Reflections from pharmacy's Preceptor of the Year

For the past eight years, Angela Obermiller, Pharm.D., has served as a preceptor for UNMC pharmacy students at the Saint Francis Cancer Treatment Center in Grand Island.

The College of Pharmacy alumnus serves as the supervisor of the center's medical pharmacy and she works with about eight UNMC students each year.

For her work with the students, she was named the College of Pharmacy Preceptor of the Year for 2010.

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Angela Obermiller, Pharm.D., right, with College of Pharmacy Dean Courtney Fletcher, Pharm.D., at the recent College of Pharmacy Spring Honors Convocation. Dr. Obermiller received the college's Preceptor of the Year Award at the ceremony.
Below she comments on being a preceptor and her experience as student working with a preceptor.

What is the most rewarding aspect of being a preceptor?

Being a mentor. It's rewarding not only to be part of a student's education as a pharmacist, but more importantly to positively influence how the student develops as a person. I truly enjoy seeing my students succeed both in their rotation and in life and knowing I had a small part in helping them become pharmacists they are.

Describe one of your favorite experiences as a preceptor.

We deal with life and death every day in providing care for cancer patients. There is a lot of non-textbook learning that takes place when student is in a room the day a patient triumphs over cancer or is just hearing their diagnosis for the first time. I try to provide the students comfort while explaining we as pharmacists have many opportunities to help patients through these times. In addition, learning about cancer takes on an entirely different focus when students can relate it to a name and a face.

As a pharmacy student, what were your experiences like?

Wonderful. As a student there were always those teachers that went the extra mile, the ones that seemed to have an investment in each student's future. I was fortunate to have many of these at UNMC, especially during my fourth year clerkship rotations. These preceptors took the time to get to know my strength as well as weakness and therefore provided the best opportunity for learning. In turn, these settings are where I also became a member of their team and not just another student. Now being a preceptor myself, I want to be that type of teacher.


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