Addressing Urban Health
Sharon See, Pharm.D., BCPS
Associate Clinical Professor, Clinical
It’s 8 a.m. and Sharon See and her pharmacy students are meeting
with the attending and resident physicians of Beth Israel Medical
Center’s Residency in Urban Family Practice Program, where she also
holds a faculty position. They are discussing the patients admitted
the night before.
As a large urban hospital in lower Manhattan, Beth Israel serves
many indigent patients. Professor See, who teaches proper
medication use to family medicine residents, may be asked to
recommend therapies for patients coping with everything from
HIV/AIDS to diabetes. She also collaborates with physicians on
research, such as the development of a new alcohol withdrawal
protocol at her hospital.
“I have a direct impact on patients through collaboration with
their physicians,” she explains. “My pharmacy students are
surprised by how much they are a part of the team. They are not
here to shadow the physicians. They are here to work side by side
And, there is plenty of hands-on work to do. Fifth- and
sixth-year Pharm.D. students actively help optimize drug therapy in
their patients by assessing the appropriateness of medications and
identifying treatments that might benefit patients. Students also
counsel patients on various issues such as medications, proper
inhaler use, disease states such as diabetes, or smoking cessation.
“This type of education helps us be better clinicians,” Professor
See says, adding, “Coming on rotation in New York City opens
students to the world."