Teaching Personalized Cancer Care to PharmD Students in Central Jersey
Eileen R. Peng, PharmD is a skilled doctor of pharmacy dedicated to integrated, personalized care. Through her work with PharmD students at Rutgers University, she is bringing tomorrow’s oncology pharmacists into the forefront of individualized cancer care. Dr. Peng is an Adjunct Clinical Professor at the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy-Rutgers University, leading the ambulatory care pharmacy program for future pharmacists.
She was initially drawn to oncology pharmacy care for two reasons: the sociobiological complexity of cancer and the ability to bring personalized pharmacy care to patients. Dr. Peng is dedicated to providing individualized care that fulfills the unique needs of cancer patients—and to instilling the same values in future pharmacists pursuing their doctoral degree.
Dr. Peng is dedicated to providing personal, individualized care that meets the unique needs of cancer patients—and to engraining the same values in future pharmacists working on their doctoral degree.
Inspiring students to care for others throughout their whole cancer journey
Dr. Peng educates PharmD students in the final year of their program. Under her supervision, they shadow physicians, triage nurses, and pharmacy technicians in addition to working directly in the pharmacy. Through this comprehensive approach, students learn how to prepare prescriptions as well as consult with physicians and patients. Students spend five weeks in each block of rotation during their sixth year; through their 5 weeks with her, Dr. Peng hopes to inspire them to pursue residency and careers in oncological pharmacy care
“This is an opportunity for students to get more involved in and understand the whole journey, from initial diagnosis to end-of-life care,” says Dr. Peng. “Part of that journey is learning how to communicate directly with patients in a way that is both compassionate and reassuring.”
Teaching the importance of integrated care to pharmacy students
Dr. Peng is laser-focused on providing the best possible oncology pharmacy training that brings her students out of the “cocoon” of typical pharmacy settings and into the center of patient care. To that end, she impresses upon her students the importance of not only dose and toxicity management, but also collaboration with the entire care team, which most importantly includes the patient. She wants her students to understand—and be sensitive to—the financial implications of treatment as well.
“I want oncology pharmacists to understand what physicians and nurses see and deal with every day,” says Dr. Peng. “When we work inside the ‘care circle,’ which is the integrated pharmacy care concept, we help future oncology pharmacists provide better care that is mindful of the total cost of healthcare.”
As she looks toward the future, Dr. Peng hopes her work and teachings will contribute to the improvement of cancer care.