March 2023 OPA Extern Profile: Alexis Sova
Name: Alexis Sova
Pharmacy School: The Ohio State University
Undergraduate degree/institution: Ohio University
Rotation Month at OPA: March 2023
How did you get interested in the profession of pharmacy?
Ever since I was younger, I knew I belonged in the medical field. I have the passion and empathy necessary to care for those around me, especially when they are at their most vulnerable and the drive to ensure I could provide the highest quality of care for patients. When I was completing my bachelor’s degree at Ohio University, I was still exploring the different career options available in the medical field. The summer between my sophomore and junior year, I received a job as a Pharmacy Technician at Holzer Family Pharmacy in Athens, Ohio. While working there, I would see countless patients walking into and out of the pharmacy without their prescribed medications due to cost barriers. Most of these patients I knew took public transportation to get to the pharmacy, so it was heartbreaking to see the time that they had taken out of their day to travel down to the pharmacy and leave without the medications they needed. I remember one of the pharmacy technicians had offered to even pay for one of the patient’s prescriptions after hearing their story, and the rest of the technicians agreeing to pitch in. Due to this experience and many others like it, I knew that there was room for change in the field of pharmacy, and I wanted to be a part of that change.
Why did you choose OPA as a rotation site?
I chose OPA as a rotation site due to how well they align with my personal and professional interests in learning how to advance the profession and become a better patient advocate. I have previously volunteered for one of OPA’s Annual Conferences and have been to their Student Legislative Days throughout all of pharmacy school. Through these events, I have truly been able to build upon my networking skills and discover how important it is to become involved in pharmacy organizations, especially on a state level.
What was the most significant or surprising experience at OPA?
During my time as an APPE student, I was most surprised at how much of a small world pharmacy truly is. During pharmacy school, we would hear it said all of the time; but I believe my time at OPA solidified that thought. Helping to plan the Annual Conference, reaching out to students, or attending training sessions, I would see the names and faces of previous preceptors, coworkers, and friends in the field. It has reassured me that those that have served as mentors for me have aided in cultivating a network of amazing pharmacists.
Why I think it’s important to maintain my OPA membership after graduation.
I have recently accepted a residency position in Ohio following graduation, so it is vital that I maintain my OPA membership for a number of reasons. I am personally passionate about advocating for our patients and profession from a policy/legislation perspective, so maintaining my involvement after graduation would mean that I am able to get more involved in those efforts. I also believe that OPA has some incredible resources available to pharmacists that are looking to expand some of the practices that they provide. For example, on one of my rotations, I was asked to update one of their Collaborative Practice Agreements (CPA). With little experience or familiarity with the requirements, I was able to quickly and easily find a template on the OPA website that outlined everything that needed to be included in the CPA. Additionally, OPA provides countless networking opportunities through their continuing education/training courses, conferences, or committee meetings. Throughout my involvement in OPA as a student, I have already been connected with countless professionals within the field to ensure that I become a successful future pharmacist.
What other pharmacy associations/organizations do you belong to?
Besides my membership with the Ohio Pharmacists Association, I remain an active member in the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy and the American Pharmacists Association.
Outside of pharmacy school and rotations, some of my hobbies include spending time outdoors (running, hiking, and snowboarding), annoying my friends and family with countless phone calls, listening to music, and reading.