Student Perspective: Matt

May 29, 2020

For us here at the Clinic, we always see having our new students as a treat. On rare occasion, these students are new to us AND new to the hands-on clinical work that becomes the totality of their experiential education.  Matt, our May pharmacy student from Cedarville University, was just such a treat.  Health Partners had the honor of being his first experiential site and he has been willing to share that fresh Perspective with us:

Health Partners Free Clinic was my first pharmacy rotation of the year. The wealth of positive experiences I had here will stay with me for a long time. It was evident to me very quickly that everyone working at Health Partners, including the pharmacists, nurse practitioners, volunteers, and others, were all committed to providing holistic care to the patients that we were serving.

Throughout my month at Health Partners I learned a lot from everyone there. I spent a good deal of my month here working with the nurse practitioners. Having conversations with the nurses, who are all very knowledgeable, was a significant learning opportunity for me. I had many good conversations with them about treating patients and how to think carefully through all the possible options before deciding on what was best for each individual that we were serving. While I was there, I also learned from several pharmacists and pharmacy residents who were likewise incredibly knowledgeable and willing to share their insight with me. Interacting with many interesting patients was another highlight of my time at Health Partners. I had many good conversations and chances to counsel patients on their medications, as well as answer any questions they had.

Another thing that my month at Health Partners reinforced for me is the importance of good communication and respect among all the members of the healthcare team. All of the various team members at Health Partners, including the volunteers that we worked with, were respectful and supportive of each other. This had a huge impact on our ability to provide the best possible patient care to every patient that walked through the door.

In addition to learning about the technical aspects of treating patients, I also learned about the importance of empathy and care for the whole person. Often in healthcare, we treat health problems individually, but do not always pay attention to how these health issues are related to the patients’ broader well-being. One of the things that I learned at Health partners is the importance of paying attention to how our patients health is affected by social determinants, like access to insurance, access to food, or a supportive social network.

As I continue my education as a pharmacy student, I will continue to reflect and learn from my time at Health Partners Free Clinic. I appreciate everyone there and I know that the patients there also appreciate their commitment to providing the best quality healthcare possible.