Student pharmacist is crowned Miss Virginia

In late June, science was made when Camille Schrier, PharmD candidate and APhA member, was crowned Miss Virginia 2019. Pharmacy Today was lucky to catch up with Schrier for an interview. Below is an edited version of the conversion. For the full article, please visit www.pharmacytoday.org for the August 2019 issue of Pharmacy Today.

Pharmacy Today (PT): Congratulations on your win! Tell me about your mission as Miss Virginia.

Schrier: Each candidate has a social impact initiative. As a pharmacist, I chose to focus on medication safety. The title of my campaign is “mind your meds.” The goal is to prevent parents and caregivers from making medication errors, specifically those that are made to the pediatric and geriatric populations. Parents and caregivers don’t always know what questions to ask, so it’s up to the pharmacist to educate them on the medication.

As a profession, pharmacists need to focus on patient counseling. Don’t be afraid to go out of your way and talk to that mom who is picking up eye drops for her kid. Assume they don’t know how to administer, how to store, how to dose. Have them repeat the information back to you.

PT: What about your mission as a pharmacist? Is it different?

Schrier: Pharmacists can play a huge part in the fight against opioid misuse and abuse. As a naloxone trainer, I find it imperative to talk about opioid abuse and to educate people. Do you notice a provider prescribing too many opioids? Have that conversation with them. Talk to them about different prescribing options or prescribing lower amounts. Give the minimum amount possible. Be involved in drug take-back programs. These are all ways you can help prevent other people from getting addicted to opioids. 

PT: Your roles as a pharmacist and Miss Virginia both require working with the community and serving the people. How can your pharmacist training help you in your new role?

Schrier: I have skills I wouldn’t have otherwise if not for my pharmacist training. I know how to communicate with people who have different backgrounds, education levels, professions, and attitudes. You need to have clear communication with a patient, and now I can apply those skills when speaking with the public.

PT: Did anyone say “you’re too smart to enter Miss Virginia”? What do you have to say to people who think ‘beauty competitions’ are silly or sexist?

Schrier: My STEM education set me apart from other candidates. It’s not a pageant; it’s a competition of accomplished women who see it as an opportunity to fund their educations and to reach a greater platform in the community. More women in STEM are pursuing other avenues like the Miss America competition—there was another pharmacist competing for the Miss Virginia title, as well!