Ask Me Anything | Episode 6 | Pharmacy & Informatics



what is going on everyone it has been a very long time since I've done one of these videos and my apologies first off because my goal is to always provide timely responses to your questions and I have probably fell off the radar for about three months of messages I am three months behind on messages I've just been really busy holidays work school and just other obligations so first off my apologies on that I have a lot of questions that I'm gonna try to get through and I'm gonna make a couple more of these videos to respond to them and try to make these more frequent so I can share some of these questions and answers with everyone so it helps everyone at once versus responding to each and individual message which I'll also try to do as well all right so I'm just gonna get right down to it I have a variety of messages I've been combing through them today to group them they're all different so I'm gonna try to create these videos and make them related if that makes any sense today's video is gonna be some of the pharmacy and informatics questions there's a lot of other questions that came in about my mph program came in about just epic specifically or I can't remember all the other ones but today is gonna be about pharmacy and informatics so hope you enjoy all right so let's jump right into it I have the questions here on my phone the first question is from sue me she says hi Brian I wasn't into getting some additional information about volunteer work through a SHP so Pitts for informatics and they have this message the appointment process opens every year in November please check back for more information about volunteering it also lists the names of volunteers for different selection advisory groups I believe does it mean the 2018-2019 selection is over so that's a great question I wasn't aware of any volunteering actually let me let me take a step back I'm not sure what that list might be because it's saying it started in November for volunteering so I I'm not sure what what that is referencing per se I know I've talked about volunteering with the a SHP soap it sags and for those of you who don't know those acronyms soap it is the section of pharmacy and from a informatics and Technology sags our section Advisory groups so you can look up more information about the different sags in a SHP and what I've talked about in the past is you know get involved with informatics network with other informatics individuals and a great way to do that is by joining these sags because you meet people you do work on a national level sometimes international and you put out content so it's really great in your resume it's great for networking all that kind of stuff in this case to her question they typically open in the beginning of the year sometime and they typically end in April I can remember phones the beginning of April or the end of April of that same here so it's like a couple month time frame in which you can apply for these and see if you get accepted so I do know that the soap it's AG the appointments for those opens in February of this year for the next cycle so for the 2018 and 2019 cycle it opens in February I'm not sure the specific date but time in February it will open just keep checking that website just type in soap it's AG you should be able to find a link to the application somewhere and if I find it I'll post a link to the in the description below but when it opens it's just like a long survey to ask you where what sag are you interested in specifically your experiences your background why you want to join all those kind of general questions just fill that out and so it opens in February and it closes in April sometimes so your you are not too late it is coming up and so the deadline is not past okay next question is Joshi Hillary ja she says hey Bryan I love your videos on YouTube what are some certifications that pharmacy students can get while in pharmacy school to get more skill oriented certified for pharmacy informatics okay so certifications that pharmacy students can get um the first thing I'll say is pharmacy informatics and I've said this in other videos but I always reiterate it pharmacy informatics is a specialization in pharmacy you know first and foremost were pharmacists so the first thing I always suggest is make sure you are clinically competent or competent as a pharmacist first off before spending time and other things which because you're reaching out you know you're you're probably already a great student and you're ready on top of your things but just always keep that in mind we are pharmacists first we're gonna make sure we're clinical or competent as a pharmacist first before dabbling in other things so with that preface certifications there's a lot of different certifications I've talked about certifications in the past and there are many I probably don't even know about there's just so many out there and so the first thing I'll say as a student is hims offers ACA him certification and ACP him certification see a hems are like those individuals who are interested informatics don't really have a Syria was just talking by the way CA hims is the pathway for those who are interested in informatics who are new to it and you can just basically do that certification and gain some of the core competencies of informatics it's a great way to get in great certification for students if you do happen to have some informatics experience which some students do then CP hims I believe that's like three years plus of experience you can go down that route what I why I always bring this certification up or these two certifications up is because my anecdotal personal experience is that I think it's the most widely recognized certification out there most of my informatics colleagues all have either of these certifications so it's very widely recognized and so if you're talking from an employment opportunity it's a great thing to go for and it's also great knowledgebase granted I have not taken the exam I do not know whether it would benefit me at all a pride will any new knowledge is always beneficial in my opinion but yeah so that's one thing you can pursue CA hims for him from him the so that so that's one certification can get another one that I've thought about or talked about is the ACE HP informatics certificate I don't recall if you can do it as a pharmacy student I think you can the downside of that is probably I think a lot of the things that are probably talked about in there are more geared towards your pharmacists like the the the further along you are in your pharmacy career or your pharmacy didactic training the easier it would be to internalize you know a lot of terminology in there is is beyond just typical pharmacy stuff so that's one and another downside one of downsides would be that you don't get seee credit for it because you're a pharmacy student so that that's not great and it could be quite expensive I believe it's like $200 and that might just be the member price might be more expensive for non-members but it's something you can look at as well in terms of other certifications there are other great things that will help you as you go towards an informatics path one of the key key things is project management so there is various certifications within project management the main one I know about is PMP you can just Google different certifications you probably just Google that one and find the other ones that are offered PMP is the main one it's you know it kind of depends and I prize should have started off by saying this first the certifications you can get as a student is probably many the certifications you probably should get probably depends on what you're interested in and what what path you see yourself going down towards and in in that case you know you probably don't know what path you're going down and what I would say then is find a certification that is kind of overall breadth of the different areas of privacy informatics and the the the ones I just talked about earlier is probably the two that I think about usually which is the one the two certifications from him CA hams and CPM xander the a CHP infra Max certificate I think those are probably pretty comprehensive for the most part so certifications so these other ones are more like ad-hoc we're just kind of depends I just talked about in terms of project management projects are huge in our community it's really important to have those skill sets so any type of project management experience is certainly a positive informatics world so PMP is something to consider there's the AIC or aah I see they they changed it I believe the latest rendition is 8h IC by a Mia and theirs is more of a clinically focused informatics certification they've been talking about it for years I've been holding out for that certification they have not released it I probably will be another couple years before it's released but I I'm more in the clinical side of things so that's the one I'm holding out for all right so my my camera died um let's see I can't remember I was talking about so certifications overall we talked about CA mCP hims a sh beam from a certificate a MIA P PMP there's also another group of certifications that I'm not very familiar with but I do see some individuals have them and these are your health IT certifications I don't know if you can do this as a pharmacy student I think you can but I'll post more information on the the description below there's all different flavors of this it was like certified in electronic health records certified in health information technology and there's like two or three others but I'll post more information on links below I I have a couple of colleagues that do have these I'm not very familiar with them but do check them out if you're interested and then in terms of like other non certifications but great skills that I might suggest having are if you're interested is more the reporting side and I do think the future of informatics not just pharmacy for Maddux is headed down this route it may be a good idea to look into some of the technical skills such as SQL which is really really beneficial in many cases especially if you're doing reporting tableau for data visualization having R and Python as programming skills you can do a lot of things with informatics with that but it's kind of niche in that sense so the impact on getting the the impact of having that might not be as beneficial as some of the other ones but if you're looking for a role that needs those two those are huge skills and great assets to have so look at some of the things you can look into if you find it interesting they could be very beneficial certainly employers do look at that so definitely check some of those out and see which one's interests you the most all right and then I have another question here from John he says I'm a fourth year pharmacy student at OSU sus slash OHSU in Oregon I am very passionate about pharmacy informatics and I'm hoping to obtain a position as an infra mattis's in the near future currently I'm applying to run C programs with an informatics pgy – thus far I haven't had any luck with interview invites I'm trying my best to be optimistic but I most likely will be starting my pharmacy career in the outpatient setting I was hoping to gain advise on what steps I should take if residency doesn't work out one option I was thinking was about was getting my master's and health informatics do you think this will make me a more competitive applicant for jobs well there's a lot of questions on here what programs or associations should I get involved with to boost my CV and knowledge of informatics are there certifications out there like the new grad like me can obtain and I appreciate your time a big fan of a youtube channel keep up the great work so first of all thanks for you know supporting to channel watching the channel and yeah it's it subscribers that you that make me motivated and keep doing these kind of videos so thanks for watching secondly there's there's quite a few questions in here I do hope you get some interview invites it is a pretty rough market out there again you know just the statistics alone two-thirds of applicants match so there's there's a great amount out there that don't and you know it's it's just not enough spots that's that's what it is but I do hope you get some interviews and best of luck as you enter and really begin this residency process because the invites are going out this month the next month okay so advice first question was about if you should get your masters in health informatics do you think it would make you more competitive for jobs so the simple answer is yes well the simple answer to whether or not make you more competitive is yes whether or not you should get it is it depends certainly I'll always help not going to deny that but there are a lot of considerations with getting it it's similar to like a resin seed where it's a time commitment there's financial considerations and you know how much more opportunity would you gain from getting that versus not so I have a lot of students that have asked this in the past especially those who found themselves going down the residency path not matching and then asking if masters would be helpful I usually say no and and there's a couple of reasons why the first reason is because I think there's an over inflation of degrees in America for whatever reason when we find you know certain paths not working out a lot of those a lot of us in America retreat and pursue more educational opportunities I'm not saying it's a bad thing and this is just what I've noticed and what others have said it's not a bad thing but I think that there's a lot of opportunity costs that you lose with that and in especially because you just came out of a doctorate of pharmacy degree you have a great degree you know I I don't think that you need to add that much more to it in light of other options so what I mean by those other options and options that I think you should pursue is just trying to spend your time finding that job – looking for jobs networking with individuals and applying to those jobs you know that that itself takes a lot of effort and I think you should try to focus on that a bit before considering this master's in health informatics certainly something you can consider but focus more of your time the majority of your time looking for a job networking with people to see if you can get a job first before going down the masters route and the the last couple of students that I've talked to did this route and ended up you know not doing a masters not doing residency and having great jobs that they ended up getting sometimes a couple months later after graduating but they love what they're doing so I think that you know just pursuing additional education opportunities is great but certainly look at other avenues as well such as applying the jobs and getting a job it's kind of ironic that I'm saying this because I'm pursuing a masters myself but that's that's another story so in that case it kind of depends I hope that was helpful that your next question is what programs or associations should I get involved with to boost my CV and knowledge of informatics so this certainly I would say goes in line with networking and boosting your opportunities without severely limiting your opportunity costs but there's three organizations I typically think of when students are interested in informatics especially in pharmacy informatics one is a SHP you know because a SHP is the main group for health system pharmacist they have a large cohort or network of informatics pharmacist and you know it's it's more focused on pharmacy informatics so SHP has a lot of opportunities check out the website talk to folks who are in or involved with SHP and informatics look up a SHP soap it just the section of pharmacy informatics and technology you can find a lot of contacts for folks who are in this space get involved at that organization get involved with those activities and there's certainly help boost your CV and knowledge of informatics secondly is emia so that's the American Medical Informatics Association that is more medicine focused the more academic research focus but there is a lot of great information out there more so from the the research academic side and I think you would find some benefit there it does get a little technical at times a lot of theory and stuff but it's a great organization to be a part of there's a lot of great work groups a lot of great infamous acai truly pushing us toward the next next phase of informatics out there so amia there's a lot of opportunities a lot of great people in there and the last one is hymns hymns is I can't remember what it stands for but you know it's it's the general health informatics community so it's not specifically related to either pharmacy or medicine but it's just overall comprehensive very broad it's a great organization a lot of technical skills in that area a lot of project management a lot of integration things like that so but it's it's a great opportunity to be a part of those organizations check them out I think from my own personal experience and talking with colleagues that a lot of folks find it a little too broad in that sense and a little too technical especially for those of us who are more in clinical informatics but it's it's an organization to look into but I'll price start off with a SHP then a Mia than hims the next question is are there certifications out there that a new grad like me can obtain I kind of talked about in the previous question see a hims or CP hims would be great definitely check that out a CHP informatics certificate that's great project management and then your help IT certifications so pretty much all the certifications I talked about in the prior or previous question those are great certifications to check out and it's similar with the skills – so SQL are Python tableau those kind of skills would be great especially if you're looking for more of a reporting and data analytics type role okay last question here from ji-yong hope I pronounced that right Geno says hi Brian first of all thanks so much for your help and detailed reply oh so I think this was a chain back in four five I've been talking to you for a little bit Brian want to check with you on one thing I went to the local revenue showcase last week in Houston Texas and found out that some of the very small hospitals in the rural area also offered a reson C program they had like two residents in their program my question is does it matter a lot which hospital we do the residency at or as long as you do a residency regardless of the size and location of the hospital that's all that matters it seems like that program easier to get in so I wanted to ask your honest opinion on this it's a great question a very great question I touched on this in multiple videos in the past actually I think it was probably about residency rank and something like that but I have a lot of mixed feelings on this and I don't have a definitive answer for you but let's see does it matter which hospital we do presents yet my answer to most things is it depends and it's the same case here does it matter it depends because I don't think it necessarily does I always feel that regardless of the name or brand or prestige or size or location a lot of it has to do with you and in terms of how much effort you put into that residency how much you invest into it so what you're asking about specifically is small rural programs so if you had a program that small rural one of the things that you might lose out on is more experience more breadth in certain scenarios so a large academic medical center or a large hospital overall you might see things like trauma you might have more ICU experienced or specialized ICU oncology like very unique specialized patient populations that you might not get in a small rural hospital so you might lose out on some of that but going back to my first point it really depends on you is because you can make some of those things happen so if you had a small rural Hospital you can negotiate with the director and ask are there opportunities to do a rotation at a nearby large hospital and those are some of the things I asked about you know one of the the hospitals that I was interested in didn't have an infectious disease or an informatics rotation so I asked can I do it at a nearby hospital I don't think it really panned out because a lot of it comes to you where you have to really initiate and put in the work to make these things happen because they don't exist I will give an example though on my pgy tune from an expert ation I didn't have a reporting rotation you know I really was interested in reporting and I wanted to have that experience so what I did is I pioneered the first reporting rotation at my residency you know it there are a lot of time spent in to a coordination and administrative duties in terms of getting that set up but I got a great experience out of it I got to dabble a little bit more in some of the reports that I want to work on and that kind of stuff so it really depends on you and then the other thing I'll say is it also depends because it's that next step that employer or that director who's evaluating you there's always bias that's never gonna go away where someone who's evaluating you for either a PG or I want PG y to fellowship or a job might say hey I have two candidates here one went to this great reputable program and one went to the small rural hospital they might say this person had more experience you know they know that those folks coming out from there had this minimum competency that they're going to come out with I want to choose them you know over that rural hospital but that's not always the case again it depends on you sometimes if you did very well in your your hospital your resin C experience your name's gonna get out there people are gonna know about you word of mouth goes a long way so in those cases it could depend on that person who's hiring you there may be more likely to choose the individual that a residency at a very reputable large Hospital but maybe they heard from that you're your preceptor or your director at your small rural Hospital and they put in a really good work with you they said you really are a great strong worker great work I think all of this and you get the job so it's it's really hard to discern in that case but for the most part my personal bias is that I think it doesn't matter I think it depends on you you put an effort you do the work you that will take you farther than any branded large Hospital you can go to that and that's again my personal biased opinion and then you said or as long as you do a residency regards to the size and location in the hospital that's all that matters so I will say one thing I didn't match for my pgy one I had to scramble for my position and I did have a little stint in which I had to apply for jobs because I needed jobs after graduating and so I spent time you know doing applications talking to people trying to network trying to get a job because I didn't imagine to renze while also doing the scramble to get a residency in that period of time I felt completely hopeless and this is in 2013 because I felt as though I wasn't given any attention in my job applications because I didn't have a residency obviously there are many other factors that could have given that you know the disappointing online is is quite difficult over all regardless of whether or not you have redundancy or not but I I felt as though I struggled a lot without having a reson see and then after I got into my pgy one you know during my p01 and after graduating for my PTR one I felt as though the opportunities just blew up where recruiters reached out to me different employers reached out to me like opportunities were were a lot more relative to know residency so what I'm trying to say to your point here is that let me go back to your question or as long as you do a residency regards to the size and location that's all that matters and this in this scenario that is all that matters the fact that I have a PGI one in my own personal and equals one experience that mattered the fact that it resin see gave me a lot of leg room to to basically open up the doors for many different opportunities so kind of pens I guess to summarize both of these points one I think a renze is a great business decision definitely go for it if you have the time the resources the opportunity cost great do it I think it's a great investment where you do it I don't think it matters as much because it's just on you I think that was the last program yep that was the last question all right guys so I hope some of these helped I'll have a couple more videos on your questions and I hope to get to all of them into time please do keep reaching out to me when you can I really enjoy reading your comments and I'll do my best to continue to read them respond to them and hopefully do more of these videos so everyone can benefit from your questions alright guys until next time hey guys thanks for tuning in and watching the video if you like the content definitely hit the impro rx button over to your left to subscribe and definitely check out more videos over here to your right now as always if you have questions comments and even better suggestions for future videos definitely let me know in the comments below otherwise until next time guys

4 Comments

  1. kaiba756 said:

    I believe this is the SOPIT link for 2019-2020
    https://www.ashp.org/Membership-Center/Get-Involved/Advisory-Group-and-Committee-Appointments

    May 22, 2019
    Reply
  2. Tim Kirk said:

    Hey Brian. A friend of mine introduced me to Pharmacy, IT, & Me Podcast. It's hosted by an IT RPh from CA. I believe he is looking for guests. You should check it out.

    May 22, 2019
    Reply
  3. Opeyemi Ibrahim said:

    Hi Brian, I sent you an email relating to pharmacy informatics! When you have time, can you please take a look at it :). Thanks!

    May 22, 2019
    Reply
  4. Daily Dispense said:

    I like the Q&A video, Brian, and way to represent ASHP SOPIT. Being part of a section advisory group is one of the highlights during my pharmacy informatics career. It's so inspiring to collaborate with so many passionate leaders in our field.

    May 22, 2019
    Reply

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