Students at LLUSP voted in the spring for their favorite pharmacy practice experience preceptors by completing evaluations of their rotations. In the category of alumni preceptors, Scott Fitter, PharmD, BCCCP, Class of 2015, received the highest scores on evaluations of the rotations he offered.
Dr. Fitter’s practice site is the Loma Linda University Medical Center (LLUMC) Emergency Department, where he has mentored students since 2017. During rotations at this site, students are exposed to extreme cases of medical emergencies including trauma, cardiac, and cerebrovascular accidents. In these circumstances, the pharmacist’s role is tremendously important to assure patients’ home medication lists, emergency medications, allergy information, and transition therapeutic plans are precise and communicated in a timely manner.
“When I was a student at LLUSP, I was fortunate to work with many amazing preceptors in the classroom and on rotation,” recalls Dr. Fitter. “Now, as a pharmacist, I view precepting as a way of paying back all those preceptors who helped me get to where I am today.”
One of Dr. Fitter’s favorite preceptors as a student was another LLUSP alum, Dr. Scott Glenny (Class of 2011). The two volunteered at a student-run health clinic in Riverside, and Dr. Fitter observed Dr. Glenny’s dedication to teaching and giving back while maintaining a busy work schedule. “I try to emulate that same passion today, even when work becomes chaotic,” says Fitter.
Because Dr. Fitter works in the field of emergency medicine, he introduces students to a “non-traditional” pharmacy environment. There is often a steep learning curve, but he enjoys challenging students to think critically and apply information to each patient case. “I want to show students there is more to pharmacy than regurgitating information from LexiComp. I hope to inspire students to practice pharmacy at the top of their potential.”
This challenge to students and expectation for high performance is what helped earn Dr. Fitter the “LLUSP Alumni Preceptor of the Year” award. Says the chair of LLUSP’s Pharmacy Practice Department, Alireza Hayatshahi, PharmD, BCPS, APh: “Students wrote great comments on the rotation Dr. Fitter offered. They appreciated that he allowed them to be a part of the interdisciplinary team and engage with the therapeutic plans. He also included topic discussions and patient case presentations during their training time with him.”
For Dr. Fitter, earning the award means he has helped create a positive experience in a unique pharmacy practice for which he is truly passionate. “I hope to pass this excitement for emergency medicine to all pharmacy students and residents whom I have the opportunity to precept.”