Dr. Sandeep Devabhakthuni received his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy in 2009. He then completed a PGY1 pharmacy residency at the University of Maryland Medical Center from 2009-2010. He returned to Pittsburgh to complete a PGY2 Cardiology/Critical Care pharmacy residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center from 2010-2011. Currently, Dr. Devabhakthuni is a BPS Board Certified Cardiology Pharmacist (BCCP) with a clinical practice on an inpatient cardiology service and an ambulatory care heart transplant practice at the University of Maryland Heart Center. He is an associate professor of pharmacy practice and science at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy and serves as the department’s Director of Post-Graduate Training. His areas of interest include heart failure, anticoagulation, sedation practices, and residency and fellowship training.
He has been actively involved in the Maryland Society of Health System Pharmacists (MSHP) since 2012. He served on the Board as Director-at-Large from 2014-2017. He was awarded the MSHP Health-System Pharmacist of the Year in 2013.
Overview of Facility/Health System
The University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) is comprised of two hospitals in Baltimore: an 800-bed teaching hospital — the flagship institution of the 12-hospital University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) — and a 200-bed community teaching hospital, UMMC Midtown Campus.
UMMC is a national and regional referral center for trauma, cancer care, neurocare, cardiac care, diabetes and endocrinology, women's and children's health and has one of the largest solid organ transplant programs in the country. All physicians on staff at the flagship hospital are faculty physicians of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. As an academic medical center, UMMC participates in cutting-edge research and clinical trials, which gives patients access to the newest treatments.
At the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, Dr. Devabhakthuni has been actively involved in establishing preceptor development activities and initiatives to expand residency and fellowship training programs. He recently completed a research project with a group of physicians on optimizing sedation practices in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at UMMC, and this multidisciplinary effort was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Initial Involvement in ASHP
He has been an active member of the ASHP Section of Inpatient Care Practitioners Educational Steering Committee since 2017. In this role, he has worked on several projects including Midyear Clinical Meeting proposal reviews, writing an article for SafeMedication.com, and assisting with a preceptor development webinar.
Why did you become involved in ASHP?
I strongly believe that all of my accomplishments so far have been because of strong mentorship. Because ASHP is involved in shaping the future of pharmacy, I felt that it would be the right organization to allow me to give back to the profession. I wanted to be able to provide mentorship to the future generations since they will be the legacy of our profession.
Advice for Someone New to Your Specialty Area
Frequently, new practitioners compare their first position to their residency or fellowship training and become discouraged if the practice model is significantly different for various reasons (e.g., working with a less user-friendly patient electronic database, interacting with difficult healthcare providers). Before making any snap judgments, remember that it takes at least six months if not a full year before you fully understand the practice model at the institution. Make sure that you fully understand the processes in place before you criticize people unless that is a job responsibility of your position. Also, taking this time to establish yourself will allow you to provide more meaningful suggestions that will be respected and accepted by your team.
How would you explain the value of ASHP to a friend or colleague?
ASHP provides great value for new practitioners who are interested in advancing patient care. ASHP provides extensive resources for professional development, networking, mentorship, and continuing education on clinical updates. ASHP is an organization that is committed to advancing the practice of pharmacy by advocating the role of the pharmacist on the national level. ASHP also is working tirelessly with other healthcare organizations to promote interprofessional team-based care, which ultimately makes patients' lives better.
Value of ASHP for the profession
ASHP's vision is about the future of the profession and how we can provide the best resources for practitioners to optimize patient care. ASHP is a strong voice for pharmacists and is constantly working to advance the profession of pharmacy. ASHP advocates for the role of the pharmacist as a healthcare professional and has been instrumental in expanding the scope of the pharmacist when providing pharmaceutical care. ASHP also fosters collaboration among healthcare professionals to share high-quality educational resources.