Rural Rotation Experience – A Student’s Perspective

Kellie Spence in Durango

In the far southwest corner of Colorado sits the charming and mountain-encased town of Durango.  The breathtaking landscape and friendly residents alone warrant enough enticement to rank this location as a rotation site,  but the experiences I have gained at Rivergate Pharmacy and Animas Internal Medicine were the most fulfilling aspects. 

Kellie Spence

CU Pharmacy Student Kellie Spence

The beauty of this site was that half of my time I spent in the pharmacy, and the other half was with a primary care physician, Dr. William Finn. Because of this, my experiences were vast and well-rounded.  Rivergate is an independent pharmacy with a specialty in compounding, so I was grateful to spend time in the lab, learning to create tailored, patient-specific creams, lozenges, and capsules.  I also lacked knowledge in how independent pharmacies function in contrast to larger retail chains, so I had the opportunity to gain insight.

When I wasn’t in the pharmacy compounding prescriptions and helping in overall operations, I walked upstairs to the office of Dr. Finn, one of the physicians in Animas Internal Medicine.  Dr. Finn was one of the most phenomenal and instrumental teachers I have ever had.  Words cannot express not only my admiration, but my gratitude for the lessons he taught me.  He possesses the unique skill set of being able to challenge my thought-process and encourage critical thinking, while also highlighting my strengths and cultivating confidence.  From counseling patients on new medications to walking through patient cases, Dr. Finn continually pushed me outside of my comfort zone.  This resulted in becoming a better, well-versed student, ready to tackle and dive into my next rotations as a fourth-year student.  I am thankful for the connections CU Pharmacy has created with rural locations such as this one, and highly encourage fellow students to sign up for the Durango experience.

This post contributed by CU Pharmacy student Kellie Spence. Click here for more on CU Pharmacy Experiential Programs and Rotations here.

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