Preceptor Profile: Dr. Shea Van Vuuren
Shea Van Vuuren, PharmD’97, became a preceptor for the U-M College of Pharmacy almost 15 years ago, driven by a desire to teach. “The preceptors I had during my time at U-M played such a pivotal role in my education, I wanted to give that experience to the next generation of pharmacists,” says Dr. Van Vuuren. Dr. Van Vuuren also serves her alma mater as member of the College of Pharmacy Alumni Board of Governors.
Dr. Van Vuuren is the Lead Outpatient Pharmacist with ChelseaCare Pharmacy. ChelseaCare Pharmacy is an outpatient pharmacy located on the St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea Campus. The pharmacy is open to the public and offers prescription service, over-the-counter, and supplemental medications. “Students experience a different workload and patient population compared to a typical retail setting,” explains Dr. Van Vuuren. “Most of our patients are new, potentially hospital discharges or coming from the Head Pain Treatment Unit. We see prescriptions and dosages unlike a typical community pharmacy. ”
Jessica Gerges, a second year PharmD student, is currently placed with Dr. Van Vuuren. “I like that Dr. Van Vuuren pushes me to use my knowledge from MedChem and Therapeutics and apply it to real-life situations,” says Ms. Gerges. “She has me review drug-drug interactions and common side effects and then asks me decide what should be brought up to the patient during consultation. Dr. Van Vuuren taught me how to prioritize what should be mentioned to the patient and what shouldn't be a concern.”
“To be a good community pharmacist, you need the full set of tools you gain through pharmacy school, as well as interpersonal skills,” adds Dr. Van Vuuren. “I became a community pharmacist because I wanted to build relationships with people and be part of their healthcare team.”