Position/Title: Lead Pharmacist, Investigational Drug Services
Organization: Harborview Medical Center
Primary Specialty: Investigational Drug Services
Specialties: Critical Care, Home Health and Infusion
Pharm.D. from the University of Southern California, 1978. The 15 years working on very busy trauma surgery and pulmonary/critical care teams, actively involved in clinical research provided the training to be able to step into this role. At least a PGY1 pharmacy practice residency would be necessary in today’s world.
Type of Patient Population Served
Very wide range of patients (subjects) in studies involving critical care, neurosurgical, epilepsy, hepatology, oncology, cardiovascular, HIV, STD & other infectious diseases, burns, pain relief, renal, emergency medicine, endocrine, anesthesia, women’s health, dental, surgical, ophthalmology, and general medicine service patients. These studies involve inpatients, clinic patients, and outpatients.
Roles and Responsibilities
Reviewing protocol proposals, helping develop protocols, developing a plan for medication management for each study, developing randomization schemes for studies, developing study budgets, developing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for each study, managing inventory and accountability of study drugs & supplies, interfacing with principal investigators, study coordinators, nurses, pharmacists, and patients (subjects), training other pharmacy personnel for study management, teaching/mentoring pharmacy students & residents, preparing for audits from FDA, national & local monitors, verifying proper billing to study budgets, developing archiving systems for study documents, counseling subjects regarding their study medications, and overseeing the Investigational Drug Service staff.
How I Got Where I am Today
Graduated with Pharm.D. , worked as clinical pharmacist in Surgery for a few years, Critical Care/Cardiology for many years, Medication Safety Pharmacist, Home Infusion Pharmacist at a large University based teaching institution that is involved in research in most disciplines. I have been involved in helping investigators with clinical research informally for many years on the services that I covered, and after volunteering as a member of our Universities Institutional Revenue Board (IRB) for many years, I was able to be prepared to take on the role of manager of the Investigational Drug Services. Interest and involvement in research projects in the area where you are working will give you experience and a feel for your desire to seek this type of position.
Advice for Students Pursuing this Career Path
A pharmacy practice residency would be of great value in preparing you to deal with a wide array of different areas of research. Experience as many different roles within pharmacy practice as possible. Do not be afraid to make a change in career goals. Try to find an area where you can serve that brings fulfillment.
Professional Organizations/Activities Outside Day-to-Day Job Responsibilities
I have been involved with ASHP, CPFI, and local pharmacy organizations off and on for the past 30 years. I am also the chairman of one of the University of Washington IRBs. I have been involved in outreach to the poor in southeast and central Asia, sometimes involving medical missions.
You can reach me by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org