Dr. Cowley named pharmacy preceptor of the year

by Chuck Brown, UNMC public affairs | May 10, 2007

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From left: Josh Havens, Pharm.D., president of the College of Pharmacy's class of 2007 and Jennifer Cowley, Pharm.D., the 2007 College of Pharmacy Preceptor of the Year, during the college's Spring Honors Convocation last week.
When fourth-year UNMC pharmacy students get assigned to preceptor Jennifer Cowley, Pharm.D., they better be ready to work.

Dr. Cowley -- a 2001 College of Pharmacy graduate -- said she takes the same tact with students that her preceptors did with her. This means she lets students confront real situations on their own and offers advice when she feels the need.

"Basically I like to team them up with medical students and let them go to work," said Dr. Cowley, a clinical outpatient pharmacist at The Nebraska Medical Center. "To me that's the best way to learn."

This "throwing them into the fire" approach apparently was well received by the students, who selected Dr. Cowley as the College of Pharmacy's 2007 Preceptor of the Year.

In nomination letters for the award, students called Dr. Cowley an excellent role model for the way she interacts with patients, colleagues and students.

Students also lauded her for her caring and compassionate attitude toward patient care.

"Because of volunteer faculty such as Dr. Cowley, students in the UNMC College of Pharmacy will continue to have enriching experiences during preceptorships," said College of Pharmacy Dean Clarence Ueda, Pharm.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Cowley began serving as a preceptor shortly after taking her job at the medical center in 2001. Her own work with preceptors left her wanting to pass on similar experiences to future students.

Helping students learn and grow into their profession is a satisfying aspect of being a preceptor but Dr. Cowley said learning is a two-way street when it comes to being a preceptor.

"I really enjoy interacting with the students," she said. "They help keep me on my toes and stay on top of new developments in the field."