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My Manchester Story

Engy Kheir

by Mam Samba | Jun 06, 2019

Engy Kheir,a P4 student from Orlando, Fla., shares how she uses pharmacy to connect and improve the lives of her patients.

“Is there an area of pharmacy in which you have a special interest?”

“When I first started out I really wanted to do retail, working as a pharmacist for a CVS or Walgreens, but I just started my rotations last month and my first rotation was in ambulatory care and I absolutely fell in love with it! So, now my mind is going back and forth between retail and ambulatory care.”

“Can you tell me more about what ambulatory care is?”

“Ambulatory care focuses a lot on the one-on-one with the patient. You’re able to see them more often and work alongside them to make their medication therapy as optimal as possible. So, if someone is on 10 medications, I would evaluate their therapy to see if this is the best we can do for them and potentially make changes. So it’s going back and forth, problem-solving, and it’s a much slower pace than you would see in a retail setting. In the long run, you really get to see the changes you make in someone’s life and, ultimately, that’s why I’m doing this.”

“What drew you to pharmacy?”

“When I was younger, I’d hear tales that pharmacists just put pills in a box, but then I learned that there’s much more. You’re making a change in someone’s life, and pharmacists have always been the go-to for patients – whereas for a physician’s office you have such a limited time with them that you’re not getting that interaction. With this career, I’m potentially making a bigger difference overall. Patients come in and we have a 45 minute session to talk to them and ask questions, like, ‘Hey, what’s your diet look like? Do you smoke? Have you thought about quitting smoking? Are you exercising?’ Just the different factors in their life that make them who they are and not just looking at a list of medications and making recommendations off that. We can customize their therapy based on their habits and what would really work for them.”

“What recommendations do you have for talking to people about medication?”

“Definitely have empathy toward the patient because most of them don’t understand the extent of their condition. A couple weeks ago, I was talking to a patient with diabetes and we had a conversation about diabetes, how his condition affects his body, and what his medications can potentially do for him. When we finished he said, ‘Wow, nobody has ever sat down and talked to me about all this.’”

“How long had the patient been diabetic?”

“About 15 years! And he said it was the most helpful session he ever had. So my biggest recommendation is to definitely take it slow. Also, try to involve them in the process by asking them what they think they’re capable of doing. If they’re smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, ask if they can cut that down. How many a day can we cut it down to until they completely quit?”

“What drew you to the Manchester Pharmacy Program?”

“I grew up in Florida and when I started applying to pharmacy school, I had several interviews, but when I came to Manchester, I absolutely loved it. It was such a great environment and I felt like everyone cared. They were just so nice and always trying to make conversation. I felt very welcomed, which was huge for someone like me, who was moving out of her parents’ house for the first time. And then the class sizes, because they’re so small, you get that one-on-one interaction with the professors. When you walk down the hall, people know who you are and it is much more intimate. You don’t walk into a lecture hall of 500 people, which is what I had for my undergrad, and it was never personable for me, but here they know your story and why you’re here, and they tailor to you. That’s why I think I’ve learned so much more here compared to a class size of 500 in an auditorium style seating.”