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Marisa Sochacki, Pharm.D. Teaching Philosophy Certain teachers leave a lasting impression on their students.

My most memorable professor was my self-care professor. Her dedication to students and passion for teaching were evident in the way she taught and advocated for students. Her lectures incorporated active learning techniques that were practical, relevant, and engaging. Her classes not only equipped me with the knowledge to practice pharmacy confidently but also refined my problem solving skills. As a pharmacist, I believe it is my professional responsibility to educate future generations. I value the energy of young professionals and am inspired by the potential for a great future for our profession, and, in turn, our patients. My goals for teaching include the following:     To provide students with superior knowledge of disease states, pharmacotherapy, and processes for addressing health disparities Promote maturation of competent health care practitioners that exhibit professional, patient-centered, and culturally-sensitive relationships with patients and other healthcare providers Foster development of sound critical thinking and problem solving skills Empower students to be engaged in lifelong learning and professional development

I believe in a combination of two learning theories: cognitivism, and constructivism. Initially, during a student’s professional years, cognitive learning is required for the student to gain the foundational disease state and pharmacological knowledge that pharmacotherapeutics is based on. As the student progresses and develops as a professional, constructivism is crucial for expansion of knowledge and putting the cognitive principles the student has learned into action. Emphasis should be placed on student learning rather than teaching, and learner autonomy and initiatives should be encouraged. Important tenets of scholarly teaching include adequate preparation, employment of active learning strategies, and fair assessments. Adequate preparation is a major responsibility of the educator. Spending sufficient time to master material is critical in order to provide the best education and also to maintain credibility. This includes both components of evidence-based medicine: practice site exposure as well as critical evaluation of the literature. Active learning strategies significantly improve retention of material and improve student participation. During lectures, I employ a combination of didactic lecturing and active learning strategies. I utilize ‘think, pair, share’ throughout lectures in order to stimulate reflection and discussion. I use cases as a way to both ‘flip the classroom’ and to reinforce important points throughout lecture. In addition to written case assignments, virtual patient simulation cases provide a novel way for students to utilize technology to master topics. These cases illuminate the consequences of treatment decisions and provide students with immediate feedback, which reinforces correct treatment decisions and provides justification for incorrect treatment decisions. I believe that in order to maximize student motivation to learn, students must believe in the value of what they are learning. Consequently, during lectures and discussions, I provide specific examples of patient cases that I’ve seen in practice. Additionally, role-playing allows students to practice techniques learned during lecture. There are a significant number of students who learn best by actively doing, and it is important to teach material in a way that allows visual, audio, and active learners equal opportunity to learn. Similarly, standardized patient and colleague scenarios, provide students a ‘safe’ environment to receive feedback on patient care skills in real-world situations. Fair examinations and feedback are crucial for promoting student growth. I aim to develop examination questions that target higher level learning strategies in order to develop thinking strategies that will be most effective in practice. I use both multiple choice questions and case-based, short-answer questions. Free response questions help

assess a student’s critical thinking and problem solving skills while incorporating pharmacotherapeutic knowledge. I strive to perform fair assessments and award high marks to students who do quality work because I believe this serves as an external motivating factor. Another important component of teaching is precepting. As a preceptor, I believe in customizing experiential experiences and collaborating with students on goals and objectives. This helps foster internal motivation by assessing the student’s barriers to learning and improving self-efficacy. My precepting philosophy is ‘you watch while I do’, then ‘I do, and you help’, then ‘you do, and I watch’, and, finally, ‘you do.’ I believe this technique provides the opportunity for me to transition from model, to coach, to observer based on individual student progress. An important component of this model is acting with integrity, cultural-sensitivity, and empathy at all times. I remain transparent and discuss my thought processes with students. An additional strategy that I use when precepting is Socratic questioning, which stimulates critical thinking. It also allows me to identify knowledge deficits, provide education, and/or to assign drug information projects. My feedback strategy for precepting includes teaching students to self-assess on both the positive aspects of their performance and the areas for improvement. I engage in informal feedback after each interaction with the student, and I perform formal evaluations at midpoint and the end of rotation. This feedback, promotes maturation of a dynamic practitioner that consistently evaluates his/her performance and the systems in which he/she works. As a pharmacist, I truly believe that it is my duty to advance the profession through education. My goal as an educator is to not only provide knowledge, but also to encourage application of learned information. I strive to foster critical thinking skills and promote life-long learning that ultimately improves patient care. I do this through individualizing learning experiences, incorporating active learning strategies into lectures, and role-modeling.