Dear teams, evaluating therapeutic drug regimens, and antimicrobial

Dear Dr. Dickerson,

Being the first at anything is not an easy feat for anyone to progress through without coming out at the end unscathed. There will be times where things do not work out perfectly, no matter how much effort is spent in planning every single detail. However, there is a plus side of being first. It grants you the opportunity to be a pioneer and forge a path for others to follow. You are placed in a position where you can influence change with your thoughts and experiences in addition to laying the framework for others to build upon. Moreover, it’s an opportunity to be a leader and set the standards that have yet to be introduced. My own personal journey has been one where I’ve embraced forging ahead in areas unknown. Confidently facing challenges associated with new experiences head-on while being a member of that pioneering class laying down the foundation brick by brick.  With that said, my name is Winfield Whittington III, and it is with great sincerity that I write this letter to express my heartfelt interest in the Carilion Clinic New River Valley PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency program. An ASHP pre-candidate program with opportunities that I am excited about taking the journey to discover.  

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I embarked on this pharmacy journey with an enthusiasm for clinical practice that continues to grow with each passing day. An excitement that is continually validated with the completion of each advanced experiential clinical rotation. Rounding with interprofessional healthcare teams, evaluating therapeutic drug regimens, and antimicrobial stewardship were all experiences that I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of and can envision myself participating in on a daily basis. However, it was my acute care rotation with preceptor Dr. John Jordan (Pharm.D., BCPS) that gave me the push I needed to put all I had into making this dream of mine a reality. His wealth of knowledge in regards to pharmacotherapy and pharmaceutical care was nothing short of impressive by any means. As I observed how he critically evaluated patient drug regimens and intimately worked alongside physicians in efforts to optimize patient care, it made me realize that he embodied what I wanted to be as a clinical pharmacist. Someone whose judgment and recommendations are trusted and taken seriously by clinicians and other healthcare professionals. A pharmacist who has a positive impact on his patients and their families and empowers them to be an active part of the patient care process. Lastly, an instructor whose students can look to for mentorship, guidance, and encouragement.

Attention to detail, critical thinking, and clear written and verbal communication were all skills that I developed throughout my four years of conducting pharmaceutical research and various leadership roles. Synthesizing novel compounds with the potential to treat therapy-resistant epilepsy has provided different modalities for learning outside of my didactic studies. My oratory skills were refined and improved via poster and oral presentations at various research symposiums. Conducting organic synthesis reactions enhanced my critical thinking in regards to knowing the reasoning and purpose behind the utilization of chemical reagents, and why specific processes were employed. This skill translates to the need of clinical pharmacist having a thorough understanding of the drugs utilized in the treatment of individual disease states.  In addition to my work ethic, I know that I possess the qualities and skills that would allow me not only to excel in your program but in my practice as a healthcare professional. Even with said elements, I still lack the clinical training and experience desired by potential employers and future colleagues. Thus making the pursuit of a PGY-1 residency pivotal in reaching my short-term goals of residency training followed by a PGY-2 in a specialized area of interest.

I find the aspect of completing my PGY-1 residency at the Carilion Clinic New River Valley Medical Center to be a great opportunity. One that allows me to receive training in a rural area of practice, yet with a unique patient population. I have no reason to doubt the highly qualified and board certified staff will fully prepare me to accomplish my dreams of becoming a clinical pharmacist via an individualized education approach. Enhanced clinical practice knowledge, proper disease state management, and critical care acuity are just some of the skills that I know that this program will provide.  In addition, I relish at the prospect for potential mentorship and the development of lasting professional relationships with healthcare professionals in a variety of different specialties. Academic influence is another aspect of the program that I find that complements its uniqueness. Being in such close proximity to Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University opens the door for a myriad of opportunities. Overall, my goal during residency is to be thoroughly trained and prepared for board certification and that I’m a highly qualified candidate for PGY-2 consideration. Thus giving me the opportunity to specialize in a particular area of interest, pediatrics. 

Long-term, I foresee the realm of academia as another role that I would like to fulfill in addition to a career as a pediatric clinical pharmacist in an academic teaching hospital. I hope that as an educator, I’ll  be able to foster and encourage students to search for areas within the field of pharmacy practice to specialize. In addition to being a source for mentorship, guidance, and encouragement as my instructors were for me.

Based upon my research on your program, I believe that I would be an excellent fit. My work ethic, enthusiasm for clinical practice, research experience, and “Hokie Nation” roots, show my dedication to pharmaceutical care and a special connection to the patient population served by the Carilion Clinic New River Valley Medical Center. I respectfully would like to request the opportunity for an on-site meeting during the specified interview cycle to further discuss the prospect of a residency opportunity. Should you need more detailed information, my curriculum vitae is attached within the application for your review.