November 2018 OPA Extern Profile: Zak Fettman
Pharmacy School: University of Cincinnati, James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy
Undergraduate degree/institution: University of Cincinnati
Rotation Month at OPA: November 2018
How did you get interested in the profession of pharmacy?
I think I started to become interested in the profession of pharmacy when I was a teenager working at my dad’s pharmacy in Canton, OH. After seeing the relationships my dad has personally built with patients and the community, I wanted to be in a profession that gave me the same opportunity. Right around the same time, my Uncle Matt who works with my dad, was just elected to serve as OPA’s president in 2011. Together, they showed me the life of a pharmacist through personal attention to patients and being a community leader who helps meet the needs of those they serve. However, there is one special person who I have to thank for getting me involved in the profession, my grandpa Dave A. Fettman. His kind and gentle demeanor, tireless dedication to the profession and his community is what I aspire to carry on through my career. Although he passed away in 2002, I still feel his presence in the lives of my family.
Why did you choose OPA as a rotation site?
When I saw my Uncle Matt become the president, that ignited a spark to become involved in leadership, and from that Annual Conference, now 7+ years ago, I saw the value that OPA provided on the outside. The tradeshow, continuing education, student involvement, and the fellow pharmacists my dad introduced me to along the way all created a positive environment to shape the profession. While I always enjoy attending the stellar programs, I wanted to see the operations and how the association manages the profession from the inside. There are many times I wonder how OPA’s nine staff members get everything done, and I am excited that I had the opportunity to be a part of their operations for the month.
What was the most significant or surprising experience at OPA?
I believe most significant experience at the OPA was attending the retired pharmacists committee meeting. The committee took a field trip to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations in London, OH. I was able to meet the Executive Director of the Ohio Board of Pharmacy and learn about the science and systematics behind fingerprinting, documentation, cyber investigations, and substance identification/potency. I felt like this was a valuable experience because this is an area that was unfamiliar to me regarding the work that goes into investigations, such as pharmacy robberies and forged prescriptions. I am thankful that I had this opportunity through OPA and the many more throughout this month!
Why I think it’s important to maintain my OPA membership after graduation.
When I look at what OPA continues to provide, many of their initiatives are superior to other state associations in the country.
Student Involvement after graduation: OPA has an innovative New Practitioner Experience group for new graduates practicing in Ohio! New pharmacists from across the state have come together to help ease new graduates into practice with mentorship, social events, and their seasonal newsletter, The Launchpad!
Interactive Annual Conference: The continuing education programing is kept current and many pharmacists see these as a value to their practice sites. There are a variety of CE programs that keep pharmacists tuned into the present and near future. The interactive trade show is also a hit to meet companies that can potentially help your business ventures… and win great prizes! I personally enjoy connecting with my college of pharmacy and keeping up with all of the alumni I see from year to year.
Legislative Powerhouse: With the continued dedication of our lobbying force, PAC and legislative defense fund, OPA has had quite the success of defending the profession from pitfalls that would limit our abilities to practice at the top of our license. In addition, OPA continues to push for provider status activities with the help of the Legal and Regulatory Committee. If you have not donated to the OPA PAC, I highly recommend it, especially if you are unable to make it to the statehouse to advocate. The support from those funds and personally advocating for change are what drive our profession forward.
What other pharmacy associations/organizations do you belong to?
I am involved with:
Phi Lambda Sigma,
Exploring new towns, coffee chats, spending time with family and the dogs, catching up with old friends.