Jamila Jorden, a pharmacist and academic advisor, recently gave an interview discussing the multifaceted role of pharmacists. She also discussed the importance of experiential education in preparing pharmacy students for their careers. Jamila’s experiences in the pharmacy profession provide valuable insight into the varied roles and responsibilities of pharmacists.
As a self-proclaimed navy brat, Jamila settled in South Jersey and attended Howard University for her undergraduate education. Initially wanting to be a physician’s assistant, she was advised by her track coach to become a doctor but chose pharmacy since pharmacy schools were just starting to cross over from BS to PharmD. After graduation, Jamila completed a PGY1 residency program at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital and went into hospital pharmacy in Philadelphia. Later, she worked for nearly fifteen years at a managed care organization before finally getting the opportunity to work in education at her alma mater in 2018, where she now works in the experiential education department.
One of the key takeaways from Jamila’s experience is the varied responsibilities of pharmacists. Contrary to the common misconception that they only work in community pharmacies, pharmacists can work in various areas such as government, education, industry, hospital, retail, and digital healthcare. Pharmacists play an important role in public health advocacy and interact with patients on a monthly basis. They guide patients on what medications are correct and when to take them. Experiential learning through rotations is one of the most important parts of the curriculum. This is crucial in preparing them for their desired post-graduation goals.
As an academic advisor, Jamila finds it rewarding to help students prepare for their desired post-graduation goals. Experiential learning through rotations is a significant portion of a pharmacy student’s curriculum. Jamila emphasizes its importance in preparing them for their careers. Her workday varies depending on priorities and committee involvement. But she spends a lot of time on experiential education and student-related tasks and also works part-time at a family medicine clinic.
Jamila also discusses the challenges that come with working in healthcare, such as the constant changes associated with new drugs and treatments. To provide the best care, pharmacists need to make sure they’re keeping up to date with these developments, which can be challenging. Another challenge is the prevalence of incorrect information on the internet, which can lead to misconceptions about medications or treatments. Pharmacists need to be able to separate fact from fiction and help patients understand the correct information.
In terms of advice for students considering or starting pharmacy school, Jamila suggests that they conduct research on the field of pharmacy. They should talk to multiple people in different fields and join pharmacy organizations. She emphasizes the vast range of areas in which pharmacists can work. From government, education, industry, hospital, and retail, to even digital healthcare. Jamila also stresses the importance of studying hard and retaining knowledge while in pharmacy school. Those four years give you knowledge that doesn’t just culminate in graduating but is important for getting board-certified. Building connections with people in the field of pharmacy can also be beneficial for students. Finally, Jamila advises students to hold on to their dreams but be mindful that life may change. They need to be open to other opportunities that come their way.
In conclusion, Jamila Jorden’s experiences and advice as a pharmacy advisor provide valuable insight into preparing pharmacy students for their careers. As the healthcare industry continues to evolve, the role of pharmacists will become even more important. The field of pharmacy offers a wide range of opportunities. With the right preparation and mindset, students can achieve their desired career goals in this rewarding and essential field.