Our next past resident feature is Dr. Traci Poole, currently an Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Belmont University College of Pharmacy and Director of Clinical Services at Riverside Village Pharmacy in Nashville, TN.Dr. Poole has served in several roles since her graduation from the Community Residency Program 11 years ago, from her first full-time job as a faculty member to opening and owning her own pharmacy. She feels that the residency program prepared her for all of that and more.
As far as her current position, Dr. Poole says : “ I love the variability. I get bored easily and constantly need a new challenge so having a job where no day is the keeps me extremely engaged in the profession and my career. I also love that I get to share in the student development experience. There really is nothing more rewarding than seeing a student go from a first year student pharmacist to a full blown practitioner and watching their individual journey to get there is always so much fun.” When asked about advice for current or potential residents, Dr. Poole says: “Soak up every second you can in the program and truly put in so much work you leave nothing unsaid or undone. You won’t regret the late nights or the long hours and in the end they will all be worth every bit of it. Glean all you can from those teaching and mentoring you. When it is all over, you will miss it and everyone you work with in our little slice of pharmacy heaven that is VCU CPRP. #vcucprpforever”
Recently, Dr. Poole has been very busy with her life as a new mom to her toddler son Owen, and awaiting the arrival of a baby girl in May. “When I have some rare free time, I enjoy reading/writing, being near the water, or enjoying a good glass of wine or whiskey with some live music!” When asked what she has learned since residency that she wishes she had known then, Dr. Poole has great advice for those of us who are passionate about and ready for change, but have a hard time waiting on results. “When I began my first job, I got extremely frustrated with how slowly I was making an impact and the snail’s pace in which both academic and practice-based changes moved. I got it, so why didn’t anyone else? Why did I have to fight so hard and passionately for community pharmacy to make something happen that made perfect sense and did so much good? Condit Steil, my department chair that hired me, had a similar background and had been fighting the good fight for decades and one day I was in his office complaining about something and he said to me out of nowhere “tincture of time.” He advised me to be patient and to continue working hard. Anyone who knows me well, knows I left so annoyed that day, but the more time went by, the more I began to realize that he was exactly right. As change agents in a practice setting that desperately needs it, slow and steady wins this race. If we aren’t careful, we will burn out and go bloody from beating our heads against the wall 24/7. My advice: Celebrate ALL the wins, no matter how small. Find a group of people that are like-minded you can vent to when necessary. Take time off and use them to take a break to recharge and then get back at it. Stay engaged with organizations and other programming that make you generate ideas to remain inspired. We are no good to a broken practice model if we throw in the towel and jump ship because things are maddening or not progressing as quickly as we would like them to!” Dr. Poole is a wonderful example of the pharmacists that the VCU CPRP produces. An excellent teacher, mentor, and tireless advocate for change and the advancement of community practice, we are so proud to call her a colleague and member of the pharmily! #alwaysvcucprp