Virtual internships are becoming the norm, now more than ever with COVID-19 transforming the way we work. As we were forced to adapt, many companies struggled to come up with a last-minute solution leaving many internships cancelled (including the two programs I applied for last summer).
Thankfully, a company named Birth Control Pharmacist (BCP) was looking for student pharmacists to intern over the summer after they had successfully hosted virtual APPE students. Dr. Brooke Griffin shared this opportunity with me because of my interest in Women’s Health and I started my experience shortly after! In addition to myself, there were two other student pharmacists from University of California, San Diego completing the virtual internship. We all worked closely with Dr. Griffin and Dr. Sally Rafie, founder of BCP. The goal of BCP is to provide resources, as well as education and training regarding pharmacist prescribed contraceptives. Now that more states are starting to adopt legislation allowing pharmacists to prescribe contraceptives, it is crucial that they feel comfortable providing this service to patients.
In my role as a student intern, I gained a broader perspective of the role of pharmacists in state and national policy and enhanced my skills in organization, management, networking, and communication. I had the opportunity to work on several projects including:
· Editing and publishing student blogs featured on BCP
· Publicizing self-written articles, featured on BCP platforms and Pharmacy Times
· Creating and editing patient-centered contraceptive factsheets
· Designing and posting social media content to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn
· Creating BCP merchandise
· Answering FAQs from pharmacist contraceptive training modules
· Working with other states to determine extent of contraceptive prescribing by pharmacists
· Establishing collaborations with companies like Power to Decide
· Creating infographics and dosing algorithms for contraceptives
Overall, my experience as a virtual summer intern with BCP was amazing. It was a unique opportunity that I still share stories from with pharmacists and students I work with. The skills that I gained during my internship are unique and set me apart from a lot of other student pharmacists. I enjoyed the virtual format as it allowed me to have flexibility with my work schedule. Now, I find myself using a lot of the skills I gained on my internship during my rotations, especially community and industry.
If you are interested in a virtual internship, don’t be afraid to reach out to different companies! If you don’t see information detailing a program offered you may be able to create your own experience.
Breanna Failla, PharmD Candidate
Midwestern University College of Pharmacy – Downers Grove