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Summer Internship at Johns Hopkins Medicine

Johns Hopkins Medicine (Inpatient Hospital and Outpatient Homecare Group)
Baltimore, Maryland

Question and answers with Sujin Lee Weinstein, Pharm.D., BCPP, Clinical Pharmacist, Psychiatry, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Department of Pharmacy, Baltimore, Maryland

1. How many interns do you have? ~25 interns/year

2. What is the overall philosophy/goals of the internship program? 

  • Provide student interns with an overview of the current health care environment.
  • Expose student interns to current standards of care and policy driven pharmacy practice unique to hospitals and health-systems.
  • Provide student interns with the opportunity to grow both professionally and personally, through interaction with health care professionals, presentation and project processes and advancement in oral and written skills.
  • Provide student interns with opportunities to become an integral part of the staff in the area they have been assigned.

3. How is the internship scheduled and what is the program length? 

  • During phone interview, students identify their top “5” areas that they are interested in and then the program coordinators determine the final assignment
  • Student interns begin either the last Tuesday of May (because of Memorial day) or first Monday in June (only 2 start dates are offered) – continue for at least 9 consecutive weeks (length is dependent on the student intern – some students stay 12-16 weeks with us)
  • It is a paid internship – student interns are considered employees and they must go through the organization’s orientation requirements

4. What type of structured activities do interns participate in?

  • Multiple social events with other interns, residents and preceptors
  • Pharmacist-led topic discussions (including 3 off site visits to another hospital within our health system, the outpatient Homecare Group, and ASHP headquarters in Bethesda)
  • Assignments and projects assigned by preceptors
  • Pharmacist shadowing experiences
  • Attendance/participation in departmental educational activities (CE programs, APPE topic discussions, Pharmacy Grand Rounds, etc.)
  • Formal presentation at the end of the summer to the department regarding the projects they have worked on over the course of their internship
  • ~ 25%-50% present a poster at the following ASHP MCM

5. Who are the preceptors?  Primarily administrative pharmacists (i.e. Division Directors, Operation Managers, Clinical Managers, etc.)

6. How are the preceptors trained? Preceptors have > 5 years of experience and serve as IPPE, APPE, and/or resident preceptors.  They meet annual departmental requirements to serve as a preceptor.

7. Do interns participate in discussions with staff on professional practice issues? There are pharmacist- led discussions scheduled during the internship program, including three led by our Vice President of Pharmacy Services; preceptors may also schedule 1:1 discussions.  During the summer our ASHP state affiliate, Maryland Society of Health-System Pharmacists (MSHP) also holds a student leadership workshop that many/most of our student interns attend.

8. What do you feel are your best practices?

  • Our internship provides a comprehensive introduction to pharmacy services available in a large academic system
  • Student interns are able to build their network with pharmacists, residents and fellow students, whom they continue to keep in close contact with after the internship program
  • Many student interns complete a project that is presented as a poster at ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting
  • Most student interns establish a relationship with their preceptor, who will write a future letter of recommendation (the overwhelming majority of interns pursue residencies)

9. Do you have interprofessional educational activities?

  • Students may attend interprofessional meetings with their preceptors
  • Students attend an academic interprofessional educational activity coordinated with our schools of Business, Nursing, and Public Health

10. Do you have anything else to share?
Our internship program offers a global perspective on a wide range of pharmacy careers and pharmacy services offered through the inpatient, outpatient, administrative, and transitions of care areas.   Due to the size of our organization, student interns are able to observe and even experience unique, innovative pharmacy services.  More of an administrative experience, our internship provides student interns with opportunities to work on projects that focus on improving our pharmacy services and workflow, enhancing patient safety, ensuring quality assurance, and even implementing new pharmacy services.  Student interns are also able to build their professional network by meeting with numerous pharmacists, residents and student peers, often forming lasting relationships.  Student interns often complete the internship program with a better understanding of their own career goals and aspirations.

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