2011 Preceptor of the Year Award-Winner: Jason Pogue
Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor, Clinical Pharmacist, Infectious Diseases, Sinai-Grace Hospital, Detroit
Jason Pogue, PharmD, PharmResII'07, has the relaxed manner of a man who has found his place in the professional world, and that place is as a clinical pharmacist in infectious diseases at Sinai-Grace Hospital, Detroit.
"Not every PharmD student who takes a clinical rotation with me wants to be a clinical pharmacist specializing in infectious disease," says Pogue, the College's 2011 Preceptor of the Year. "I know it's hard to believe," he adds, tongue firmly in cheek, "but it's true. Given that, I try to shape each rotation so that students to get the most out of it."
That requires a lot of customizing. If he precepts multiple students (he hosts eight to 10 PharmD students per year) and a student intends to follow a specific career path, he shapes the ID topic so that each student takes away something important.
"That can be challenging," Pogue acknowledges. "But ID is too important a subject to gloss over. I try to focus the rotation on imparting the core background knowledge students must know no matter what career path they choose."
Pogue's own interest in infectious disease took hold while a P-2 at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy. He had a hospital internship that exposed him to many different areas of pharmacy. ID caught his fancy.
"I found that ID was a perfect fit for pharmacists because the therapy is drug related," Pogue explains. "For a lot of other chronic disease states, there are other therapeutic strategies. But in ID, antibiotics are where the treatment is focused."
Pogue credits a succession of excellent infectious disease mentors for fueling his in practice path. One such mentor was U-M alumnus, Daryl DePestel, PharmD'99, who was Pogue's PGY2 residency director at University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers in 2006–2007.
What makes Pogue's rotation unusual is that the students and residents who work with him do not round with a consult service. Instead, they work up their patients in the morning, before rounding with Pogue. Students and teacher then jointly review patients' therapeutic strategies. Students have to offer an assessment and present an action plan. Pogue identifies teaching points that come up during the review. After that, students are responsible for contacting physicians, residents, physician assistants, or other pharmacists, and making the interventions themselves.
"This teaches a valuable lesson about how to make interventions without necessarily rounding with all the members of the teams," Pogue says. "Student recommendations can be totally incorrect—that's why they are giving them to me, so we can make corrections here and now—but I want them to develop the skills involved in making recommendations."
One reason for insisting that students take the initiative is to get them over their stage fright. It's especially important when a student he's mentoring is bashful.
"I understand that shy students are more hesitant to make interventions, but I don't leave them with much of a choice," states Pogue. "I think that pharmacists who are more confident in their abilities and comfortable working with other members of the health care team have an advantage. I agree that it is a bigger stretch for some than for others, but I believe these are skills anyone can learn during a rotation."
Pogue places teaching near the top of his favorite professional activities. Part of that pleasure derives from the fact that Michigan PharmD students arrive well prepared. There's also the joy that comes in witnessing those "ah-ha" moments, or when he sees students incorporate into their end-of-rotation decisions knowledge they learned earlier on.
Students also help him amplify his own clinical impact.
"ID is a very busy unit at Sinai-Grace Hospital and I cannot do everything myself," Pogue says. "So if I can teach students the skills that will contribute not only to their education, but to my clinical practice, I will have a much bigger impact than I would working by myself."