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MCW School of Pharmacy Recognizes 2023 Preceptors of the Year

MCW School of Pharmacy recognizes 2023 Preceptors of the Year

The MCW School of Pharmacy celebrates the recipients of the 2022-2023 Preceptor of the Year Awards. This award recognizes MCW School of Pharmacy preceptors in three categories, who each embody the qualities, skills and values of the ideal preceptor and exhibit a commitment to excellence in teaching and practice.

Randy Dawes, RPhAdvanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) Preceptor of the Year
Randy Dawes, RPh – Owner, Swan Serv-U Pharmacy

Dawes has owned Swan Serv-U Pharmacy in Wauwatosa for almost 10 years. His first initiative was renovating the space, which he compared to walking through the Milwaukee Public Museum’s Streets of Old Milwaukee exhibit. He and the former owner Tim Walsh worked together to expand the pharmacy section, add a USP 800 lab and a clinical area, which allowed them to start administering vaccines.

As a preceptor, Dawes says he prioritizes identifying the student’s interests and diving into those topics. Some students want to learn more about compounding, others want to learn about the clinical side, and some may want to learn about the business. For those who may be interested in owning a community pharmacy, Dawes says he’s teaching things that aren’t taught in pharmacy school.

“If you own a community pharmacy, you have to learn a lot of things on the fly. So, we expose them to things like DIR fees, GER fees – all of these negative impacts that are very hot topics right now, from the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin to the legislature,” says Dawes. “If they’re interested in possibly owning their own business, they need to know about these topics, and it’s information they won’t get anywhere else.”

All students who were on rotation with Dawes commented on the welcoming environment of Swan Serv-U Pharmacy, the relationship fostered with patients, and the dedication of all members of the team to clinical excellence.

Third-year student Etan Maistelman nominated Dawes for the APPE Preceptor of the Year award. “Randy was an amazing preceptor on all ends of the floor. He always ensured that I was engaged in learning while showcasing my strengths to the team and his patients,” writes Maistelman in his nomination essay. “He made me feel valued as a student by going out of his way to include me in discussions and interactions with patients. He understood my strengths, such as patient interaction, and promoted them. Simultaneously, he understood my weaknesses, such as multitasking, and helped me improve by giving ways to reduce the sense of being overwhelmed.”

Dawes says the students on rotation are an asset to have. “Once we started precepting students – they interject so much energy and life,” says Dawes. “They’re excited by what they’re doing and they’re sponges that want to know more.”

Dawes says winning this award means a lot because the students are acknowledging that they’re having positive experiences at Swan Serv-U Pharmacy, and it validates what his whole staff is striving to achieve each day when it comes to the student experience. He accepted the award at the Class of 2023 Awards Dinner on May 18 at the Pilot House at Discovery World.

Kevin Bozymski, PharmD, BCPS, BCPPFaculty Preceptor of the Year
Kevin Bozymski, PharmD, BCPS, BCPP – Assistant Professor, Department of Clinical Sciences

Specializing in psychiatric pharmacy, Dr. Bozymski teaches MCW School of Pharmacy students about medications used to treat mental health conditions. He also cares for patients in both inpatient and outpatient settings, at Froedtert Menomonee Falls Hospital and the Froedtert & MCW Tosa Health Center, respectively.

Drawn to the idea of creating a psychiatric pharmacy presence at a new pharmacy school, Bozymski became a founding faculty member in 2017. He precepts second-year students on Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) rotations, third-year students on Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) rotations, and mentors pharmacy residents.

After precepting for several years, Bozymski has realized the value of giving students opportunities to grow. “When you’re first starting as a preceptor, the students are a reflection of your work, so it’s easy to try to control every factor of what they do,” says Bozymski. “If a student or resident gets used to someone being there with them lock-and-step for every appointment and every recommendation, they won’t gain the sense of agency to make the decisions. I think the real success comes from the learner growth when you give trust and allow space.”

Bozymski was nominated for the Faculty Preceptor of the Year award twice, by both an IPPE and an APPE student.

“Dr. Bozymski has had a monumental impact on my journey to becoming a pharmacist. He is the first preceptor I’ve worked with that has given me opportunities continually to act as an independent healthcare provider, while still giving me guidance every step of the way,” writes IPPE student Sonu Baru, 2024 PharmD candidate. “Dr. Bozymski has challenged me week after week to take my work one step further, and this has allowed me to build confidence in the activities I’ve practiced countless times in my didactic learning and in patient care lab.”

“Dr. Bozymski has been an exceptional preceptor and faculty leader. He has assisted me in developing a strong core foundation with psychiatric pharmacotherapy,” writes APPE student Hannah Ryou, 2023 PharmD candidate. “He has been a fantastic role model, based on my observations of him working with other professionals in patient interactions through different clinic settings. Additionally, I would like to mention that I appreciate his attention to the student's mental health."

Dr. Bozymski accepted the award at the Class of 2023 Awards Dinner on May 18 at the Pilot House at Discovery World.

“Awards like this aren’t just a reflection of you as the individual – it's also the village it takes for the student to learn,” says Bozymski. “Here in the clinic, students are actively collaborating with psychiatry residents, the attending psychiatrist, the nursing staff, the hospital, and social workers. There are a lot of puzzle pieces that go into it, so it’s gratifying when you get a recognition like this, and the students see the value that you’ve created in an experience.”

Benjamin Scott, PharmD, BCPS, BCCPIntroductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) Preceptor of the Year
Benjamin Scott, PharmD, BCPS, BCCP

Dr. Scott is a clinical pharmacist at Ascension St. Francis Hospital. He helped start the hospital’s post-graduate year one (PGY1) pharmacy residency program in 2014 and has served as the residency program coordinator since then.

After earning his PharmD degree from the University of Wyoming, Scott pursued a PGY1 residency and moved to Milwaukee after matching at Ascension St. Joseph Hospital. “I tell my incoming residents this all the time: When I graduated, I knew how to be a student pharmacist, but I didn’t know how to be a pharmacist,” says Scott. “Part of what got me interested in residency training and in training students was how much I learned and grew in that one year of residency. That was something I wanted to give back to other people.”

Scott started precepting student pharmacists in 2018-2019. All students who worked with him during the 2022-2023 school year commented on his ability to engage them in their learning, and how he connected patient experiences to what they were learning in class.

“He was one of the few preceptors who challenged me but also gave great constructive feedback. Leaving that rotation, I felt as though I gained a lot of knowledge,” writes IPPE student Shaina Sahal-Green, 2024 PharmD candidate, in her nomination essay.

Scott says he views this as an award for his whole department. “One focus I have for IPPE students, since they haven’t completed their didactic coursework yet, is to move them around and expose them to different types of pharmacy settings. A lot of times it’s their first time in a hospital pharmacy setting, so they’ll get a sample of all the potential options here, including critical care, ambulatory care, the central pharmacy, and more,” says Scott. “I view the award as a testament to all our staff here and how invested they are in teaching.”

He adds that being a preceptor has helped him continue his professional growth. “I believe if you aren’t able to explain a concept to somebody, then you don’t understand it well enough. Then you have to understand it well enough to explain it in different ways, because the initial way you explain it might not make sense to your learner. I know if I can’t explain the concept in a different way, then I need to go back and learn it a little better myself.”

Dr. Scott accepted the award at the Pinning Ceremony, held on June 14, to commemorate the Class of 2024 moving on to their Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience rotations in their third and final year in the MCW School of Pharmacy.