Spotlight on New Faculty — An interview with Ayşe Elif Özdener


Interview by Catherine Krawiec
Photo by W. Scott Giglio
Fairleigh Dickinson University welcomes Ayşe Elif Özdener, clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice for the School of Pharmacy. Özdener is spearheading an opportunity for her pharmacy students to integrate interprofessional activities during their studies. These activities will revolve around patience cases, and providing treatment plans that are directly related the their individual areas of study.
ozdenerFDU: Tell us about your new position
Ayşe Elif Özdener: I joined Fairleigh Dickinson University in August of 2014 as a clinical assistant professor of pharmacy. My responsibilities include precepting our pharmacy students during their introductory and advanced experiential rotations and teaching certain therapeutics topics at the School of Pharmacy. Precepting is the pharmacist who provides education to pharmacy students and supervises their activities during their experiential rotations. During the last year of pharmacy school, students are required to rotate through different places of pharmacy practice- each rotation is 5 weeks. The rotations will be in hospitals, community pharmacies, and industry settings. At the practice site, I am able to provide my students with hands-on patient experience in the area of chronic disease state management. My students are able to develop skills in caring for patients who have diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, HIV, and asthma.
FDU: How did you become interested in this field?
AEO: During my residency training, I had the opportunity to precept pharmacy students and teach at another pharmacy school. That was my first experience teaching, and I found it to be a very gratifying and enjoyable experience. Close to the end of my residency training, I applied to faculty positions hoping to continue my journey as an educator.
FDU: What is something that you would like to contribute to FDU?
AEO: I am interested in developing opportunities for our pharmacy students to work with professionals from other disciplines in the classroom and in an experiential setting. As our healthcare system changes, there is growing interest in interprofessional collaboration within different sectors of medicine to optimize patient health. Along with some of my colleagues, we are seeking out methods to imbed various interprofessional activities within our curriculum.
FDU: What is something that you hope your students will take away from your class?
AEO: I want my students to remember that their main priority should always be the health and safety of their patients. For every ailment they learn about in the classroom, there are patients in the community living with it. It will be their job as future pharmacists to make sure those patients are receiving the best care available to them by providing them and other healthcare providers with safe and effective medication recommendations.
FDU: What is one piece of advice you can give to your new students?
AEO: Pharmacy is a growing profession and there are endless career opportunities for those who keep an open mind, work hard, and are team players. I recommend all my new students to be as involved as possible during their four years in pharmacy school, because it will help them give back to the community, learn from other students, meet professionals and decide what their areas of interest are.