1, 2001, Gazette)
Photo by HSIMS
Pharmacy student Richard Cashin knew he was following a tradition of high
achievement when he became actively involved in the Canadian Association
of Pharmacy Students and Interns (CAPSI) as junior representative.
Megan Turner was my senior, and she taught me everything that she
knew, said Mr. Cashin. Including, as it turns out, how to win the
Alti-Med/Pharmacy Practice Magazines Commitment to Care Award for
Student Leadership, which was won last year by Ms. Turner.
Its a first for Memorials School of Pharmacy to have two students
in a row win this honour. Mr. Cashin will receive his award and $1,000
in early November in Toronto on an expense-paid trip.
While hes pleased to receive the award, Mr. Cashin is quick to point
out that it reflects well on the whole School of Pharmacy at Memorial.
His major contribution in leadership took place last year when he worked
to prepare pharmacy students for a new type of licensing test, known as
Objective Structured Clinical Exams (OSCE) have been used in licensing
medical students for many years: they require administrators, standardized
patient trainers, physician examiners, standardized patients and many
support staff. The Faculty of Medicine has a Standardized Patient Program
Office that works to prepare for exams and other educational experiences
using standardized patients.
At an OSCE station, the standardized patient assumes the role of a real
patient. We were really scared to death of these exams, explained
Mr. Cashin. Its brand new to pharmacy and because all the
students were so exceptionally nervous I did what I could with CAPSI junior
rep Amy Flinn to pull together practice OSCEs to help students prepare.
Mr. Cashins particular role was bell-ringer. Students had
to face the standardized patient while being observed by a judge
at the same time. After seven minutes the bell goes off and you have to
move to the next room it doesnt matter if youre in
the middle of a sentence!
One example of a pharmacy OSCE is a standardized patient asking the pharmacist
for wart removal products. Instead of just saying second aisle
over there, the pharmacist following standards of practice
would have to ask questions, explained Mr. Cashin. It
might turn out that the product is not for the person, but for his brother,
and his brother is a diabetic. Diabetics arent supposed to treat
their own feet because of neuropathy. Now thats something that this
person might not realize, and its information the pharmacist should
Mr. Cashin said the pharmacist must constantly gather information. Is
this product right for the person, or is there a better one? There are
so many drugs out there, theres no way the average person can cope
with them all, and thats where we come in as pharmacists. Its
our responsibility to know.
Mr. Cashin is a member of the Corner Brook Indian Band; he is pleased
if his success serves as a role model. Its always nice to
see one of us doing well.
He came to Memorials St. Johns campus after graduating from
Regina High School in Corner Brook. His first career aspiration was engineering,
but after a work experience he realized he had moved away from engineering
to become people-oriented. He also found himself more computer-oriented
and focused on science courses, especially chemistry. He did well
so well in fact that he was accepted into the School of Pharmacy with
the minimum two-year science requirements.
There is no doubt Richard Cashin will continue to do well, but theres
still one looming question to face what happens after graduation
this spring? At first I thought of pharmacy as a first degree and
thought that perhaps I would go on to do a medical degree. But now Ive
grown very passionate about pharmacy and I think Ive found my niche
in health care. One of the biggest things Id like to push is having
a solid working relationship with everyone on the health care team
physicians, nurses, pharmacists and social workers. We all have our role,
and if one person is not there it tends to fall apart. The team approach
is very important.