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November 2011 OPA Extern Profile: Eric Gillespie

Name:  Eric Gillespie


Pharmacy school:
University of Cincinnati

 OPA Extern Eric Gillespie

Undergraduate degree/institution:  BA French, University of Cincinnati

Hobbies: Saltwater Aquaria, Home Construction Projects, Wood-working, Tailgating

How did you get interested in the profession of pharmacy? I began working in an independent pharmacy in 1999 as a delivery boy. I initially was not interested in the profession of pharmacy until after working there several years and beginning to do more work inside the pharmacy with the patients especially. After finishing my first degree, I toggled between going deeper into French or switch over to pharmacy. I made the decision to devote all my time to pharmacy and I haven’t looked back since.

What really got me interested was my interaction with the patients. I loved helping them both with over-the-counter and prescription questions. In addition I liked that people trusted the pharmacists I worked with completely. Even with embarrassing or very personal information, the patients were very forth coming with the information and trusted the pharmacist to be prudent to use the information, not to judge, but merely to help the patients in their time of need.

Why did you choose OPA as a rotation? I chose this rotation because I held the position of OPA Student Representative for the APhA chapter of the University of Cincinnati for two years.  I loved coming to the board meetings and seeing all of the activities the Association is involved in for the profession of pharmacy.  In addition, I enjoy being involved in the political aspects of the profession.  I whole-heartedly agree that if we do not fight for our own position in the medical field that we will be left behind to deal with the scraps left over from nursing and physicians.  I am enthusiastic to work not only for patients, but also the profession and OPA is certainly a great place to achieve both of these goals.

What was the most significant or surprising experience at OPA? The most surprising experience this month has been the presentation to Columbus fire fighters about “bath salts.” The event ended up being so rewarding for both myself and the firemen. Everyone who came up to me was so grateful, and asked if we could do talks about other topics that might be of interest for them. I actually feel that the talks went so well, that I am going to contact the Cincinnati fire department and see if they would like me to come and talk to them. In addition, I am going to research if they can get continuing education credit for the talk as well.

What other pharmacy associations/organizations do you belong to? American Pharmacists Association, National Community Pharmacists Association

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