Take a moment to get to know our current InpharmD fellows and what their experiences have been like so far!
Name: Dena Homayounieh
Pharmacy School: West Coast University
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I am originally from Iran and currently reside in San Diego, California. I completed my undergraduate studies at York University in Toronto, Canada, and did my pharmacy studies at West Coast University in Los Angeles, CA. I was initially interested in pursuing my career in the pharmaceutical industry but my interest in drug information sparked when I was a pharmacy student and had the opportunity to be involved in customizing evidence-based responses and presenting those to different multi-disciplinary healthcare teams. My passion now lies in medical communication, evidence-based medicine, and clinical research.
Do you have a fellowship project? What is it about?
The risks and benefits of metformin use in patients who have cirrhosis with diabetes are debated. Due to concerns about an increased risk of adverse effects of metformin in patients with liver impairment metformin is frequently discontinued once cirrhosis is diagnosed. So, I decided to evaluate whether the continuation of metformin after cirrhosis diagnosis has any effect on the survival of diabetic patients.
What factors did you consider when choosing a fellowship program?
I did an extensive search and narrowed down my choices to programs that I thought would benefit me the most for my future career goals and interests. I wanted to make sure I do my training in a setting that has partnership with different healthcare systems. Other factors that I considered were having the opportunity to be involved in publication opportunities as well as teaching and precepting.
Why did you choose InpharmD’s Fellowship?
InpharmD’s fellowship provides a broad range of unique learning experiences to actively participate in different roles, such as retrieving and appraising clinical literature, preparing materials for an institutional P&T committee, preparing lectures, teaching, and precepting students. During my pharmacy school rotations, I realized how essential providing evidence-based drug information is and how pharmacists, as drug experts, can be the most valuable drug information source for patients and healthcare providers. Having the opportunity to be exposed to different settings and clinical topics is what makes this training so unique. Every day feels like a new adventure at InpharmD!
What does a day in the life of an InpharmD Fellow look like?
We all work together as a team to formulate customized, evidence-based responses for drug information inquiries submitted by healthcare providers. We are also involved with working on P&T requests such as drug monographs and class reviews. Fellows have meetings throughout the week with the fellowship director and other pharmacists wherein we present journal clubs, topic discussions, inquiry defenses, and quality improvement opportunities.
Any advice for future fellows and applicants?
Find a handful of programs that you find interesting and try to find as much information about those programs as possible. Expand your network, and keep an open mind about the opportunities that may come along your way! Start your preparation early and do not leave submitting your materials for the last minute. When it comes to interview season, always remember you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you, so make sure you ask relevant questions and don’t be shy!
And lastly, tell us a fun fact!
I am fascinated by marine biology! A few years ago, I joined a group for a 1-month adventure trip to Honduras and received my advance open water certification for scuba diving. While there are some spectacular snorkeling and scuba diving in California, I have a long list of destinations that I am planning to travel to and have more adventures in the future.