April 2017 OPA Extern Profile: Abagail Agler
Pharmacy School: The University of Toledo
Undergraduate degree/institution: BSPS, The University of Toledo
Rotation Month at OPA: April 2017
How did you get interested in the profession of pharmacy?
Growing up with a family in medical professions, the desire to help others and my interest in medicine began at an early age. I was always playing doctor or nurse with my little brother. My grandfather was a chemist who was mostly self-taught and engaged us in science when we were also very young. As I went through school, the pharmacy was always the right combination of all my interests. Fortunately, it was an easy decision for me.
Why did you choose OPA as a rotation site?
In the pre-professional program, I found mentors that engaged me in policy and association management. When someone you look up to has a passion for something, it will most likely rub off. I was very fortunate to find a path that gauged my desire to be a part of something bigger than myself and find ways to leave my mark. Since I was located in Toledo for school, I didn’t have many chances to experience OPA other than for big events. I was very curious to see what OPA was doing for local students and learn how I could get more students from my school to have these experiences too.
What was the most significant or surprising experience at OPA?
The most surprising experience at OPA for me was attending the Health Committee hearing. I had the opportunity to watch a community pharmacist testify to the House of Representative Health Committee. She gave a demonstration on the differences in administration techniques and brands of epinephrine auto injectors. I was expecting to walk in and see intimidating legislators asking the pharmacist extremely difficult questions. But the truth was, since the pharmacist was well prepared and very respectful, the legislators sit and actively listened to her. They didn’t question her professional opinion and even allowed her to address a side issue. Seeing a pharmacist who doesn’t always work in the legislative world, it gave me the confidence to consider testifying too.
Why I think it’s important to maintain my OPA membership after graduation.
It is easy to get involved with national organizations as a student, and while that is beneficial, we tend to forget about what is going within our own state lines. OPA is not only a way to stay involved with our profession from a legislative stance, but a great way to build relationships and keep up with what is going on in our state. Very few states have the same success with their pharmacy state associations and OPA has done an amazing job of supporting all types of pharmacists. After seeing first-hand the support OPA gives hardworking pharmacists making a difference in our own backyard, I will always be a lifelong member. They recognize and honor those who make every day small differences in their community. No matter where my career takes me, I will always have OPA by my side for educational programs, professional development, and support.
What other pharmacy associations/organizations do you belong to?
APhA, ASHP, ACCP
Hobbies: Playing any sport (especially volleyball and basketball), reading, visiting new places