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Meaningful Projects Start with You

Several years ago a student asked me about completing a research project. We both had a passion for women’s health. I asked her about her experiences at school and work. She asked me how I decide which content goes into the lectures.

Then she said something I’ll never forget. “At work my pharmacist asks me to counsel every patient on emergency contraception. I’ve never really had the chance to practice that. Can we research that somehow?”

And thus, a project was born.

She had the research question (Would students find this helpful?) and she created the research design (Survey pharmacy students pre/post a mock counseling session).

She presented the results as a poster and wrote it up as a publication.

Students have a unique lens into the pharmacy world: where are the gaps in practice? What are better ways of providing care? How can we improve our educational techniques?

Because of this student, I continue to offer the mock counseling session in my required course. And every year, I tell this story on why.

Her experience as an intern coupled with a great idea led to a meaningful project. It doesn’t have to be big. It doesn’t have to result in a poster or publication. It doesn’t have to change every pharmacy or every classroom.

It just has to start with you. What are your ideas?


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