy students at health fairs and other community outreach events the School provides free-of-charge to all members of the community every year.
What originally prompted you to become a preceptor?
I remembered how much I enjoyed volunteering at health fairs as a first-year student and as the Co-Director of Asthma Awareness. When I was a student, I enjoyed meeting and learning from the preceptors from different fields who came out to volunteer their time to supervise us. After I became a licensed pharmacist, I was fortunate enough to be an ambulatory care resident at USC where I was able to precept at multiple health fairs throughout the year. I definitely wanted to give back as much as I could to the students who are the future generation of pharmacists and to mentor and teach them about what I’m currently doing in my role as a clinical pharmacist.
What do you enjoy about precepting students at health fairs? Have you had any experiences at health fairs that were especially rewarding or memorable?
I love meeting new students, hearing about what they are learning in school and sharing with them what I’ve learned during my career so far as a clinical pharmacist. It’s refreshing to meet young pharmacy students who are excited and want to learn and absorb as much information as they can. I remember one time I was helping a student counsel a participant who had an elevated blood sugar reading. The student was surprised and impressed with my Spanish skills and wanted to know how I learned medical Spanish. The student also wanted to learn about what I do as an ambulatory care pharmacist and I enjoyed sharing about the diabetic patients that I saw in clinic.
Why do you think prospective pharmacy students should consider attending the USC School of Pharmacy? What is unique about USC School of Pharmacy and how it prepares students for future jobs in the profession?
I would not have had the amazing job opportunities, and the knowledgeable mentors who have supported me to this day, if I had not gone to USC. If you’re looking for a pharmacy school that has strong leaders in the pharmacy field who are alumni who are willing to come back and support the school, then USC is right for you. The school has a lot of student organizations that plan and organize networking events to help you meet pharmacists from different fields and you will find a great mentor who can be a role model for you.
USC has always been known to have a strong network of alumni who help support, guide and mentor students to develop them into successful pharmacists. The USC School of Pharmacy offers a curriculum that helps you understand the foundations of therapeutics and helps you apply them in real situations by offering Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPEs) and Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs) in various settings. As a student, you get get exposure on what it’s like to practice and apply what you’ve learned in class. We also have great faculty members who are willing to go the extra mile to support students and be role models!
What advice do you have for current pharmacy students?
Make sure you study and do well in your classes. You need to work hard. Try to get as much experience as you can as an intern or volunteer to expose yourself to all the different areas of pharmacy practice so you can see where you can see yourself practicing in the future. Try to find mentors who can help provide more guidance and lead you down the right path to the career you want. It’s important to find something you’re passionate about. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
What would you say to someone who was considering becoming involved as a health fair preceptor for the school? Why is volunteerism important?
If you haven’t tried being a health fair preceptor yet, I would highly recommend you do! You can learn something from the students and you have the opportunity to teach these students something about pharmacy, your career, and/or life experiences. Students are always excited to hear what pharmacists are doing right now out in the field. They appreciate any time that you spend with them to share your wisdom and guidance on how to be a successful pharmacist.
Volunteerism is really important. It’s an opportunity for us to give back to the future pharmacists of USC and to make sure we maintain that tight-knit Trojan family reputation for all the future generations to come, so we can produce more amazing leaders to continuously promote the wonderful things that pharmacists can do.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I graduated from USC School of Pharmacy in 2011. I did a PGY-1 Pharmacy Practice Residency in Ambulatory Care at USC under the guidance of Dr. Steven Chen. I started a clinical pharmacy program at AltaMed Medical Group in Pico Rivera in 2012-2015. And now I started another clinical pharmacy program at Facey Medical Group. Being the first and only clinical pharmacist working for the medical group, I started doing Medication Therapy Management (MTM) for our patients and am planning to start doing chronic disease state management in the near future.