Featured PILs Ambassador:
Chandler Schexnayder, PharmD, BCPS, CDCES
Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Specialist
Who/what inspired you to pursue pharmacy?
Honestly, I did not know I wanted to pursue pharmacy until a couple months before graduating high school. A pharmacy student (from a city four hours away) came to my classroom and educated me on what a pharmacist was and the different roles he/she could be in. I was sold immediately after the presentation and made the decision to major in pharmacy at Xavier University of Louisiana. The rest is history.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your area of pharmacy practice?
Within Home-Based Primary Care, our veterans are typically geriatric patients with multiple comorbidities and complex circumstances. What provides me with the most fulfillment is when many of my patients and their caregivers express their appreciation for my assistance with managing their medications and chronic disease states. My interactions with the veterans are primarily via telephone or video visits; there was one particular patient/caregiver that took the time to set up a face-to-face meeting with me at the VA Medical Center. What adds to this reward is that my interdisciplinary team acknowledges my work and joins in on the praise and encouragement. One provider was quoted saying “pharmacists are the backbone of Home-Based Primary Care”.
At what moment did you realize you were a real pharmacist?
Excellent question. I knew I was a pharmacist during my first rotation of my PGY1 pharmacist residency. One of the patients that I saw by myself was an individual with an elevated hemoglobin A1c of approximately 9% (his goal was <7%) . The patient was on a basal insulin that was controlling his fasting blood glucose readings, but his postprandial sugars were raising his average glycemic control. After initiating him on fast-acting insulin and educating him on the proper administration and management of hypoglycemia, I knew that I had to be a real pharmacist.
Which prominent figure, past or present, leadership style do you admire and why?
I am a huge fan of Trevor Noah who I believe is one of the most talented and influential people in the world today. I’ve followed him from the time he was a stand-up comedian to his current role as the host of The Daily Show. I believe Trevor leads by example with his boldness and evidence-based monologues that can make the most intelligent person say “hmmmm”. I do not know him personally, but I believe that because he understands his roots, he can identify with people and not act as if success has placed him above others. I think a leader should challenge the world to think and allow others to showcase their creativity and individualism — I believe Trevor Noah does just that.
What particular aspect of your field/specialization do you foresee drastically changing in the next 5 years?
As I alluded to before, a Home-Based Primary Care Clinical Pharmacy Specialist performs medication management for veterans via telemedicine. We do not participate in home visits at this time because our availability is crucial to the veterans calling in and the interdisciplinary team requesting our assistance with various questions and issues. In the next 5 years, I believe that Home-Based Primary Care pharmacists will begin to make home visits more of a reality to perform extensive medication reviews and interventions for patients with noncompliance or polypharmacy matters. I also believe the field of Home-Based Primary Care is fairly new yet effective and will continue to expand across VA and non-VA medical centers across the nation.
Interview by: Chandler Schexnayder, PharmD, BCPS, CDE.